- The parliamentary democracy demands bipartisanship from the principal political parties i.e. both the treasury and the opposition benches to ensure healthy debate and deliberations ensues on matters of national importance before arriving at an agreeable consensus. Our great nation is witness to legendary parliamentarians illuminating the highest standards of democratic credentials by their knowledge, erudition, statesmanship, and most importantly, bipartisan disposition solely aimed at furthering the cause of the nation.
- Nothing comes in-between when issues related to the country’s unity, sovereignty, integrity, and security where diverse ideological differences take a backseat. This is the norm well established since independence. Turning the pages of independent Indian parliamentary history will reveal the tallest of the political luminaries rising to the occasion is not only extending wholesome support to the government in power to go ahead with the defining policy changes but also offering well-intentioned advices and perspectives wherever required to finetune to improvise on those game-changing decisions.
- Mentioning few names would tantamount to a disservice to many who have upheld the great traditions of bipartisanship over the past decades. Suffice to say we are all proud of those immeasurable contributions that have paved the way for the country to stand where we are now. Unfortunately, what is happening in the present situation is everything but bipartisanship looking at the way two pillars of the parliament viz. the treasury and the opposition benches are pitted against each other. Forget about extending value-based support, there is no semblance of even acknowledging the relevance of debate anymore as things stand now with the disruptions plaguing both Houses of Parliament.
PC: Karishma Jain
- A case in point is the opposition’s clamor for a repeal of the farm laws which portends to be another stormy session. Government and opposition are not prepared to budge from their respective positions. As can be recollected, the farm bills were passed in the monsoon session last year without accepting the opposition demand to refer it to a select committee. The resultant outcome is the farmers’ agitation gaining momentum by the day despite the government entering protracted negotiations with farm unions making little headway.
- The government did little good by canceling the winter session citing the pandemic which could have helped it tide over the resentment from gaining strength. Optics presented by the government amply signaled that the Parliament is not accorded desired importance whilst mobilizing the biggest farm reforms. Visibly, the government is on the backfoot with the mounting challenge vis-à-vis farm laws and has now offered to suspend the laws for 18 months which is not acceptable to the agitating farmer unions. It is incumbent to debate the impasse in Parliament which enacted the laws.
PC: KARISSA NEELY
- Unfortunately, bulldozing tactics on one side and stonewalling on the other end have rendered fruitful parliamentary functioning a casualty. Political polarization is complete when the government is unwilling to listen, and the opposition is not prepared to collaborate. Needless to mention, the Parliament is the supreme forum that brings both arms together to debate by setting aside parochial considerations and brinkmanship. There is an urgent need to restore the culture of healthy debate in Parliament allowing confrontation of differences without compromising the country’s task of moving ahead in the aftermath of pandemic challenges. Move on leaders!