House on dead-end street
- Rs 20L seized from Ajit Chandila relative's home, another ex-cricketer held
- Indian American teen Eesha Khare invents wondrous 20-sec charger, Google eyes bid
- India and China ask SRs to work on more border steps
- Can't charge man with rape over consensual sex even if marriage eludes: Supreme Court
- Saudi Arabian authorities refuse to accept new Indian passports
Sure, once in a while, just to torture me more, there will be a debate or even a vote. But these infusions of life are getting even rarer. And they are mostly a simulacrum of life, designed to fool you that I am still alive. You will all be reassured that I am still alive. But what does debate really mean when matters are already settled elsewhere? The poor MP is not a voice. He is simply a cog in a party machine who has to, once in a while, show up to act his part in a pantomime. All our rules and informal conventions have empowered small cliques within parties that can choke off everything. Some parties are strange: they passionately stand for something but their passion dissipates outside Parliament. Other parties are stranger still: as soon a debate starts they want to debate something else altogether. MPs cannot say what they think, they cannot mean what they say, and now, increasingly, they cannot say anything at all.
Not only do I have to suffer this torture, they also drug me comatose. In that state, they then interpret an occasional twitch as a sign of consent. So my imprimatur is put on things I would be ashamed of if I had signs of life. Bills abridging your fundamental freedoms of expression, large sums of money spent, new laws that will determine your future are mostly passed without serious discussion. It is true that, once in a while, even as my heart slows to the point of extinction, an occasional organ will continue to tick. A committee here, a question there. But truth be told, I get the feeling that all this is also just so that I am not certified completely dead. In reality, not one of the mechanisms that are supposed to make me an instrument of accountability works. Our framers thought that principled competition would lead one party to hold another to account. The truth is, competition has broken down. All parties are in a kind of collusion, their noise and fury, their hoary invocations to represent the people are really a way of throwing sand into your eyes, so that the real cover up continues. The committee system should be the locus of fighting corruption politically. It is nothing of the sort. It is a vast contrivance to avoid fighting corruption. In my mother parliament, Westminster, it took just weeks to seriously question the prime minister and hold Rupert Murdoch's empire to account. Meanwhile, the executive continues to bypass parliament when it can; parliamentary approval is, at best, a post facto gesture.
- 'Sophisticated' Indian cyberattacks targeted Pak military sites: Report
- Talkative Li quoted Weber, Hegel, Jobs, said PM is large-hearted
- Bihar food corp ends up with chaff as rice worth Rs 535 cr vanishes from mills
- In 7 lucrative minutes on May 9, Sreesanth bowled six balls, bookie made Rs 2.5 cr
- India and China ask border envoys to work on more steps
- Former Ranji player among 3 more held