Unruly situation in Rajya Sabha manifestation of Modi enforcing ‘compliance raj’ in democratic institutions

The move to post Marshals to thwart Opposition MPs’ protests against a Bill was a gross insult. It was provocation in face of dissent, which the ruling regime is out to crush in every sphere of life

Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: PTI)
Representative Image (Photo Courtesy: PTI)

Sushil Kutty

To say that Members of Parliament are having a gala time disrupting proceedings of the two houses would be wrong. Climbing atop tables, hurling paper missiles, throwing the rulebook at the Chair...these are not signs of MPs having a good time. These are indications of gross mistakes committed and the reactions they elicit. After all, even politicians are fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, honest law-abiding citizens with anathema for wrongs.

Climbing up chairs are signs of anathema. Just like hurling the rulebook at the Chair is anathema. You cannot rue an MP his/ her anathema. So what if it made Chairman of the Rajya Sabha shed tears, he should be made of sterner stuff. The Vice President of India has more than one responsibility. He cannot stand on prestige and put the blame of disruptions, even pandemonium, on the mantle of the Opposition MPs. No Prime Minister should command such loyalty.

Of course, Opposition MPs will lose their cool if things are deliberately allowed to rise to chaotic crescendo, like in the Rajya Sabha on August 11, 2021. The government shouldn't have refused to send the contentious General Insurance Business (Nationalisation) Amendment Bill, 2021 to the select committee. The entire Opposition was as one in the demand. And the move to post both male and female Marshals to thwart them was a gross insult to the MPs. It was provocation in the face of dissent, and a little dissent is not anathema.

Don't know how many people know, or have heard, that the rightwing is in the second stage, i.e. to usher in the age of compliance, even at the cost of certain elements of the rightwing agenda. In this set up, only the ideological fountainhead and the "leader" can set the agenda. The rest will be common participants of the compliance raj.

In such a command structure, somebody puny but ambitious like Ashwini Upadhyaya cannot demand the repeal of English era legislation or ask for a Common Civil Code. That honour goes only to Narendra Modi, call him 'dear leader' or Prime Minister. The final word will only be that of the cult leader, and only the blind will not see the cult culture around Modi.

The intolerance extends from the inside to the outside; from Parliament to the Parliament annexe, so to speak. Comply with the orders as laid out by the whip or else the marshals will be in front and back! Disruptions are anathema to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It's anybody's guess, however, how far this compliance raj will go, and for long will it last, but the powers that be seem to be working to a plan. The overall agenda is not even a quarter finished. Under the original plan, the leader wouldn't have felt under threat or fear. But the West Bengal election results, and the Covid-19 blues that followed eroded faith in "dear leader", his stock fell. Most of all, it struck home that he cannot declare himself "Prime Minister for life" like Xi Jinping took the title "President for Life".

Democracy demands compliance with certain basic rules, like elections have to be held at intervals; a leader shall be elected/chosen et al. The whole game should last long enough to accomplish total transformation. It becomes imperative to ensure that electoral victory is a fait accompli, election after election. Things have been going on fine for two electoral terms, but the third looks kind of dicey.

Therefore, the hurry to pass certain bills and certain laws. Power has gone to the head. Especially power that enables laying out the agenda according to plan and timeframe. Therefore, we have the RSS talking like the denounced "pseudo secular" -- "95% of our DNA is the same", we are all of the same stock, Hindu and Muslim. The RSS looks uncannily like it's shedding skin, acquiring a new sheath minus the black spots.

Narendra Modi thought he was invincible. Amit Shah, always in Modi's shadow, picked up the shavings and started believing in Modi's "invincible" stuff. The duo got the jolt of their lives post-West Bengal. Covid 2nd wave finished whatever vestiges remained. But Modi cannot walk into the sunset minus a halo. He's been actively casting himself in the Nehru mode, but it hasn't worked, primarily because Nehru didn't have to polarise. Narendra Modi is a polarising figure. Time called him 'Divider-in-Chief'. It's a shame, foreign media always hits the nail on the head, why?

Gentlemen, one of the lady marshals unleashed on the Opposition MPs is said to be in hospital. That is a strict 'no-no'. Hospitals are no place for marshals, lady or gentleman. It's anathema. The Modi Government should not encourage anathema. The Modi dispensation should act in such a manner that it doesn't inflict anathema on Members of Parliament. The buck stops at Modi's door. There shouldn't be any anathema left in Modi's realm.

The Rajya Sabha passed a Bill that was anathema to the Opposition. The Bill had been passed by the Lok Sabha on August 2. The entire Opposition was united that the Bill be set to a select committee, but M&M, i.e., Modi and Marshals, thwarted that with ‘might is right’, and now we have a Marshal in hospital. That's anathema, which should be fought with every bone in the body. Not even Narendra Modi, with his anathema towards the Opposition, should be allowed to disrupt Parliament with anathema.

(IPA Service)

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