It must be stated at the very outset that no sane person will ever approve of the “fast politics” that has been triggered now even for Parliament not being able to function properly. First, it was Congress party under the leadership of Rahul Gandhi who went on fast for few hours to protest against government policies and now it is PM Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah who went on fast for a day on April 12 to protest against frequent disruptions in Parliament. This is really nothing but a theatre of the absurd!
Why can Parliament not enact the strictest of rules for expelling all those MPs and MLAs who disrupt proceedings and don’t allow the Parliament or State Assembly to function properly not just for few years but for life? Why can the Parliament not enact a law deducting the complete salary of all MPs and MLAs whenever they indulge in disruptions? Why can Parliament not enact a law by which those disrupting Parliament are sentenced to jail for at least 10 years if not 14 or life term?
Why can Parliament not enact a law by which MPs and MLAs would not be able to hike their own pay at their own whims and fancies? Why can Parliament not enact a law
prescribing minimum educational qualifications for becoming an MP and MLA even though for other
services at lowest level graduation is the minimum qualification? Why can Parliament not enact a law barring all such candidates from becoming
MPs and MLAs against whom even FIRs are lodged in police stations just like this strict rules exist for
other services like for Army, Police, Judiciary etc?
Why are politicians given the long rope in exempting them from all rules and regulations? Why can Parliament not enact rules to put an end to it? Why any dacoit or robber or murderer or rapist or any other criminal barred from acquiring any government job but are free to contest elections to become an MP or MLA even from jail? Is this not the biggest mockery of democracy? Why can Parliament not enact rules to oversee how MPs and MLAs spend their funds and how they use their discretionary powers?
Why can Parliament not enact rules to end the membership of all those MPs and MLAs who are found to be indulging in any kind of conduct that brings a disgrace to democracy like leading a violent procession or giving communal speeches etc? Why can Parliament not enact rules to bar a MP or MLA for life if he/she indulges even in a single act of indiscipline as we see in case of other professions? Why can Parliament not enact rules to bar MPs and MLAs who speak out of turn and shout over each when the service rules in case of other services are so strict that if anyone dares to speak even slightly the service rules are immediately imposed on him/her and his/her services are terminated?
Why can Narendra Modi, who is our PM and BJP national President Amit Shah not take a lead in this direction? Why do they not even ever bother to speak on it? Why do they not realize that just playing “fast politics” is not going to lead the nation anywhere nor will it change the way the Parliament functions?
Why are MPs and MLAs treated above the law? Why are they allowed to become MP and MLA even after going to jail and even after committing the most horrifying crimes like rapes, gang-rapes and murder etc.? Why are MPs and MLAs allowed to indulge in blatantly supporting hike of their pay and allowances when we don’t see the same for any other services?
Why are MPs and MLAs given the unfettered licence to shout, scream and waste thousands of crores of rupees by not allowing Parliament and State Assemblies to function properly and yet not lose their membership or lose any pay in this whole sordid affair? Why are MPs and MLAs given the unfettered licence to disrupt Parliament and State Assemblies thus rendering them dysfunctional in the name of “right to dissent” just like traitors and shout pro-Pakistan slogans in India and cite the “right to dissent” conferred on them by the fundamental rights under the Constitution? Why is membership and citizenship of MLAs like Akbar Lone, a leader of National Conference, not terminated when he openly shouts pro-Pakistan slogans in India?
Why are they allowed to get away by citing one excuse or the other? What message is being sent to politicians? You can get away even after abusing India and adoring Pakistan!
Can this be ever good for our national interests? Why are we the people of India tolerating all this open sham of democracy by allowing these politicians to give a long rope to themselves in all respects?
Why are membership of those MPs and MLAs not terminated who shout at Speaker or Chairperson and rush to the well at the slightest available opportunity? Why are all political parties united not to do anything on this score and just play the farce of “fast politics” which is not the solution to any of the problems plaguing our Parliament and State Assemblies? Why is the strictest of rules not enacted for MPs and MLAs to ensure that they behave properly like other government servants and do not consider themselves to be above all laws and regulations?
Why are PM, Leader of Opposition and other senior MPs not doing anything on this? This is the real rub! This is the root cause why for the last 70 years democracy in our country has become a sham and these politicians even after wasting crores of money by not allowing Parliament and State Assemblies to function properly are not disturbed and continue to get full pay and enjoy all perks and allowances!
This is what needs to be finished but for which not a single party in India is prepared. This explains why we don’t see any discussion on this happening either in Parliament or in any of the State Assemblies! A common man feels most hurt to see all this and feels that MPs and MLAs must be tried for treason when they disrupt Parliament or any of the State Assemblies and all benefits should be withdrawn from them but we see nothing of this sort happening as everything in India is controlled by these very politicians who are supposed to be the biggest guardians of democracy but in reality are themselves corroding the very base of democracy by not allowing Parliament and State Assemblies to function properly! This must end now if India is to function as a democracy in the true sense which is possible only when the Parliament itself takes the lead in enacting the strictest rules for MPs and MLAs and not the most liberal rules that are in place right now which is the root cause of all the deepest malaise that has permeated our democratic system and is corroding it from within!
The moot question is whether the politicians are really prepared to do this. It is not likely because this will not serve their vested self interest and petty political interests. That is why they want people to give full detail of all their income but are not ready at all to divulge how much money they themselves receive from foreign countries in the name of
political donations! Why politicians have their share of pie in every field and why politicians are empowered to withdraw criminal cases
against MPs and MLAs whenever any Chief Minister wants thus making a complete mockery of the entire legal system.
Since politicians have the power to“suspend, transfer or dismiss police officials” the police is under their control. That is why Parliament never enacts a law to finish all this? Similarly, CBI also is under the control of politicians. Why is police always at the mercy of politicians and can take action only when politicians orders them to which alone explains why riots break out, protests on roads turn violent mostly engineered by politicians themselves yet no police action is seen on the ground?
Why does Parliament never enacts law to cancel the registration of a political party for at least ten years if their party members indulge in wanton violence and killings like we saw when former PM late Mrs Indira Gandhi was assassinated which resulted in backlash and more than 4000 Sikhs were murdered in Delhi alone? Why are political parties not made to pay for all the damage that their party members indulge in when they call for bandhs like we saw just recently on April 2 in which more than 10 people lost their precious lives and thousand of vehicles broken and rail tracks smashed and even courts were not spared? Why are the registration of such political parties not cancelled for 15 or at least 10 years whose members resort to unprovoked burning of railway stations, burning of police stations, burning of public property, burning of private vehicles, etc which makes a complete mockery of our democratic system which is worse than even dictatorship and yet such political parties very conveniently blame individuals and distance themselves from the ghastly violence indulged into by their members?
Parliament is squarely responsible for all this by not making strictest rules for MPs and MLAs in the last 70 years of independence! Just going on token fast is not going to benefit our country in any manner. They are abhorrent gimmicks by which a political party scores over another. Prime Minister is the leader of the country and must rise above all this sham! He must take real concrete actions that will benefit our nation in the long term, but that till now just remains a pipe dream and nothing else!
By Sanjeev Sirohi