Time to restore the image of Parliament

This has reference to the articles “Parliament, reform thyself” by Subhash C. Kashyap and “Ensuring quality of democracy” by H.K. Dua (The Tribune’s Special Supplement, “India: The tasks ahead”, Sept 24). I would like to appeal to the leaders of both the Congress and the BJP to forgive and forget the acrimony of the past and address themselves to the urgent national issues.

For the survival of democracy in India, this virulent confrontation between both the main political parties should yield place to an era of conciliation and consensus. True democratic temper enjoins upon the leaders to retain geniality even in the midst of heated arguments and discussions. They must learn to laugh away tense moments and maintain decency and decorum in their utterances in Parliament.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must sincerely seek the cooperation of all the political parties on important national issues. The Opposition, in turn, should respond in a true patriotic spirit. Otherwise, future generations will never forgive them.


The “enlightened” Press and institutions with non-political base must build pressure on our rulers to refurbish moral values which have lost their glow in the stark nakedness of manipulative policies and the immorality of convenience. In the ultimate analysis, people themselves will have to reject selfish, power-hungry and unscrupulous politicians and elect only the real servants of society.

Prof S.K. SHARMA, Jalandhar


I refer to the two articles by Mr Kashyap and Mr Dua. Parliament is the mirror of Indian democracy. However, it has of late failed to give the proper direction to the voice of the people. Its sense of direction has been impaired by communalism, regionalism, corruption and selfish interests of political parties and leaders. Unfortunately, regional issues have taken priority over national and international issues in Parliament.

The emergence of regional parties has affected the functioning of Parliament. As democracy derives its sustenance from Parliament, it should be strong, bold and united. Extra large alliances like the NDA and the UPA have resulted in major political parties giving undue favours to their coalition partners, which, in turn, has resulted in cheap parliamentary practices. The short-sightedness of leaders and the desire of political parties to remain in power at any cost has tarnished the image of the Indian polity and of Parliament.

To restore the image of Parliament, Mr Kashyap has rightly suggested a parliamentary reform committee comprising seasoned and veteran parliamentarians. As for the quality of debates in Parliament, the Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition should ensure that regular debates and parliamentary work are not affected.



The Tribune’s Special Supplement, “India: The tasks ahead” (Sept 24) represents a new trend in journalism. To celebrate its 125th anniversary, The Tribune has rightly brought out a special supplement covering the burning issues of the nation and the challenges ahead, instead of carrying reports about its own history and achievements.

The fact that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inaugurated the 125th anniversary celebrations speaks volumes for the vision of both the Prime Minister and The Tribune. With such leaders in the government and the fourth estate, there is still hope that a modicum of dignity and objectivity will grace the lives of millions of common citizens of this great country.

MINI SAPRA, Ambala City

Issue in question

Editorials and letters in these columns on the Gohana incident have left me intrigued as all indulged in sermonising as usual: the Jats are noble, brave and broad-minded, the Dalits are an oppressed lot, we should not do this, we should do that etc.

The officials are not wholly incompetent, nor is the Chief Minister, a simpleton, as is being made out. The administrative apparatus has to carry out the policies of the government and the mass transfers broadly indicate its policy. The following facts, inter alia, confirm the same.

The Gurgaon DSP was not even transferred whereas the Gohana DSP was suspended though the former had ignited the situation. Secondly, though former CBI Director Joginder Singh said that the State CID has totally failed in both Gurgaon and Gohana incidents, little has been done to revamp the organisation.


Don’t blame Cong

Manpreet Singh Badal, in his article, “Akali Dal not communal” (Sept 8, 2004), has blamed the Congress for promoting Sant Bhindranwale and using a section of the militants to settle scores with the Akali Dal leaders. However, the facts suggest otherwise.

First, many Akali Dal (not Congress) leaders had attended the installation ceremony of Bhindranwale as the chief of Damdami Taksal in August 1977.

Second, in the Lala Jagat Narain case, when the Sant was arrested, the Akali Dal leaders went there to support him.

Third, the Akali Dal leaders had sought the Sant’s release as a precondition for resuming talks with the Centre. Fourth, the SGPC (controlled by the Shiromani Akali Dal) allowed the Sant to stay in the SGPC complex and the Akal Takht. And, finally, when the Sant had decided to leave the SGPC complex and proceed to Nanded and Patna, the Congress did not persuade him to stay on and support the Dharam Yudh Morcha.


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