Rahul Gandhi has contented that the opposition is not allowed to raise issues in the Parliament and he is not given a chance to speak. The parliamentary records speak for themselves. Mr Gandhi’s attendance has been 52% against the average attendance of 81% of the other MPs. As his participation in debates and in raising questions in the parliament is far below average, his contention does not deserve a second look. Such statements, that, fly in the face of facts, are damaging the credibility of his party, writes Prof HC Pandey
The political parties in India seem to be afflicted by the bi-polar syndrome. When in power they suffer from dementia, forgetting their poll promises, as also, their acts of omission and commission when last in power. And when out of power they suffer from delirium, raging and raving at all good, bad or indifferent, policies & acts, of the party in power. One can cite any number of instances of all parties but the recent diatribe of Rahul Gandhi should suffice.
Rahul Gandhi has pronounced that democracy is dead, and, all the key institutions have been subverted by the party in power including the Election Commission, the Courts and the Enforcement Directorate. He has hastened to make this announcement after losing, free and fair, elections after elections, at the state and national levels. The fact remains, that, the efficiency and impartiality with which the elections are conducted, in India, is acknowledged globally. At the national level the electorate size is over 900 million with the voting percentage of 67%,that is over 600 million actually voting. With over 1 million polling stations, and, only a couple of dozen unruly incidents reported, the election process is practically flawless. The ghost of booth capturing and ballot-box snatching has been buried for good and the wholesale intimidation of voters is now a bed-time story.With the replacement of the ballot-box by the EVM,the country now,can boast of the most massive and updated electoral system in the world.This system has evolved from the experiences of the national elections held over the decades under the governments of various political parties and the credit belongs to the various Election Commissions that managed the elections.It is a national achievement and not that of any political party.It is a matter of pride,and,not derision.So also the Justice system,though slothful,is still properly functioning.If the legal system had been short-circuited Rahul Gandhi would have been in jail and not on bail as at present.
Rahul Gandhi has contented that the opposition is not allowed to raise issues in the Parliament and he is not given a chance to speak. The parliamentary records speak for themselves. Mr Gandhi’s attendance has been 52% against the average attendance of 81% of the other MPs. As his participation in debates and in raising questions in the parliament is far below average, his contention does not deserve a second look. Such statements, that, fly in the face of facts, are damaging the credibility of his party.
He has charged that E.D.has only raided the offices and residences of members and supporters of the opposition parties but not of those belonging to the BJP..Here the only issue is whether,for the raid,there were sufficient grounds or not.Yes,the black sheep are everywhere and in every party,but,one has to begin somewhere.When the Congress or the UPA government was in power the ED was hardly active in matters of illegitimate financial activities concerning political parties or their protégés.Now that the ball has started bouncing one can hope that some day the teams of corruption will be bowled out.
And finally Rahul Gandhi claims that there is no freedom of expression in the country.When one can,publicly,call the Prime Minister,scum,vermin of a dirty drain,merchant of death,butcher,mobster etc.,then,the speech is constrained more by the lack of despicable adjectives rather than by any limits on the freedom of expression.Where in the world would a government tolerate months long rallies and dancing by the crowds chanting death to the Chief of the Government on a parliamentary decision,which has been taken observing the due process laid down in the constitution of the country.Nowhere,except where there are no limits on the freedom of expression.
Clearly,democracy is alive and kicking in India.Rahul Gandhi,in a fit of delirium,has perhaps attempted to read the pulse of his own party which has,may be, stopped throbbing altogether.
(Prof. H C Pande is Vice Chancellor Emeritus , BITS, Mesra)