Parliament concerns over repeated disruptions

New Delhi: Concern over repeated disruptions and the need for introspection dominated Parliament as it celebrated today the 60th year of its first sitting in independent India. Cutting across party lines, leaders asserted that supremacy of Parliament must be preserved, holding that laws are made by it and not mobs, apparently a reference to civil society campaign against Parliamentarians while pressing for setting up of Lokpal.

The leaders took pride in the fact that India has managed to hold on to democracy and was a shining example in the world despite many pressing problems like acute poverty, sustained terrorism and hiccups for democracy in the neighbourhood. However, a faint reference was made to the brief period of Emergency of 1970s, which was corrected constitutionally soon after.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh set the tone for introspection as he flagged concerns in the Rajya Sabha over "repeated disruptions" and "unwillingness" for discussions. Initiating the debate, he appealed to members to "write a new chapter and restore to it the sense of dignity and decorum that is expected of a House of Elders." "That is not to say that we should not reflect with concern on the repeated disruptions of proceedings and a regrettable unwillingness, on occasion, to engage in informed discussion," the Prime Minister said.