Avoidance of Parliament by PM

Good one by Sandipan Sharma

Demonetisation: PM Modi's avoidance of Parliament is serious and mocks democracy

At the height of the Weimer Republic, many Germans derided their Reichstag (parliament) as the "teuerste Gesangsverein Deutschlands" (the most expensive singing club) because their "elected representatives" gathered there only to sing 'Deutschland-Deutschland' and listen to Hitler's speeches during sessions.
Unfortunately, on current evidence, it is not even song and bhashan in the Indian Republic.
The Indian Parliament, considering the current arc of democracy, runs the risk of turning into India's most expensive shouting club where members gather just to rant and scream while the Prime Minister makes his speeches on Twitter, in Tokyo, at election rallies close to the site of a train accident that kills 146 people and at rock concerts.
How the mind harks back to the man who promised to treat it like a temple of democracy! How it goes back to PM Modi's first tears in a series of many that were to periodically move the lachrymose nation! Standing on the footsteps of Parliament on 20 May 2014, after becoming the PM-elect, Modi prostrated at the main entrance and after choking on his words declared: "This is the temple of democracy."
Ironically, the temple is still there, but the chief priest (sevak, if you will) is busy at concerts. And the bhakts (devotees) are dancing to rejoice the sacrilege.
How we are reminded of Arun Jaitley's sermons while he was leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha during UPA 2. Of his words: "Parliamentary obstructionism should be avoided. It is a weapon to be used in the rarest of the rare cases… If parliamentary accountability is subverted and a debate is intended to be used merely to put a lid on parliamentary accountability, it is then a legitimate tactic for the Opposition to expose the government through parliamentary instruments available at its command."
It has been almost a fortnight since Modi disrupted the life of a nation of 125 crore with his "demonetisation" experiment. Without any debate, without consulting his colleagues, keeping even top functionaries in the dark, he has brought millions of Indians on the road - both literally and figuratively.
Since then he has laughed, cried and recited Bob Dylan poetry but evaded the very thing he was elected for - face Parliament, debate his decision on the floor of the House with representatives of the 69 percent Indians who did not vote for him. Like the Weimer Republic, he seems to have unilaterally accorded himself the powers and privileges of the 'Enabling Act' without even going through perfunctory parliamentary motions.
India, it must be reminded, is a parliamentary democracy and not a tin-pot dictatorship or an oligarchy where decisions are taken by a cabal in a closed room and then handed down the line for people to follow and execute. Parliament is the fountain of our democracy, the place from where every Indian institution derives its moral, legal and administrative legitimacy. So, even if the PM enjoys executive powers, he can't avoid Parliament, especially when it is in session and deny it the right to debate and question his decisions. He is duty bound to face and be answerable to it.
It is clear from the government's history, the PM just won't find enough time for Parliament. But, if Twitter is the new pulpit of the high priest of the "temple of democracy, why not wind up Parliament completely? Why not rewind the clock and turn our Republic into a Mughalia-Timuria sultanate where the ruler sits on his peacock throne and issues firmans after holding a darbar-e-khas?
The argument that the PM doesn't need to bother engaging Parliament because he has the approval of the people and the Opposition can be circumvented is flawed. To consider some "baazaru-type" opinion polls (PM's own words) as vox dei is tantamount to ignoring the lessons of history.
Since when have opinion polls become a reflection of popular mood and thus a pretext for ignoring Parliament? Since the days they forecast a resounding win for the BJP in Bihar? Since the days Britain believed Brexit was just an empty jumla? Since the days opinion polls predicted Hillary Clinton has 82 percent chance of becoming US president?
The problem with the PM's refusal to face Parliament is all the more serious because he has no logical reason to do so. The government enjoys a comfortable majority, the Opposition is fragmented and leaderless, and the PM himself is a master of rhetoric and oratory. But, it seems he has utter contempt for the Opposition and uses his silence as a strategy to ridicule his rivals and make debates look like a waste of time. His absence is not born out of necessity but perhaps the unstated belief that Parliament deserves no explanations or answers.
But, this is a dangerous precedent. Even at the height of the Opposition ruckus during the UPA scams, for whatever it was worth, the then prime minister Manmohan Singh used to sit poker-faced in Parliament, showing that even if he did not have the courage to respond to charges and questions, he at least had enough regard for the rituals of democracy. But, Modi is setting a precedent that could have disastrous ramifications in the future: He is telling us that Indian PM is not the primus inter pares, but the supreme leader.
That, the temple of democracy can wait because the demigod of democracy is busy at a concert. more  

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Mr Arun Arora, I agree with you, that the poor people are facing lot of hardships chasing money- their own hard earned money. P. M . is supposed to appreciate it. But let us recollect that on 8th of this month when the P.M. announced demonetisation of high value currency notes, he plainly admitted that it would create hardships for the people for 50 days. He repeated, in his address in a rally, that he just wanted people to bear with him for 50 days. When the P.M. himself know the pain of the people, what the opposition parties want him to discuss and know from them. Let us clearly understand that in our democracy the P.M. or any Minister is bound to reply/ clarify on the points raised by the opposition, but not necessarily be present in the House for the days the debate run. In the time of technology, it is not necessary to be present at a particular place and on a particular time, the event may be recorded, and replayed. The P.M. is intelligent enough to understand what the people and the opposition expect from him. If you happen to disagree, you would be underrating the P.M. Opposition is meant to oppose, but not you and me. more  
Madam Ruchika Lohani. I have read your article with interest. it reveals your anger and frustration. I appreciate one thing that you have admitted that Mr. Modi kept the demonetisation a guarded secret and did not discuss even with his close associates. It is, I wish, your Party could realise. You have compared Indian Parliament with other nations say Germany. What is the resemblance in todays times. Anyway, your arguments do not become more convincing. The opposition parties did insist for debate in Parliament, perhaps hoping that the BJP led Government would not agree. The debate continued for the full day, when the opposition leaders spoke. On the second day the approach of the parties did sound like an excuse for not engaging in the debate- The Prime Minister must be present in the House simply to listen to what the opposition wanted him to listen. When Prime Minister did come to the House, then the opposition changed its instance again, insisting that the P.M. must sit in the house for full day/s of the debate. While insisting for his presence the opposition fails to clear which of the two Houses the P.M. must sit in for full day. Anyway, this is amply clear that the opposition has nothing constructive to say except shed crocodile tears on the difficulties faced by the people and some deaths which could be due to some medical factors. They want to observe obituary for the people died while standing in queue. Unfortunately, the same politicians have not shown any concern for the soldiers, paramilitary and police personnel who died while protecting the borders of the Country and to protect us from the attacks of the terrorists. What an irony of fate. How would a solder would feel when he comes to know of the attitude of the politicians. And how unfortunate it is that people like you also support them. It is true that the people have been facing lot of difficulties for shortage of money in their hands.The people do appreciate the action of the government and are willing to cooperate and have been cooperating. But, once their elected leaders do not understand. Sad and unfortunate. more  
PM is the person who do have responsibility of every act. But why only PM is required? Is FM is not required in cabinet and the post is vacate at present? If FM is not able to answer the questions related to finance matters either PM appoint new FM or reply to the related questions arises. What is the logic. Let's understand by a common example. You went to a bank for withdrawal of money from your account. Will you insist that Branch manager must be present and take your cheque and deliver the cash? If account & cashier are not on their seat or they are not entering your cheque and remit cash to you Branch manager come in picture and must solve your problem. Problem with us is that we are doing everything in so casual way that we don't want to know the procedure simply put our arrangements. If Branch manager do it why the accountant and cashier are appointed in bank? If Branch manager will do it who will attend managing of bank operations? more  
I agree with Ruchicka that the P. M. must face Parliament , and explain his ideas about demonitisation . What we can see is pain the common man is undergoing , leaving many daily wagers without employment. small establishments have been forced to down their shutters. more  
stalemate cannot be continued day after day-they are expected to do business-cannot waste at the cost of exchequer-speaker permits discussion, why harp on clause 56 only more  
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