Those who prevent Parliament from functioning, disable the voice of the people.
From the EC Desk
The monsoon session of Parliament ended on a bitter note with a mere four bills being passed and almost 75 per cent of the time wasted due to disruptions by BJP in the month-long session.
As the government released statistics of how Lok Sabha wasted 77 per cent of the time and Rajya Sabha 72 per cent, the Opposition countered by saying stalling Parliament was also a form of democracy. Against the target of passing 32 bills in this session, the government could pass only four in both Houses. Before the session, the Congress government had identified about 32 bills to be passed, They had hoped to pass at least 20 bills.
Pawan Bansal, the Parliamentary Affairs minister said ‘Right before the session, I had a meeting with the chief whips of all parties who gave a list of issues they wanted to discuss in Parliament. The plan was to discuss one issue and two calling-attention motions every week. All the parties had assured the government of their cooperation. But with just one report (CAG report on coal block allocation causing a presumptive loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore to the exchequer), the entire session was washed out. This is the first time that any party has said there is no point in holding discussions in Parliament.
It is a wrong strategy to stall the proceedings of the parliament on issues that can be discussed threadbare. The government can also be put on the mat for not acting correctly on the allocation of coal blocks through auctions.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attacked the opposition over the Monsoon Session washout and called the stalling of both the houses a violation of democratic and Parliamentary norms.
We hold no brief for the way the allotment of coal blocks had been made by the PMO, but what the PM said about the waste of money and resources with parliament not transacting its legitimate business and the opposition walking out of the house to protest on the streets by strewing them with coal, was correct. The PM said:
"We have just ended a wasted session of Parliament when both Houses were not allowed to function. The cause of the repeated disruption was that we had received a report of the CAG on the allocation of coal blocks which alleged some infirmities in the process. Instead of discussing this report in the PAC, which is the normal procedure, or even discussing it immediately in Parliament, which we offered to do, leaders of the opposition saw fit to demand my resignation before Parliament was even allowed to take a view on the report.
I feel very strongly that this is making a mockery of parliamentary democracy. We take pride in our parliamentary democracy and the tradition of free debate that it implies. Only a few months ago, during the 60th year celebrations of our Parliament, I said that the story of the Indian Parliament is a story of India striving for freedom and dignity; for tolerance and equality; for peace and progress.
We do not live up to these high ideals if we simply do not let Parliament function. The Government and the opposition both have a sacred obligation to strengthen our parliamentary system. We do incalculable damage to the reputation of India's Parliament if we resort to disruption of Parliament to make a political point.
Those who prevent Parliament from functioning, disable the voice of the people. They take away their right to hear their representatives debate issues in a reasoned manner when the case for and against a point of view can be heard. They force them to listen instead only to voices in the street, which is not the place for reasoned discourse.
This is the road to a dysfunctional politics which will only produce agitational politics and a deeply divided and disenchanted country.”
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was right in claiming that the major function of parliament is to discuss debate and deliberate on key issues that confront the country. Not only do the disruptions by the BJP weaken the working of the parliament, but they also lead to a colossal lost of time and energy that could be better spent to tackle the major problems that the country faces.
It is the business of the opposition is to oppose the wrong moves of the government and debate them in parliament, but when 11 days of the short Monsoon Session were washed out, it agitates the people. The people do not expect the MPs to take to the streets on issues where parliament is the right forum to discuss and dissent.
This shows how the august house has been reduced to a street brawl and street agitations have taken on the form of the parliament. Is this the right way to behave in a democratic polity? It is also a kind of corruption, political corruption.
It is not that the BJP are lily-white in their actions. Various states where they are in power are embroiled in corruption. Yedurappa, the former CM of Karnataka, was forced to resign when he came under the cloud of corruption. The previous BJP-led government in Goa was involved in a mining scam that ran into thousands of crores.
The best way is to let parliament function in India’s working democracy, tackle the wrongdoings of the government head-on, ask them searching questions about various issues and the let the people decide.
It took 66 years of tardiness before the government took this laudable step; it remains to be seen how many more Hussain Ahmad Madanis will be lost in the mists of time, before they get full recognition.
By Muddassir Ahmad Qasmi
Yes we got freedom on 15th August 1947 from the British tyrannical rule and as a result now we breathe peace and contentment in this free land, which is an excellent symbol of unity in diversity.
After all it is a million dollar question that--does the new generation of India know those freedom fighters, by the virtue of whom they are free. The answer is quiet obvious. They know only those personalities about whom they have come across in their syllabus. Here, yet, another important question remains unanswered i.e. had all the towering figures, who gave their every drop of their blood in freedom struggle, been mentioned in the syllabus?
It must be confessed that a number of heroes' among freedom fighters, particularly from minority community, did not get justice in the sense of recognition. Who is to be blamed for concealing this glorious part of Indian history?
The administrative personnel who played an effective role in including well-known freedom fighters in syllabus-well-known because they found their place in the contemporary syllabus-are responsible for this historical mistake. The nation which fails to admire its heroes, fails to achieve desired accomplishment in progress. But, India is fortunate enough in the sense that its prominent figures are being recognised, though late, as it is better than never.
India Post has released a commemorative postage stamp on Shaikhul Islam Maulana Sayed Husain Ahmad Madani (ra) on 29th Aug 2012.
Earlier a high-level delegation of Jamiat Ulama-e Hind called on HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on 28.05.2012 demanding postal stamps on freedom stalwart Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan and his disciple Shaikhul Islam Maulana Hussain Ahmad Madani. Jamiat also demanded chapters on their life in textbooks. Mr. Sibal had made these promises in his speech at 31st general session of Jamiat Ulama held at Ram Lila ground in Delhi on 19th May 2012.
Though, this step is taken after 66 years of independence, this is a belated recognition but in one hand it added a gold star in the honour of India's prestige and on the other hand it gave a good opportunity to new generation to know the person who gave the concept of one nation theory in India for the first time in the light of Qur'an and hadith.
In 1916 Shaikhul Hind Maulana Mahmood Hasan Deobandi (ra) was arrested in Hejaz, and taken to Jeddah and thereafter taken to Malta accused of plotting to overthrow the British Raj with the aid of the Ottomans. Hadhrat Maulana Sayed Hussain Madani (ra) had so much love and reliance upon his teacher that he was prepared to sacrifice his comfortable teaching job in Madinah Munawwarah and handed himself over voluntarily to be arrested in order to be with his teacher so that he could serve Shaikhul Hind (ra).
He remained with Shaikhul Hind in Malta for approximately three years. One can imagine what a great sacrifice this was. They spent four years in Malta without charge or trial until their release in 1920.
THE NON-COOPERATION MOVEMENT
Upon their return to India, both Shaikhul-Hind and Maulana Madani (ra) used the platform of Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind to rally Muslim support for the non-cooperation movement. Until the British left India in 1947, Madani (ra) remained fervently involved in the freedom movement, being arrested on a number of occasions and serving two separate jail sentences of two years each, in prisons across India.
After Shaikhul Hind (ra) passed away, Hadhrat Maulana Sayed Hussain Madani (ra) was in the forefront of the liberation struggle. He was the essence of this entire movement. Shaikhul Hind started this struggle at an old age towards the end of his life and thereafter Hadhrat Maulana Hussain Madani (ra) followed it up until India was liberated.
THE TWO-NATION THEORY AND SHAIKHUL ISLAM
Hadhrat Maulana Hussain Madani (ra) was against the two-nation theory and predominantly due to this a large number of Muslims declined to migrate to Pakistan at the time of partition. He became the President of the Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, a post he held until his death in 1957. (He also held the post of Shaikhul Hadith at Darul Uloom Deoband till his death). He was against the inception of Pakistan. He was of the view that nations are formed on the basis of homeland and not on ethnicity and religion and he proved it through Qur'an and Sunnah.
A PRIME EXAMPLE OF SINCERITY
When India was liberated, Hadhrat Maulana Syed Hussain Madani (ra) left everything aside but he carried on with his teaching of Hadith at Darul Uloom Deoband. Normally what happens after a person takes part in a liberation struggle and they achieve their objective the issue of position and status gains prominence. However, Maulana wasn't interested in such things. His objective was the liberation of India and since it was liberated his objective was achieved. If he wanted he could have received the highest position that any person could have received but Maulana left all of that and went to Darul Uloom Deoband and dedicated himself to teaching.
When the time came for distribution of awards and honors to those who partook in the liberation struggle, then the call was also made for Hadhrat Maulana Hussein Madani (ra). This was a very prestigious honor whereby his name would have become elevated throughout the world. Yet, Maulana declined to go forward to accept such an award. He explained his refusal by simply mentioning that this was against the way of our pious predecessors. This is a prime example of Ikhlas (sincerity). He took part in the struggle solely for the pleasure of Allah and not because of attaining a position in society.
Sadly many Indians, Muslim and Hindu, are oblivious of the contribution of the Muslim leaders, especially the Ulama, towards securing a free and secular India. Describing this as “a tragic irony”, D. R Goyal, a veteran journalist, author, and promoter of minority rights and communal harmony, says that in academia the effort of Indian freedom fighters such as Mahatma Ghandi and Jawaharlal Nehru has been acknowledged whereas the struggle of the Ulama has largely gone unnoticed.
The government has fulfilled one of its responsibilities by releasing a postal stamp in Hussain Madani's name. The next step is to include the story of his freedom struggle and privations in jail that can inspire the youth when they read about him in textbooks. It took 66 years of tardiness before the government took this laudable step; it remains to be seen how many more Hussain Ahmad Madanis will be lost in the mists of time, before they get full recognition.
It is not only honouring our noted leaders, ulama or otherwise, who sacrificed for the nation, but the youth should be given encouragement to follow their examples. Stories in school textbooks about their exploits are a first step but the aim should be to imbibe the resplendent examples of these leaders so that the future generations can walk on the path they trod.