We were hoping against the hope that Hamid Ansari, the Vice-President of the nation would not take back his ‘harsh but justified comment’ about the parliamentarians when his frustration asked the members of the Indian Parliament if they wanted to make the highest elected body in the country a ‘federation of anarchists’.
Well, we had a disappointing development a day after (August 14) when the Vice-President and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the upper body of the Indian Parliament, asked his office to review the statement after the government and the opposition continued with the demand to withdraw the statement from the official records of the House.
Let’s see again what ‘his frustration’ had to say: “Please allow question hour to proceed. Every single rule in the rule book; every single etiquette is being violated. If the honorable members wish the House to become a federation of anarchists, then it is a different matter.”
Earlier, it seemed, Mr. Vice-President would not back-off from his stand. We had certain reasons to believe so.
Before becoming the Vice-President in 2007, he had taken, on more than one occasion, different-and-inconvenient line from the official line of the government of India, notably on issues related to the Western Asian nations like Palestine, Iran and Iraq. Mr. Ansari is a renowned scholar on West Asia.
He may still not pull it back as his clarification in the House indicates where he said he didn’t place an allegation but put forward simply a question for the parliamentarians to think over the continued logjam, unruly scene and unproductive sessions.
He clarified: “If you read what I said I said with condition … not as an allegation, or attributing it to anybody. If a question is posed, it cannot be an allegation.”
Yes, an opening is now there but the career diplomat, the teacher and the intellectual in him may push him not to back-off this time because he is not bound to accept the demand, because ‘enough is enough’.
But then politics behaves (predictably) strangely in this country. The Vice-presidential chair to Mr. Ansari has been given by the Congress party, a party with a known undemocratic and elitist history of defining precedents. Also, he is a grand-nephew of a former Congress president.
So, it leaves a window for an understanding over the issue to be developed.
And why would our parliamentarians, an increasingly intolerant and elitist lot, understand the simple understanding behind the clarification when they know they can pressurize the Chair to withdraw the statement, a Chair that is ceremonial in nature, a Chair that is headed by a Chair that is nothing more but a decorative title?
But we the citizens of India reiterate our request Mr. Vice-President.
‘Federation of Anarchists’ is an innovative expression of our displeasure and frustration over this political lot. It suitably describes the deterioration of values in Indian politics.
Please, Mr. Vice-President, don’t let it be expunged from the Parliament records. Even if it is not going to change anything, at least, it gives us, the common men, yet another symbolic point of reference’ to brood-over the growing political apathy.
©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/