Parliament paralysis was expected from the first day of the budget session of both the houses as in the past. The debate exposed Congress and obstructionist politics, laid foundation for debate on nationalism. Smriti Irani came out all guns blazing in Parliament and led what many felt was a spirited attack against opposition in the Parliament. Replying to the opposition charges, she made a forceful statement, saying Kanhaiya Kumar and some other students had been found indulging in anti-national activities by the JNU authorities themselves. She also made an emotional pitch with regard to the suicide by Dalit student Rohith Vemula of Hyderabad University, insisting that her ministry had no role in his death and the deceased himself had said in his suicide note that nobody should be held responsible for his action. The battlelines are drawn for deliberation and dramatic dialogues between the two main parties. It is time to start business in good earnest rather than fighting out a royal battle in the floor of the house. Smriti Irani served a salvo to silence the seditionist and kept them on the tenderhooks throughout the session.
Jayanthy S. Maniam
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)