DailyPost 2437

The union legislature is the democratic functional body which is at the core of a vibrant democracy. Democracy is the only system of government, which runs on the will of the people. Herein, lies the sovereignty of the nation and to capability to make laws, amend, discuss issues threadbare, hold government responsible, and in a way define the legal and democratic trajectory of a nation. Doyens of public life with a penchant for law, governance, nation building etc have adorned its portals, carrying individual traits of the gift of the gab, being erudite to the core and practicing strength of the pen, making the idiom of it being mightier than the sword a reality.

Necessarily, the Union Legislature needs to be housed in a building. We thus have the Westminster to the Sansad Bhavan. They have been known for whatever that has been transpired within its precincts, rather the imposing nature of the building. That the building has also been mostly imposing is just an afterthought, it can never have a meaningful existence, without the quality of the nature of business being transacted there. It cannot be a case of putting a cart before the horse, however beautiful and impressive the cart may be. The debates and decisions / the laws and its amendments, the functional committees, the battles and successes of democracy are really won here. And lost too!

It is fought by men and women of vision, letters, and spine of steel. They bring conventions and traditions to democracy even without it being codified. Parliamentarians are the prima donnas of this institution, their wit, intellect and expression* on any issue can provide a surgical precision, which even the best professionals in the field might fear to tread. The rise and fall of the governments here are in no way connected to its stature. It provides a transparent arena for democracy to prosper. It both creates and documents history, for which the nation is grateful for them. The presiding officers of the houses carry greater glory for the conduct of this democratic institution, much more than what the heads of democratic governments and nations in their positions do. They are the sentinels of democracy.

How many times the country looked upon its Union Legislature for delivering hope to this nation and getting it executed through the government? How many times we have had parliamentarians, who without being in the government, have created history by quality of debate and carry the point home. How many times have we seen, the congressional types of hearings? Of how many of the parliamentarians do we know are confident of their knowledge of the playbook; the constitution. How many times have they handled crisis situations by law or debates? Or have we brought down the union legislature to whips, boycotts and stalling of proceedings? Of unparliamentary deeds inside the parliament? In the 75th year of our existence it is time to take stock, switching over to a new building could have provided the ideal occasion and the setting. How do we create parliamentarians who can take the world by storm, is the challenge which needs to sorted out in the brand new casing of the union legislature, in the Central Vista.

Sanjay Sahay

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