SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL
(Guinness Record Holder & RTI Activist)
It refers to usual formality of conferring annual honour of ‘Best Parliamentarian’ on one of the senior parliamentarians which till now has been either a former or present minister or a leader of an opposition-group as if only floor-leaders/front-bench members are eligible to be honoured with ‘Best Parliamentarian’ award! It is also proved when so-termed ‘Best Parliamentarians’ are selected together for three years from the year 2010 to the year 2012 by including three senior Parliamentarians from three different parties as per please-all-partiespolicy. Same tactics was adopted earlier by selecting three ‘Best Parliamentarians’ together for the years 2007 to 2009. Big question is why these awards are not awarded each year rather than being clubbed for three years just for ‘unanimity’? Rather it was time to award for ‘Best Parliamentarian’ for the year 2013.
If the Parliamentary Committee set up for the purpose really wants to motivate members to be good parliamentarians, it should select the awardee through a properly drafted computerized system by a point-system for various qualities required in an ideal Parliamentarian. Rather new and young Parliamentarians should be encouraged for better performance by giving them preference for being selected as ‘Best Parliamentarian’ on regular basis rather accumulating awards for more than one year.
However Prime Minister Narender Modi’s comments desiring restore of wit and humour in Parliamentary proceedings is need of time. There was a time when two Houses of Indian Parliament used to function rather smoothly without wasting much by interruptions because of sense of humor by Parliamentarians like Pilu Modi or Atal Bihai Vajpayee. Once the then Opposition Leader Atal Bihari Vajpayee challenged the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi for a public-debate at Ramlila Grounds (New Delhi). Mrs Gandhi tried to avoid by saying that Vajpayee’s Hindi was beautiful. Lok Sabha was in full laughter with Vajpayee’s instant response that Indira Gandhi in herself was beautiful!