New Delhi: Have empty rituals become substitutes of principles on which our parliament and democratic system stands? Whom actually do our governments, any of them represent?
Where did India stand in the comity of nations earlier and what is our role in international affairs now? These are few of the questions raised by former Union minister Jaswant Singh in his latest book .
“In each parliament session there is still a joint sitting, an address and a formal announcement of our government’s programme but all sadly now not so inspiring. I am assailed by gnawing doubts about functioning of our parliament and about our democratic system,” says veteran leader in the book in an article titled ‘Irrelevance of Parliament and its MPs’.
“The audacity of opinion-Reflections, journeys and musings,” by Amaryllis publications is the compilation of essays written by Jaswant Singh over the years on a broad spectrum of issues which he says, India has been facing in the past and which continue to exist even today. At the function where the book was launched, Jaswant Singh however evaded the question about the recent session of parliament been stalled by his own party.
“Parliament in our theory is the custodian of liberties, a watch dog body over misgovernance, a check over the executive, infact its no longer so. ” he said adding, ” The theoretical system of ‘checks and balances’ has lost nearly all its balance, the only check there is with the government, a check of their own incompetence’.
Singh, who having served eight terms in Parliament has witnessed different phases of Indian politics during his career says, ” There is a corresponding parliamentary myth that those of us who sit in the parliament as representatives of people, meaningfully influence the government’s thinking.”