NaMo's rule by Ordinances in National Interest

There has been of late, a huge ruckus, especially created by the political drum beaters of the Congress, the Left block and in that the CPIM, over the Government taking the Ordinance route in Parliament to pass crucial Legislation. True to their Goebbelesian mindset, the Comrades have succeeded, it seems, with a little help from their co-ideologists in the mainstream media to deflect attention from the real dimension of the issue - that of Parliament being held to ransom by the whims of a rejected minority which, even after being thrown out by a fatigued electorate
continues to try and veto any forward movement in the national scheme of things.

It is surprising that Comrades find energy to raise, time and again, the bogey of a "fascist" state given the political churning and existential dilemma they are undergoing, unable to resolve their principal ideological confusion - in discussion in their circle now for at least six decades - of whether to support the Congress or not, in short of whether to affix themselves to the coat-tails of a discredited political conglomeration or to chart out an independent course for themselves - hich means, at least in their case, political irrelevance and gradual disintegration.

But this debate is of another type; let us look at the Ordinance issue. In his most recent address to students of Central educational institutions, where he referred to the issue of using Ordinances, the President of India made another very crucial observation, which understandably the Yechury's of the world and their political patrons conveniently omitted. The President spoke of the unacceptability of a “noisy minority” trying to "gag a patient minority." The President reminded the Opposition that though they could "oppose, expose and possibly depose, if they have the numbers", they had to keep in mind that Members of the House, whether directly or indirectly elected had a collective responsibility to the people.

In other words, the President cautioned, the noisy minority, in this case the group which protested most loudly and which faced the greatest rout in the last General Elections, to not abdicate or denigrate their mandate of being accountable to the people and not to hold to ransom the functioning of the democratic framework of the country. The President was gracious enough to refer to the majority as a "patient" one, reflecting the determination of this Government and its leader of keeping their promise, made before Parliament, that they would strive outmost to take forward the governance of this country in a cooperative spirit.

However our media of the mainstream, omitted discussing these wise words of the President, words which, if reflected upon in the right spirit, puts the lid on all grist and controversies. The Comrades yelp as if the route was taken recourse to for the first time, they conveniently forget that their own still-born, short-sighted but pompously named and Congress supported United Front experiment passed only 61 Bills while pushing through 77 Ordinances in two years, between 1996 and 1998. If that was not the era of "fascism" pray, one wonders, which one was?

In contrast, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Government in its tenure during the 12th displayed a much better legislative performance by passing 353 Bills while issuing only 58 Ordinances. Our people also need to be educated and know that Jawaharalal Nehru, the great democrat, liberal icon of the Left-Comrade brigade in India, who is repeatedly invoked by those who want and 13th Lok Sabha to "course correct" Narendra Modi, himself ruled through ordinances 70 times between 1952 and 1964. The Congress and its Prime Ministers, who in a sense engendered the political systems and habits in this country promulgated 637 ordinances between 1952 and 2014. In 50 years, the Congress which was built on the "idea of freedom" ruled this country through Ordinances 456 times, that is an average of nine Ordinances per year. The Congress Prime Ministers’ record in the matter of using ordinances is indeed illustrious while Indira issued more than 138 Ordinances during her tenure as Prime Minister between 1967 and 1977 and another 58 during her stint between 180 and 1984, Rajiv Gandhi issued 35 ordinances and the Congress-led Government under Narasimha Rao injected 77 Ordinances between 1991 and 1996. Thus a close study reveals the actual patrons of "ordinance raj" in this country!

In a recent column, PDT Achary, a veteran former official of one of the Houses of Parliament, while allaying any fear or bogey of "Ordinance Raj" raised a crucial question that, while important legislation meant to bring the economy, industry, infrastructural sector on track is being stymied by repeated disruptions of Parliament what is the Government supposed to do under such circumstances, twiddle its thumb and pray for normalcy to return, "Under such circumstances, what are the options available to the Government?", asked Achary, "It could either sit with its fingers crossed and wait for Parliament to function smoothly or take the Ordinance route. Since the Ordinances came into force immediately, all the crucial laws that could not be passed by Parliament have already come into effect. The disruption of Parliament is not normal or acceptable. It blocks all legislative work of the Government. After disrupting the Houses and blocking the passage of Bills, one cannot turn around and say that issuing Ordinances is undemocratic. Considering the context, it can't be said that promulgating the Ordinances was egregious."

The Opposition and its loudspeakers have misled the nation by misconstruing the President's words which were a clear indictment of the "noisy minority." The obstruction of Parliament during the Winter Session has only exposed the actual intentions of the obstructionists - which a brazen disregard and disrespect for the resounding verdict that the people of India have delivered in favour of stability, prosperity, growth and a forward movement in terms of governance and delivery.

Thus, let the people of India see how such a "noisy minority" is holding up all efforts to breathe energy and direction in our national governance structures. The habit of pushing the "patient majority" too far may eventually come back to haunt them, the next electoral verdict may return an "empty minority", or a Legislative House altogether devoid or emptied of obstructionists.

Courtesy Niti Central



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