Ansari disapproves of disruptions in Parliament
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Last Updated: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 18:20
New Delhi: With prolonged disruptions in Monsoon Session of Parliament apparently weighing heavily on his mind, Vice President Hamid Ansari Saturday disapproved of such conduct by lawmakers and told them that when protest becomes habitual, it loses its novelty and effect.

"Protest in registering a point is well-made. Protest, when it becomes habitual, loses its novelty, and, therefore, its effect," Ansari, who has often expressed his concern on the frequent stalling of proceedings in Parliament, told the newly elected members of the Upper House.

In some plain speaking, he wondered whether protest "can be the only form of functioning? Can it be the totality of our forms of expression?”

He lamented that much too often, "We take the view that if we simply disrupt the proceedings of the House, we will make our point. I am afraid, it does not go down like that in the public."

Observing that the people do not see such protests in good light, he said, "My plea to you is to please think about this and devise ways by which your right to protest remains unchecked, but that protest does not become an impediment to the rest of your work".

"This is something on which we have to think collectively. I do not have solutions and I do know that the solutions will only come from the collective wisdom of the Members of the House," Ansari said while inaugurating the orientation programme for the MPs.

Sharing his experiences during his conduct of the Rajya Sabha as its chairman, Ansari, however, made it clear at the outset that the views were not being said from the Chair. "So, it is not in the nature of a ruling."

He said it was up to the members to make the best use of their time contributing to the public life of the country, in a genuine and serious manner.

"Or, you may just decide to use the Rajya Sabha as another club card whose membership is much sought after; or, you may use it simply for proximity to the corridors of power," Ansari said.

The Vice President said that Parliament is at its best with regard to functioning of committees. "This is the aspect of the work of Rajya Sabha and of Parliament which is not exposed to the public," he said.


First Published: Saturday, July 31, 2010, 18:20

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