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Why boycott? New Parliament does not belong to Narendra Modi
It is widely believed that there has been a general decline in the standards of Parliamentary debate in India.
It is widely believed that there has been a general decline in the standards of Parliamentary debate in India. We have seen the use and misuse of the Parliament by some in the past. But, today we hear of ‘boycott’ of the inauguration of the new Parliament building itself because Prime Minister Narendra Modi is inaugurating it and not the President. There is no precedence here to decide the right and the wrong of the decision in the first place.
The Opposition led by the Congress have already joined the chorus to boycott the function. The leadership of these parties claims that Modi has no right to inaugurate the new premises. Some of them even questioned the need for having a new building forgetting the fact that the demand for new premises is a long pending one. It is not right that Modi, who imposes his will on everything including governance, should not have been inaugurating the building, they charge.
It is questionable whether Modi’s era is about democracy and federalism. Similarly, it is also questionable whether the same could be said about others in the country. Is the TMC rule a democratic one or that of the DMK? Is the Congress rule a shining symbol of socio-economic and political justice? None of the parties in the country are entitled to be called so. All these are the very same parties which justify the banning of films like ‘The Kerala Story’ because it ‘wrongly’ portrays Muslims despite the fact that the film is about terrorism even in the face of the Apex Court ruling. And what was their reason for criticising ‘The Kashmir Files’? BBC documentary on Gujarat is all about liberty, justice and democratic rights whereas film on Indira Gandhi must be banned. Dichotomy and double standards are in the very DNA of these parties and this is where Modi still remains a popular leader in the country.
As individuals and also as the Opposition parties they have every right to denounce what Modi does. That is their political and fundamental right. But why boycott the function for the inauguration of our Parliament. The Parliament does not belong to Modi. By saying no to it, the Opposition is only expressing its skewed view. India is still a ‘work under progress’. In fact, it has been so for centuries. For the common man the new parliament building reflects its hopes and aspirations. For the people of this land, it does not really matter who inaugurates the building. What matters is how the members function from the new precincts. Even those who want to score some brownie points and wish to boycott the function, would anyway be sitting in it once the building gets fully functional. It is from these new premises they will be working for the vision of India - or at least what they think is the vision of India. It is time our politicians stop these threatrics and begin their incessant striving so that they fulfill the pledges taken so often taken in the past. The service of India means the service of millions who suffer as Jawaharlal Nehru said in his famous ‘Tryst with Destiny’ speech. That service means the ending of poverty and ignorance and disease and inequality of opportunity. The Opposition can boycott the inaugural and be cheered by the anti-Modi groups in the country and abroad but it makes little electoral sense.