The people get the government they deserve, is an old political cliche. By the same token, the people also get the opposition they deserve. And what “We, the People” of India have got from the 2009 general election has been obvious on our TV screens and the front pages of newspapers for all of three years now.
An arrogant, powerdrunk government which has utterly and completely cut itself off from the reality and blithely buried its head in the sands of scams, scandals and other shenanigans. And an opposition which is hellbent on functioning like the fifth column; turning the institutions and procedures of democracy on their head.
There is little to be said about the so-called coal scam that has engulfed the Congress-led UPA government that hasn’t been said before in the 2G scam. While the latter saw a noisy boycott of Parliament, it eventually resulted in a joint parliamentary committee, the matter went to court, a minister was jailed, etc.
However, in the coal scam, the BJP seems to have, in the manner of Anna Hazare and his silly cheerleaders, decided that such well-laid procedures are not to be trusted. It doesn’t want Parliament to discuss the issue, it simply wants a summary resignation of prime minister Manmohan Singh.
Guilty until proven innocent.
Questions: Is the BJP right in such conduct? Is “obstructionism” of Parliament a right of opposition parties, as averred by leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley? Do opposition parties have no responsibilities? Is the BJP performing its role of opposition appropriately?
Or, is it trying to stymie debate, wary of what skeletons might tumble out of its closet?
External reading: BBC: Deja vu hits Parliament