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Pepper tigers are the real anarchists

Parliamentary democracy has sunk to a new low after pandemonium caused by the deplorable incident of pepper spray used by the MP from Vijayawada Lagadapati Rajagopal in Lok Sabha this past Thursday hogged national headlines. Not only was the episode a major blow to the spirit of constitutional dialogue and logical reasoning that the supreme legislative body stands for, but also it was a disaster that might have serious political and symbolic fallouts, with unruliness inside the hallowed precincts of Lok Sabha becoming the new order of the day. It was distasteful and an insult to the sanctity of Parliament and demeaning its honorable Speaker as well as a highly condemnable display of indiscipline, which coming from the elected representatives of the people sets a terrible precedent. In spite of the UPA government’s flip flops on the Telangana issue, its wavering stance and the looming threats on the part of the warring Andhra leaders to quit or go on indefinite fasts every now and then, what was least expected was the hijacking on debate and resorting to unceremonious violence, effectively stalling the dialogue and leaving a bitter taste in the mouth. This is not just an assault on democracy, its highest institution, but also a definitive proof that the moral and ethical benchmark of a legislator has hit rock bottom, with the members now preferring fisticuffs over verbal fencing and free exchange of ideas and constitutional interpretations.

Despite the English-language media shouting from the rooftop over Arvind Kejriwal’s anarchist tactics, his street-fighting methods to bring in sweeping changes, what no one can cast doubt upon is the peacefulness of his dissent and adhering to democratic principles while making his points. Evidently, the alternative politics of anarchopacifism practiced by Kejriwal has not gone down well with the news industry, even though it is the Congress and BJP members of Parliament who resorted to physical violence and upset the House once and forever. These indefensible actions over the riffraff on a bill and the top down imposition of a bifurcation without adequately listening to all the affected parties have squarely underscored the fact that Telangana for Congress and the BJP is basically a vote-catching exercise, shorn of long-term vision or investing in the popular sentiment over the demand for a separate state. The latest uproar clearly shows that democracy, particularly in its parliamentary form, is witnessing an unprecedented crisis and politics has been taken to the streets, becoming an indulgent shadow-boxing by elected hooligans.  As Congress-led UPA turns Andhra Pradesh into a ‘ticking time bomb’, it seems that the political epitaph itself is being written of the oldest party, that has preferred playing with emotions of an entire people through deeply divisive policies instead of actually teasing out feasible solutions acceptable to most.
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