When Parliament TV Suddenly Goes Mute….

If Parliament become silenced, the press become silenced, and the role of the judiciary unclear, then basic understandings about democracy may need to be reconsidered.

The scene that is being seen in the Parliament has only one indication and that is – the Government wants either its praise in the Parliament or the members remain silent. The government does not like questions. Especially not at all on such matters, which it considers sensitive for herself.

The way Parliament TV suddenly went mute on Friday is mysterious. It is not accepted by anyone that there was silence at the exact time when the opposition was speaking and there was a demand that Rahul Gandhi should be allowed to speak. Rahul Gandhi had expressed his desire to speak in Parliament a day before by holding a press conference. For this, he had also met Speaker Om Birla and asked him for time to speak.

It came to light on Friday that the speaker’s decision was not to allow Rahul Gandhi to speak. 

While there is merit in Rahul Gandhi’s argument that when several BJP leaders, including ministers, have made speeches against him in Parliament, he should be given a chance to respond to them on the platform of Parliament. This is normal parliamentary procedure. 

However, today there is hardly any basis for expecting normal procedures. Now the question is how to understand Indian democracy today?

Parliament, Judiciary and Press have a special role in a democracy. If Parliament is silenced, the press itself silenced, and the role of the judiciary unclear, then basic understandings about democracy may need to be reconsidered. We do not know whether the government is aware of the consequences of this or not.

But it should be remembered by all that if there is no room left for basic consensus, elections may continue in the system, but it cannot be called a democracy. 

It is no wonder that India’s rank on the democracy index of international organizations has been steadily falling – even Freedom House has put India in the category of countries where only partial independence has survived.

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