Fasting & furious

Fasting & furious Wed, 11 Apr 2018

Fasting & furious

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘fast’ to protest against disruptions in Parliamentary proceedings is yet another example of hypocrisy and diversionary tactics being applied to mislead the people of the country. Is Modi going to protest against his own government? Because, if not upon the government of the day, on whom does the responsibility of ensuring Parliament works lie?

We will start with a look at what the BJP used to think of disruptions and Parliament when they were in Opposition. Here’s what Rajnath Singh, the then BJP President, and now Union Home Minister thought of Parliament disruptions: “We want a smooth Parliament session, but the responsibility lies with the government.” Sushma Swaraj, now External Affairs Minister and the then Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha had said that “not allowing Parliament to function is also a form of democracy, like any other form”. Here is what Arun Jaitley, now Finance Minister, thought of disruptions when he was in the Opposition. In an article in August 2012, Jaitley wrote, “If parliamentary accountability is subverted and a debate is intended to be used merely to put a lid on parliamentary accountability, it is then a legitimate tactic for the Opposition to expose the government through parliamentary instruments available at its command.”

The Parliament not functioning this session was designed to benefit the government, which was supposed to face tough questions from the Opposition on various issues like Nirav Modi, Rafale deal, Piyush Goyal’s corruption, etc. Therefore, a washout favoured the government. The Opposition only wanted the government to come clean on various issues.

Therefore, by organizing a fast, the Narendra Modi government is pulling a fast one on the people of the country. It is furious by the Opposition uniting and holding it accountable for its various failures and is, therefore, trying to firefight on the agenda set by the Congress. If Congress President Rahul Gandhi fasted for communal harmony and peace, there was a legitimate reason to do so. Atrocities against SC/STs have gone up under the Modi government, often with the sanction of the ruling party. SC/ST scholarship money is being held back by the government. Things have deteriorated so much that even Dalit MPs in the ruling party are voicing their concerns openly.

The government’s fast is nothing but a farce.

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