PM Reaches Out

Speaking in the Upper House during the 250th session of the Rajya Sabha last week, PM Modi appreciated members of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for not rushing to the well of the house and behaving in a cogent way that has won the hearts of the people, and given them the much-sought results in elections. He also exhorted Parliamentarians to learn from the disciplined behaviour exemplified by the two parties.

PM Modi’s emphasis on adherence to the disciplined approach of checks and balances while confronting dissension will have a far-reaching effect, farther than seizure of attention by clogging and blocking at the well of the house.

Deep within the words of the PM lies a mine of information for members of both the Houses, elected representatives who have risen to the level of members of the august Houses after going through and winning the tough election process through the power of the ballot. Deliberations in the House take place with a purpose and it is natural that their causes and effects will raise tempers and inflame passions. It is necessary to introspect and align oneself with a more balanced approach, accept differences, and continue engaging in constructive and supportive dialogue with a spirit of mutual tolerance and respect during the proceedings in the House.

This may be a daunting task, but it must be confronted and adjusted. 

Noise and mayhem, can at best, bring disruptive elements in front of all, however, they certainly cause the disrupters to lose respect as well as delay the expected response to the questions at hand. Causing noise and mayhem also earns the wrath of most members of the House, and ultimately, of the people of the constituency who have elected the disrupters with great aspirations.

Re-grasping the Fundamentals

Schools teach the traits of good and bad behaviour and differences between the two. From all that is learnt, what we practice is our choice. Practice refines and redefines our motto and distinguishes us from the larger section of the group which we are a part of. What is learnt and practiced over time becomes a way of life. It becomes the steppingstone toward gaining strength and acceptability that starts first in the class, then slowly extends to the school and finally to entire society.

Here again, learning is a lifelong pursuit. What is learnt needs to be honed periodically and updated as times
change. This is the hallmark of maturity and matured members take both success and failure with the same equanimity. Just as every parent would be happy to see their children become acceptable figures in school and every team leader would be happy to find themselves accepted by members of their team, so would be politicians, when they would be viewed as a towering leader by people within and outside the august House.

Members take oath of office and secrecy under the Constitution or in the name of God. Neither the Constitution nor religion advise the path of irrationality in behaviour to influence and convince other members of the august House. It is purely the choice of individuals, and the crude but so-called compulsion that pollutes their minds and promotes the need for quick solutions irrespective of consequences. The ability of a leader to drive his/her point of view and elicit consent from the other also rests on the inherent strengths of his/her question or argument. Inviting attention would be possible only through inherently strong points, not situational ones.

Learning and Vision 

Take the example of Infosys. At its inception, the founder of Infosys envisioned setting up a globally respected software service company. The reason he cited was that when one seeks respect, one will be fair with all customers and colleagues and transparent with investors, will not violate laws of land, and will live in harmony.

Every elected member is expected to know this basic premise on which such a mighty empire as Infosys has been founded and still stands tall today. In fact, Infosys has grown faster than India has, with an incredible amount of wealth amassed in a relatively short duration of time. This was possible because respect was cautiously guarded and every human being associated in the transaction of business, be it direct or indirect, was regarded with highest respect.

Days before his demise, former President APJ Abdul Kalam lamented on the disruptions in the Parliament and the consequent loss of valuable time and resources. Workers on the shop floor must start the day with the toolbox talk. Commuters and drivers must avow faithful adherence to traffic rules and regulations before setting out for the day. Doctors start their day with a vow to save lives. Likewise, every elected member must assure their people of orderly behaviour while discharging their responsibilities and live up to it. It is a pity that the PM has to call upon and remind members of both Houses of orderly behaviour and their benefits, something which every member must have learnt at a young age.

In the Thirukkural, a famous Tamil composition, it is said, “discipline of life is more important than life itself, for it is through discipline that life derives value.” Present day members of both the Houses of the Parliament need to be constantly reminded of the PM’s emphasis on discipline, of living examples of what discipline in all walks of life, especially at work, Can achieve, and its benefit, not only to individuals, but also to the nation at large.

(This post first appeared here in The Tilak Chronicle.)

S Raghavan

S Raghavan is a Renewable Energy analyst and Scribe - fields of interest being Politics, Women welfare and development, Rural Development and Climate Change.



The views and opinions expressed in the above article belong to the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official opinion, policy or position of Lokmaanya.


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