The axiom that Parliament is supreme does not seem to hold true anymore. India seriously needs to remind itself that, in our system, the legislative body has absolute sovereignty, and is above all other institutions, executive and judiciary included. Dysfunctional Houses of Parliament, where pandemonium reigns instead of debate, are a form of anarchy. Finance bills and legislations that affect our rights are passed in token fashion.
For the opposition, a washed-out session is the best way to embarrass the government. And getting its business done nonetheless is the way the treasury benches signal their brute majority. The people are the losers— those who pay for the conduct of elections. The government of the day is only a temporary custodian of their resources. The Pegasus spyware issue is no doubt crucial, the government needs to come clean on it or agree to a probe. Throwaway phrases like “all nonsense” or “baseless allegations” will not suffice. After all, quite a few countries have ordered a probe into the scandal, Israel (the host nation) and France to name two. However, for the opposition to hold Parliament to ransom on this issue is not fair either. By its own assertion, the Covid second wave has mauled the nation. Does it not need a thorough discussion, so that future waves are better managed? Especially vis-a-vis the vaccination policy?
Farmers are sitting at Delhi’s doorstep for months on end, opposing a legislation. Does that not require a discussion? What about our paralysed education system? Two Northeast states had an unprecedented gunfight at their borders. China is not budging from the LAC buildup. What does renewed Taliban ascendancy in Afghanistan mean for India? None of these will be discussed. Not to mention the bills expected now to come in the form of ordinances—again, affecting millions of lives. It is Parliament that has to ask questions, and provide answers. Political one-upmanship cannot be its raison d’etre.