What an awful scene in the Bihar State legislature! Wednesday marked another shameful day in the history of Indian democracy. Criticising the MLAs and the MLCs who indulged in unruly behaviour is the easiest thing we can do. But we really need to pay serious attention to the state of affairs.
A law should be enacted to make such incidents punishable. Unfortunately, it is the same set of legislators we have to look up to for enacting the law.
The picture of Congress legislator Jyoti Kumari smashing a flower pot (July 22) outside the Bihar legislature is reflective of the level to which our lawmakers have stooped. The Opposition members in the Assembly threw chairs, paper weights and microphones at the treasury benches; an MLA even hurled a slipper at the Speaker. The unruly MLAs and MLCs should be disqualified, not just suspended. Is the Congress, a party that is over a century old, happy in the company of parties it keeps in Bihar?
Ms Kumari can assure India of a gold medal in shot put in any international event. In the land of Gandhiji, non-violence and satyagraha as means of protest have been replaced by violence and hooliganism.
Such behaviour by members who pledge to uphold the Constitution while taking the oath of office is shameful. We need to enact a law which defines legitimate protest. Only then will our lawmakers learn the value of discipline and debate. People's issues should be discussed in an appropriate manner to find meaningful solutions. MLAs should show some respect to taxpayers, whose money is spent on conducting legislative business.
I waited for a day to respond to the heroic act of the honourable member of the Bihar Legislative Council, Jyoti Kumari, as I expected the Congress high command to react. It was shocking to see an elected representative, whose name is prefixed with the title “honourable,” flinging a flower pot in the presence of guards who were mute spectators to the event. She is the right person to participate in ‘save the greenery' programmes in her constituency. One hopes the photograph will urge people to think twice before they cast their votes.
India, a democracy, is transforming into a mobocracy, thanks to universal adult franchise. We should have stipulated a minimum qualification to vote and representatives should be required to perform a few years of social service before entering the legislature. India is becoming a laughing stock in the eyes of the world in almost every sphere.
Keywords: Bihar politics