Tragedy of Indian Opposition
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Tragedy of Indian Opposition

December 23, 2023

What a month it has been so far — smoke canisters, suspended MPs, mimicry of the Vice-President and amendments to 150-yeKalyan Banerjeear-old laws. But the most disappointing outcome was the failure of the Opposition parties, yet again. 

The Opposition parties in India do not do their job. Period. From the Jan Sangh to the BJP and now the Congress.

An Opposition party is supposed to be the ‘voice of the people’ against the Government of the day. Instead, our Opposition parties raise their voice, which becomes self-serving noise.

We remember the meek Opposition that led to the Emergency and how the Opposition squandered the opportunity to give a stable government. Even the BJP did nothing while blindly opposing everything when they were in the Opposition for ten long UPA years.

Every big scandal during the UPA Government was exposed by the media or by RTI activists; the BJP simply hijacked or piggy-backed on it to the finish line. Be it the Jan Lokpal movement, the 2G scam, the Commonwealth Games scam, or the Vadra scandal, they were all exposed by the media, not the BJP. 

Now, while there was a security failure in Parliament, one should also consider that the attack was the outcome of the Opposition’s failure. Why? Because…

The two boys entered the Parliament to draw the Government’s attention to the issues of unemployment, price rise, violence in Manipur, and agrarian distress. Isn’t it the Opposition’s job to do just that in the Parliament?

When a prominent Opposition MP could handover her username and password to an industrialist sitting in Dubai to frame questions to embarrass the PM repeatedly, was there no MP in the Opposition who could take a few questions from disenchanted youths and voice them effectively in the Parliament?

It makes us wonder: While Rahul Gandhi calls BJP the “Suit Boot Ke Sarkar,” the Opposition is also a “Suit Boot Ke Opposition” because while an industrialist could get his questions asked in Parliament, ordinary citizens couldn’t. 

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The most shocking failure of the Opposition this time was that they were more interested in discussing the security breach, which didn’t cause any significant harm, rather than debating the criminal justice laws which were to be passed and would affect every citizen of this country?

Are the Opposition MPs more worried about their own security than the laws that will affect the security of Indian citizens for years to come? How selfish. What a misguided sense of purpose and priority our Opposition members have!

The criminal justice laws passed a few days ago were tabled in the Parliament in August this year. Back then, Opposition parties had some concerns about a few sections. These concerns were to be discussed and debated in this winter session. 

But our Opposition parties felt a discussion on security breach was more important than debating the changes in criminal justice laws and so they screamed, shouted, rushed to the Well of the House, got themselves kicked out and are now crying foul! 

The Opposition’s behaviour was akin to a football match where most players purposely misbehaved, got themselves a red card, got kicked out of the game and, after the other team got a walkover, cried foul, leaving the supporters and spectators dumbfounded. 

The Opposition has been highly irresponsible and has done a disservice to the people of this nation by behaving in a manner that got them suspended when three historic bills had to be discussed before being passed.  

Did the Opposition self-sabotage as they wanted to save their face because this Government was changing 150-year-old British laws that these Opposition parties could not change for the 60 years when they ruled? 

In our State Assembly, too, CM Siddaramaiah put the onus of answering questions related to the Parliament security breach on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But he forgot that earlier this year, a man breached security and sat in the Vidhana Soudha when he (Siddaramaiah) was the CM. Just two days later, a knife was found on a person in the Assembly. Back then, why didn’t this security breach seem so pressing to the Congress party? 

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Thankfully, our Speaker, U.T. Khader, reminded the MLAs what should be the priority when he said, “Why are you wasting time instead of passing the Bills? We give passes liberally. However, be strict in issuing passes in future.” We wish the Lok Sabha Speaker gave a similar reminder to our MPs. 

The biggest tragedy of Indian Democracy is the repeated failure of the Opposition, both in the Parliament and in the State Assemblies.

The Opposition parties do not effectively debate issues with fact, wit and humour. They are unable to enlighten the people of what the ruling Government is doing wrong and creating a groundswell. They have been unsuccessful in exposing any major corruption. 

Instead, they scream, disrupt and, like recently, make a mockery of the issue with a mimicry show outside the Parliament. This behaviour has shown that they cannot be taken seriously because they lack the sense to know what issues should be given priority. 

This behaviour of the Opposition MPs has made Modi come across as being more stoic, serious and a leader with gravitas. A leader who understands the burden of responsibility to govern a nation as large and complex as ours and is ready to bear that burden. 

Meanwhile, the Opposition leaders exude the level of competence and maturity of a University Student Union. And no citizen wants amateurs to govern a nation.

 The Opposition has failed us again, and so in Opposition, they shall sit again, as Modi may win again.

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