Why Suspending MPs Is a Threat to Indian Democracy

by Anish Esteves

India’s Parliament is more than a temple of democracy. It is a place where discussions, debates, and conversations take place on a wide variety of issues. It is the highest forum available for elected representatives.

However, the current Monsoon session is far from what the country has witnessed in recent times. A total of 27 Opposition MPs have been suspended from the Monsoon session, on various grounds, some of which might seem frivolous to the common man. With each suspension, the prestige of the Parliament is diminishing.  Legislative business, which is supposed to go on in full swing, has come to a halt. With MPs being suspended, the discussions in Parliament have become valueless. Crucial bills have been passed without any deliberations.

Both the houses of Parliament have witnessed bedlam before, but the scenes witnessed during the Monsoon Session are a new low. The process of discussion and debate are under intense attack, mostly due to the treasury benches. Earlier, during the UPA regime, from 2004- 2014, both sides would hold regular informal discussions and would eventually resolve differences through dialogue and negotiations. However, now both sides barely interact with each other. The Government would do well to remember former Union Minister late Arun Jaitley’s statement on disruption during the UPA government, that “obstruction in Parliament brings greater benefits to the country.”

The hostility between the treasury benches and the opposition is only widening by the day. And suspending MPs is not the option, for it does not augur well for Indian democracy. Both sides need to introspect, now.

About the Author:

Anish Esteves is a student of Mass Media and Journalism in Mumbai, India. He tweets @AEthejourno. 

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