By Sumit Kumar:
Days of the winter session have passed without translating into any productive debate, discussion or legislation. The functioning of both the houses had come to a standstill because of the Opposition’s genuine protest led by Congress over the currency ban. The disruption in the functioning of Parliament has become a recurring phenomenon in Indian politics with important debates and discussions being sabotaged by parties to further their vested narratives.
The opposition views the disruption of Parliament as a ‘legitimate’ way of protest, as was once hailed by the then-Leader of Opposition Arun Jaitley, though interestingly it has now been adopted by the Indian National Congress, the ones who had suffered the menace of malicious disruption. One would have expected the ‘Grand Old Party’ of India to behave with maturity and humility while conducting themselves in the Parliament. Albeit, the fortunes of Congress are at it’s all time low. They have the credibility, leadership, experience and leaders who can rip apart the government on many issues including the ongoing demonetisation issue. From an eloquent speaker like Shashi Tharoor in Lok Sabha to a renowned economist like P.Chidambaram in Rajya Sabha, they have all the credible, mature and experienced leaders who can play a major role in countering the rhetoric of the ruling side.
But, to rebut the claims made by the government, the parliament needs to function. The opposition in a democracy is more important than the government itself. The opposition dissents against the government and makes the government accountable to the houses of Parliament. Opposition becomes the voices of the aggrieved citizens and coerces the government to right the wrongs which has been done to the people. The loud voice of the Opposition compels the government to rethink, and on some occasions, reassess their strategies and policies.
If Congress has to restore its credibility in contemporary politics, it ought to reassess it’s modus operandi. It cannot behave the same as the others did when they were in Opposition. If it continues making such sinister norms, it will be detrimental for the functioning of a smooth parliamentary system itself. This is time that Congress must set a high precedent in the temple of democracy and try to win by words, arguments and logic rather than fight, shout and disruption. It should use the platform to put forth the genuine demands of the people they represent. If Congress wants to revive its legacy in the minds of electorate, it will have to do a ‘surgical strike’ over it’s functioning inside the Parliament. The people of India want the Opposition to give a verbal expression to their ire inside the Parliament and the Congress must capture the zeal.