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Response to a Rejoinder: Indecent Proceedings of Lok Sabha

26-02-2014published_dt 2014-02-26T00:00:00.000Z26-02-2014 05:30:00 IST
Updated On 05-11-2018 12:08:05 ISTmodified_dt 2018-11-05T06:38:05.194ZUpdated On 05-11-20182014-02-26T00:00:00.000Z26-02-2014 2014-02-26T00:00:00.000Z - 2018-11-05T06:38:05.194Z - 05-11-2018


In a rejoinder to my piece (TNIE Feb 20 ) N Venugopal chose to call my account about the indecent hurry in passing the Bill “as full of lies”. He chose to tell his readers that “at least 12 members spoke and 5 others submitted written representations on the Bill.” He wanted the readers to believe that he had the authority of the Lok Sabha website behind him.

Most of the IE readers would have already found out that his assertion was inaccurate.

However, for those who could not make the effort to go to the Lok Sabha website, here is a ‘blow blow by blow’ account of its proceedings on Tuesday, February 18, 2014/Magha 29, 1935 ( Saka).

At 12:47 the Speaker announced that the House stands adjourned to meet again at Fifteen of the Clock. (Page 60)

It assembled at the appointed hour with several members standing at the Table. The Speaker called the Union Home Minister to continue. The Minister rose, spoke briefly and declared “Motion moved.” (Page 62)

At 1505 hours Smt Sushma Swaraj, rose to speak. Her speech was recorded from pages 63 to 65. At 1510 hours, Minister of Science and Technology Sri S Jaipal Reddy rose to speak. His speech was recorded from pages 66 to 68. However, in page 68 it was only 7 lines including the ‘Thank you very much.’ Therefore, effectively it was from page 66 to 67.

Then Madam Speaker announced, “All those who want to speak, please lay your written speeches on the Table. Now I will proceed.”  (Page 68).

Sixteen members were listed as having laid their speeches on Table. Of these, the papers of six members were shown as blank, and a couple of them had given their submission with just a line or two. (Page 69 to 85). Who were the members who submitted the blank papers I do not want to say here. If anyone takes the trouble of examining the proceedings, they will be rewarded with ample amusement. A reward that Venugopal would not have missed had he been diligent.

Then she announced amidst interruptions that the Home Minister’s motion was adopted. She further announced that “The House will now take up clause-by-clause consideration of the Bill.”

Now with regard to the moving of amendments. Venugopal in his rejoinder says that “Many more members participated in the clause by clause b debate.” From page 86 to 170 the proceedings list a number of amendments only to show that they were either rushed or summarily dismissed. Interestingly, only two – I repeat, only two – members persisted with their amendments: Prof Saugata Roy of TMC and Sri Asaduddin Owaisi of AIMIM. Not a single one of their amendments was discussed. Their insistence on voting was dismissed by Madam Speaker as “being unnecessarily claimed.” No other member was listed as having spoken on the amendments or moving them. Sri T R Baalu of the DMK rose only to announce his party’s decision to walk out in protest.

And on page 170 you will find Madam Speaker announcing: ‘The question is: That the Bill, as amended, be passed.” The Motion was adopted. And at 1624 hrs Madam Speaker adjourned the House to meet on the following day.

I recounted the proceedings of the LS elaborately only to show the readers that howcharacteristic and habitual it is of the separatists to take undue liberty with facts, even with those facts that are readily available in public domain. Their ‘bash on regardless’ variety of mercenary scholarship has scant respect for laid down norms of collection of data and their interpretation. It is now too well known to be mentioned. The rest of the points mentioned by Venugopal in his rejoinder fall under the latter category and merit no consideration in any serious interrogative discussion.

The Telangana Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on the sly. It is an outcome of the gang up of the ruling and principal opposition parties. The unity of the Telugu people was sacrificed on 18 February 2014 at the altar of electoral and political expediency.

It is unfortunate that the argument for division advanced by the likes of Venugopal have not been taken seriously by the powers that be in Delhi. Had they done that, the division of Telugu state would not have taken place. And it is equally unfortunate that they were deaf and blind to the arguments for unity by bodies like Srikrishna Committee or even Visalandhra Mahasabha. Had they been examined even cursorily, division of Andhra Pradesh would not have been contemplated.

Arguments for division today are as invalid as they were before the Bill was passed as a result of the murky deal in Parliament. Both the main parties in Parliament looked at the issue as an electoral gambit. It won’t be long before it dawns on them that theirs was an utterly miscalculated gamble.

(This was carried by The New Indian Express, Hyderabad edition on 24/2/2014)