Pitfalls of democracy

This letter published in a daily expresses dismay at the current affairs of our democracy.

“While having dinner at a native friend’s house the other day in Houston, I requested the host to track the developments in India on the website of The Tribune. The very first slot was the unruly scene in the Lok Sabha, portraying the worst display of parochialism. Such incidents occurred in the past too. But what happened on Tuesday pales into insignificance.

There was jostling, pushing, pulling and shoving for nearly 15 minutes and MPs of the Left parties came close to assaulting Union Shipping Minister T.R. Balu. Marshals had to be called to protect the Minister!

My host’s candid query with furtive looks was “are both Chennai and Kolkata not within India?” I felt sheepish and small at the odd bite but retorted, “these are as Houston and New York are”. But I do retain the itch at heart and so share with you aloud: The development of a state is the development of the region which, in turn, is the development of the nation.

It is time we condemned provincialism and parochialism and kept the democratic values high on the agenda. We cannot have a decent democracy if the members of Parliament don’t behave decently in Parliament.”

Prof SUDARSHAN DHINGRA, Houston (USA)

Source: ‘Mailbag’, The Tribune (March 19, 2007)

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