“Voice from outside trying to erode Parliament's credibility”

Sharad Yadav of the Janata Dal (United) was one person whose speech on the issue of corruption drew repeated applause from all sections of the Lok Sabha when he asserted the supremacy of the Constitution, of Parliament and of the elected representatives of the people.

Participating in the debate on corruption, he referred indirectly to the demands being made by the Anna Team from Ramlila Maidan as “the voice from outside” trying to erode the Parliament's credibility and authority. This, he warned, could only translate into “drum beats of martial law.” The Parliament with its myriad voices alone could make music that was truly Indian.

It was Ambedkar's Constitution that had created space for the oppressed sections of people to send their representatives to Parliament. Calling out names of members from different parties who came from weak and oppressed sections of society, he said these people had “suffered and been oppressed for thousands of years; born and raised in the dust of this earth.” It was this institution alone that truly reflected the face of India.

The lower castes and backward castes were absent in the media; they were nominally present in the judiciary; and a sprinkling could be seen in the executive. It was in Parliament and the State Assemblies alone that these oppressed people were able to raise their voice. And now there was a move to erode credibility of that institution.

His address went to the heart of MPs present and they applauded him repeatedly, even asking the Chair to let him continue speaking well past the time initially allotted to him.

The basic point he was making was that Parliament was supreme and must remain supreme for without that there could be no democracy. Without that the drums of martial law would not be far away. The root cause of all problems in India was caste.

Without mentioning names, he clearly indicated that the Anna team's effort was to abuse and humiliate the political class and to establish its own authority, which would translate into power for the elite classes.

He appealed passionately not to allow “those outside” to usurp the power given by the Constitution to the representatives of the people. The reference clearly was to Anna Team giving ultimatums to Parliament, surrounding MPs and intimidating them to vote for its Jan Lokpal Bill and establish its own authority that was blatantly unconstitutional.

  • ‘Parliament was supreme and must remain supreme'
  • ‘The root cause of all problems in India was caste'

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