Friday, December 03, 2010

Aai, what is an MP ?

Highlighted by Global Voices - The world is talking, are you listening?

Remember the time in school when the class erupted into a unstoppable talkathon, and threatened to degenerate into a loud crescendo, till the teacher unexpectedly made an appearance, rapped the duster loudly on the desk, and the noise suddenly exponentially died down, as the realization dawned , that an authority that punishes existed ?

Remember the time, when you kept sulking for something, being unreasonable about things, throwing your books and stuff around, and all it took is a look and a call from your father to bring you back in line ?

Remember the time when it was raining, you were in a bus in Mumbai, packed to the gills, when a fellow started haranguing another about a dripping umbrella, voices rising, everyone talking away, and how the conductor loudly banged his punching machine, and shouted at everyone to pipe down if the driver was to preserve his sanity and make his way through the waterlogged roads, reflecting headlights in his eyes ?

Something is terribly wrong in the way our legislatures are set up. If you asked a child what an MP does, you will probably some or all of these answers :

1. He comes with folded hands during elections. After which his car gets an upgrade, he walk around with 4 police for protection, and has a flunky who carries the heavy load i e, his cellphone.

2. His face is seen on banners during all religious festivals and Sonia Gandhi's, Mayawati's, Balasaheb Thakre's , Raj Thakrey's and Sharad Pawar's birthdays, and these banners always block the traffic signal.

3. He is seen walking behind some great person, carrying some typed sheets, always on the steps of Parliament house, and smiling (as if he is privy to the inside stories with the minister) , regardless of whether the stuff being discussed on TV pertains to him or not.

4. He sits on one of the Parliament benches, either feeling sleepy, thumping the desk, or looking bored.

5. Once in a while, he sprints to the well of the House, and rushes menacingly towards the speaker with his friends, shouting slogans. I wonder what the poor clerks in the well transcibe . ("Your Honor", bang, "I wish to present, ", shove shove, push,throw,bang,step on crush! , etc etc)

6. Occasionally, he is seen walking , in sedate senior baraat style, along with other MP folks, in protest against something or the other, outside the Parliament building, but within the grounds.

16 days of doing this now, 16 days when the Speaker has managed to exhibit an unchanged smiling countenance, 16 days when the treasury benches and their leaders sit stoically in their seats , while chaos reigns all around, and daily around 1 pm, when I watch the news, they keep reporting that Parliament is adjourned, with no work accomplished.

At 15 days, we were supposed to have wasted 95 crores allowing all this to happen. This might even continue for many days more, while everyone worth their loyalty quotient, their election deposit, their white khadi, and their ability to kowtow to supreme political beings , holds on to their chairs for dear life.

This has to be the biggest scam being perpetrated (how I love that word) , on the citizens of this country.

Bring in a bill to upgrade members salaries, and the JPC will fly out of the window, standing committees will be lying down, and the speaker will breathe a quick sigh of relief amidst all that non stop smiling, as the members fall over each other getting there to vote in a working session. .

Invite a photographer to capture the member images on a grand photo taken in the hallowed premises, folks sitting and standing left to right, top to bottom, and you will see everyone ensuring that at least 20% of their self is visible. For the record. Not to show your grandchildren, but to intimidate folks, who refuse to meet your empty hand beneath the grand table.

Can we afford such scams ?

How long must we tolerate dereliction of duties by the MP's who get so many benefits and subsidies, free travel, meals, laptops, telephone calls, and the likes, while all through the year, normal citizens are treated guilty until proven innocent, and made to show up with various ID proofs, in post offices, banks, schools, airports, ration shops, election centres, transport offices, and pay through their noses for vegetables, petrol, cooking gas, health care, communication and security, while the government goes into a wild celebration of a 0.05% rise in the rate of growth of GDP or whatever and shakes a prohibitive finger at what it calls hounding of the corporates ??

Are there no law worthies and constitution minders, who can bring in a bill to say, that anytime Parliament has a logjam like this, say beyond a week, it will be mandatory to recall all MP's across all parties and announce a new election? And the deposit payable by the sitting MP's would be double that of fresh candidates ?

Why isn't anyone trying to do anything about this. ? And what is a logjam ? Is it a stoppage of floating logs , due to their senseless, Brownian movement in a river, or is it a wasteful collection of "log(e)s, contributing to a jam, given their highly sweetened overflowing pockets ? "..........

It just occurred to me that bringing in a Bill as described above, would get all the MP's back into the chamber, so that they can in righteous indignation, vote , probably , a solid

Should someone suddenly cheat and introduce something about JPC /Raja /CWG instead, you can rest assured, someone will hold someone in contempt of whatever, or pass , a privilege motion thing or similar stuff.

Its OK.

Actually, its not OK. At all.

But what can you say, when the Nation's Central Vigilance Commissioner himself is being kept under a vigil ?

Hey Ram.

(And no Jairam, I don't think you can do anything here......)


  1. If the Parliament functioned like a corporate office, may be we would have had more responsible & accountable MPs. Keeping time and doing work to earn his bread/butter, intead of thumping the well and sinking our hard-end money in the process!

  2. Seriously! One can't help wonder where the country is going. The scams are mushrooming in every corner, so to speak. If things get uncomfortable for the scamsters, papers go missing.. And now with even the media being under the 'black mark', does anything work?

    Yes, it will just take a bill reducing the MP's salaries or perks to gt them all rushing into the parliament. That is the only bill which gets scrutinized and passed properly.

  3. Its becoming part of us, our version of democracy and our own lives. We have become far too tolerant of many things that this too is 'ok' enough for society to not arise in upheaval !

    We hope all of us excercise a collective choice. A choice to change. But i remain an optimist. Some place ahead the road will bend.

  4. We have to really reduce our degree of tolerance and save our hard-earned tax-duly-paid money from getting wasted on these creatures :(

  5. The entire situation is very depressing.

    Notwithstanding the negative side of his personality I sometimes think that Narendra Modi is actually giving his state something to be proud of. People in Gujarat speak appreciatively of him.

    Excellent journalists like Arun Shourie are not seen any longer too.


  6. Sad state of affairs. If we could do away with these kind, what can prevent us from being a rich and advanced nation.

  7. You have a great blog and I am impressed. Not to mention the headers that you design.
    Great work.