For the first time in the history of the Indian Parliament, 141 MPs have been suspended. Out of these, 95 are from the Lok Sabha and 46 from the Rajya Sabha. This mass suspension has developed a crisis in Parliament, especially at a time when crucial bills were tabled and passed with limited discussion. The only fault of MPs is that they keep raising questions and bring the government into an awkward situation. The root of the contention lies in the opposition’s demand for a statement from Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Parliament. They seek a discussion on the recent security breach incident on December 13, where intruders stormed the Lok Sabha and released smoke canisters.
Well, all the suspended MPs were having a chill moment. To make the situation light, TMC leader Kalyan Banerjee was mimicking Jagdeep Dhankhar, and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi was seen recording it. The scenario was somewhat like schoolchildren teasing their teacher. Soon after this episode, the mainstream media got geared up to make breaking news and there were several prime-time debates. But unfortunately, no media has the guts to question the government over the mass suspension.
Above all, a Supreme Court lawyer has filed a complaint against Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee, who stirred a row by mimicking Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar during the opposition’s protest at the Parliament complex. The video of Banerjee derisively mimicking Dhankhar has since gone viral. The advocate, Vineet Jindal, has filed a complaint with the Ethics Committees of Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha and sought the expulsion of all the members involved in the incident.
In this entire saga, no media has ever questioned the security lapses, the attack on parliament, or the reason for such aggression by civil society. Unemployment is the biggest issue in the country and the security breach in parliament exposed many things. The BJP can never handle such humiliations. They knew that the opposition was not in a mood to spare them. They suspended hundreds of MPs.
Let me tell you, this was not the first time some leader mocked another leader; our PM Modi mocked many opposition leaders. He made fun of them by calling them names and adding tags. Modi mocked former Vice President Hamid Ansari during his farewell event in August 2017, one of India’s most distinguished diplomats, reducing his identity to his religion and in effect alleging that his entire professional and political achievements were because of his religious identity. No BJP leader or member of the media took this incident seriously.
Now the mimicry saga is being escalated to divert attention from the suspension of 142 MPs. Never in the history of Parliament has there been a suspension of MPs on such a large scale. But those who talk about mimicry, just remember who mimicked whom and that too in the Lok Sabha. Soon after this episode, Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee clarified that he didn’t intend to hurt Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankhar when he made his impression outside Parliament. Calling mimicry a “type of art,” Banerjee defended his action by citing a past instance of Prime Minister Narendra Modi “doing mimicry in Lok Sabha.” Jagdeep Dhankhar is ex-governor of Bengal.
Unfortunately, these are our lawmakers, and that is our ruling party, who ignore the crucial issues of the country while wasting their time on petty issues. Asking questions in parliament is considered a crime. Media has already become “His master’s voice” by keeping themselves as watchdogs. In an era of weaker opposition, it’s the duty of the media to hold the ruling government accountable. If all voices are suppressed, then there will be only dictatorship. The Indian government can go one-sided and arrogant, which it already is.
Jagdeep Dhankar, the man famous for being the governor of West Bengal, has been announced as the NDA’s candidate for the post of VP. He is also famous for being the lawyer for Salman Khan, who bailed him out. He has been rewarded for the efforts he has put in while being the governor of Bengal. He went out of the normal working routine of a governor and tried to meet and become the voice of people who were affected by violence. He was mocked by the opposition but he persisted with his efforts. People also threw allegations at him for working on the orders of the central government, which might be true. But do you really expect a governor appointed by the central government not to pay heed to the ruling party? Ideally, yes, because governor is not a political post but we don’t live in an idealistic world. So the post of the speaker should be neutral.