Cutting of Lok Sabha feed may be called unprecedented. It may be called a decision which put Congress in a spot, but to call it ‘˜death of democracy’ is a bit too much. We were a democracy before Lok Sabha TV was launched to telecast 24*7 proceedings of the house.
With the opposition Bhartiya Janata Party and former ally Bahujan Samajwadi Party announcing their support to the T-Bill, the fate of Andhra Pradesh was almost sealed. However, the chaos in the parliament continued and the situation was getting worse. Congress party failed to reign in its own MPs to end this chaos.
What is more stupid is that it let the speaker stop the proceedings of the parliament only to be dubbed as murderer of the free speech and democracy. The Congress president Sonia Gandhi is being now called “worse than the Hitler” by her critics.
YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy called it a “black day in the history of the country” and said, “We have seen with our own eyes how democracy could be killed in broad daylight. TV channels were shut off, Lok Sabha live telecast was cut off.” His sentiment was well echoed everywhere in the social media and news channels.
To top it all, the head of the Lok Sabha TV issued a statement saying that it was “just a technical glitch” due to which people of this country were unable to see their leaders passing the bill to divide a state and were forced to believe that something was indeed fishy. This at a time when every single soul was aware that Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar had ordered the almost 80-minute blackout with the assent of the leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj.
Now, the cutting of Lok Sabha feed may be called unprecedented. It may be called a decision which put Congress in a spot, but to call it ‘death of democracy’ is a bit too much.
We were a democracy before Lok Sabha TV was launched to telecast 24*7 proceedings of the house. The cameras were installed in order to let people know how and in what manner their leaders work in the parliament. It may also have been a move to keep MPs behavior in check given they were to be in public glare all the time. Given the recent (and all the past) behavioural precedents in the house, it was best that the telecast was stopped.
And what did we lose with the broadcast blackened? Nothing. Every minister was out after the passage of the bill narrating his/her own version of it giving every single detail of what went inside. We did not lose any detail whether it was about almost 50 MPs standing in the well opposing the bifurcation, JD(U) staging a walkout and others supporting the bill.
The passage of the bill, as said earlier, was inevitable. With the blackout, it has been ensured that the Telangana will remain alive in our minds forever. It will become a victory for the Congress party which will use it to show that it overcame many difficulties to pass the bill when the fact is simple that there was no difficulty even from the side of the opposition. It just needed to control its own men.
But there is no denying the fact that it was an obvious blow to the much needed transparency in the black days in this country.
The best part is that L Rajagopal resigned from his post and retired from politics as well. But what is awaited is a response from Rahul Gandhi who was present in the house during all this. Afterall, he talks about empowering the people and bringing RTI to them for the sheer right to know what happens behind closed doors.