SPECIAL COVERAGE
CHANDIGARH

LUDHIANA

DELHI


THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
M A I L B A G

Restoring the glory of Parliament

Apropos of H.K. Dua's article "Honourable Members: It is time to restore Parliament's lost glory" (June 1), I am shocked at the repeated adjournment of both Houses of Parliament on the issue of tainted ministers. One hopes the new members belonging to different parties and shades of opinion will show better conduct. They should not forget that the countrymen watch the proceedings live on TV.

To stall the proceedings of the august house by creating unwanted din is a criminal waste of public money, time and resources. During the last few years, this tendency has reached alarming proportions so much so that the proceedings have been stalled for days together. Mr Dua has rightly asserted: " A reasoned debate on vital issues of public policy, a questioning spirit and fierce defence of public interest can enable the Fourteenth Lok Sabha play its due role in leading the country."

The quality of debates in Parliament has suffered a setback in recent times. We have no dearth of talented debaters in Parliament. But it seems the debating standards have fallen over the years. There is an urgent need to set up a peopleís forum to assess and warn those for misconduct. The forumís judgement should be binding on the members to behave in a manner expected of a good parliamentarian. Every MP has a duty to ensure that Parliament's lost glory is restored.

 

 

IQBAL SINGH, Bijhari (HP)

II

I share Mr Dua's concern and anguish over the steep decline in the working of Parliament. During the last few years, pandemoniums have become a daily routine. But there is reason to be optimistic with the changing complexion of the new Lok Sabha. The entry of many young faces is a positive and healthy sign as their fresh ideas, dynamism and new vision would make a lot of difference. This will arrest the declining trends. We hope this young brigade would transform the functioning of Parliament by maintaining its decency and decorum.

Members, cutting across party lines, must learn to conduct with responsibility and restraint as they are under watch. Let the era of dwindling values come to an end, heralding a new beginning.

Prof. K.L. BATRA, Yamunanagar

III

The quality of a system depends on the character and calibre of the person who runs it. As our MPs are, so will be our new Parliament. The quality and standard of debates in Parliament has alarmingly gone down much to the chagrin of the people.

Mr Dua has dutifully reminded the members about their duties and challenges ahead. Under the able leadership of Dr Manmohan Singh, India can be a super power. But this would be possible only with the unstinted help and co-operation of the members and the political parties.

Unfortunately, the present scenario does not seem to be encouraging. Surrounded and hounded by the likes of Laloos, Karunanidhis, Sorens and many others, the distribution of portfolios to the Union Council of Ministers became the bone of contention. Every ally wanted to extract its pound of flesh. Fissiparous forces applied pressure tactics. Having found no space for manoeuvrability, Dr Manmohan Singh and Mrs Sonia Gandhi have yielded to the demands of the alliance partners to keep the flock together. What message is the new government sending to the people?

KARNAIL SINGH, Ranjit Sagar Dam

IV

The great debates witnessed during the times of parliamentarians like Acharya J.B. Kripalini, Feroze Gandhi, Madhu Limaye and Piloo Modi have become a thing of the past. It is hoped that the younger MPs, who are more educated and full of new ideas, will create the right impact in restoring the lost glory of Parliament. The members have not only to do their homework on various issues confronting the nation but also effectively raise the prestige of the House by their conduct and performance. The nation is looking forward to a healthy and productive Lok Sabha to solve the complex issues facing its people.

Brig H.S. SANDHU (retd), Panchkula

V

The new members of Parliament have got an opportunity to restore the image and glory of Parliament. Members of all political parties should use their full potential and not waste precious working time by stalling the proceedings of Parliament.

V.K. HEER, Chakmoh, Hamirpur (HP)

VI

In his article, H.K. Dua has called upon MPs to display a sober and decent behaviour. Constant vigilance, active participation, constructive debate and discussion, thorough scrutiny of the budgetary provisions, cornering the evasive and inefficient ministers and proper utilisation of every minute of parliamentary proceedings are a sine qua non of parliamentary democracy.

An additional word of advice and caution for our MPs. Nurse your constituency well but do not overfeed it at the cost of the starving adjoining constituencies. Reckless use of the funds under the MP's Local Area Development Scheme by some members in the past is sad. It is well known that huge funds under this scheme remained unutilised by some members while others perhaps could not find a welfare venture to invest in. A few public parks and dharamsalas constructed with funds under this scheme present a deserted look now.

Prof. SUDARSHAN DHINGRA, Abohar

Is Congress secular?

I was surprised over the ruling Congress party's claim of running a "government of secular forces", and its "combined resolve to send the communal and fascist forces packing" in T.R. Ramachandran's report "Manmohan Singh to be PM" (May 20). Who is communal and who is secular? Is the Congress secular? Wasn't the Muslim League communal? I doubt whether the Congress has ever been secular. The Congress had been making friends and fighting elections jointly with the Muslim League even after the Partition on communal lines.

Fascism is anti-democracy. Then, why did Indira Gandhi clamp Emergency in 1975? What about the peremptory dismissal of chief ministers of Congress-ruled states at her whim? The rise of the Telugu Desam Party in Andhra Pradesh was because of the shabby treatment given to the chief ministers by Indira Gandhi and, in the process, hurting the self-respect of the people of the state.

SUBHASH BARU, Jammu Tawi

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