It is indeed a pity that people like Anna Hazare and Ramdev have repeatedly been attacking Parliament and Parliamentarians in the vilest of language that can hardly be acceptable to those who firmly believe that democracy cannot be held bondage to the whims and fancies of a few self- styled reformers, especially when their own houses are in disorder.
AND IF there is a renewed roar of protest by politicians against such utterances, it is because Baba Ramdev, while launching his month- long yatra in Chhattisgarh's Durg on Tuesday (1 May 2012), called MPs 'dacoits and murderers' and said, 'They are friends and slaves of money. They are illiterate, dacoits and murderers. They are devils in the form of humans, whom we have elected to those posts. They are not worth it.' This is not all. Condemning those who have rapped him for these highly objectionable remarks Ramdev says: 'those who are corrupt, and have criminal records, they will obviously object to what I have said implying thereby that his critics can only belong to the corrupt brigade. And who are those who have condemned the Baba and are therefore 'corrupt', having 'criminal records'".
The issue was raised in the Lok Sabha on Wednesday and Speaker Meira Kumar was among those who expressed their deep anguish against these highly irresponsible utterances. The Speaker said, 'The Constitution is supreme. It has granted a certain position to Parliament. We all should take care of this first."
The BJP, supposed to be having a soft corner for the Baba did not spare him either. Lashing out at him a senior BJP leader MrYashwant Sinha said that insulting Parliament and lawmakers and indeed the Constitution had become a norm now. "And who insults the more is a bigger hero now. This is absolutely wrong. Nobody has the authority, no matter how big the individual is to insult the democratic institutions."
Another BJP MP Kirti Azad said, "It has come to such a situation that in this country, nowadays anybody can speak anything and get away with it. RJD chief Lalu Prasad was also unsparing in his criticism saying the yoga guru was a frustrated man and a 'mental case'. Samajwadi Party member Shailendra Kumar sought action under the rules of parliamentary privilege against people making such 'derogatory' references against MPs.
Such derogatory remarks made openly on public platforms amounted to breach of privilege of Parliament, he said. Union Minister Harish Rawat said Ramdev was raising a question mark on the whole democratic set-up. And Congress MP Jagactambika Pal said character assassination of Parliament and parliamentarians was not acceptable. As was to be expected, Anna Hazare has come in the defence of the Yoga guru saying whatever he had said 'is not wrong.'
He says: 'There is proof against so many people today. When parties give tickets, why they give them to tainted people's His criticism on this count may be valid. But the point is: If he and Ramdev want the electoral process to be cleansed of corrupt elements, why don't they themselves start their own parties with candidates of unimpeachable character and enter the electoral field instead of shouting and abusing the system from outside? Anna says he won't because were he to contest he will lose his deposit as voters are being purchased with money or even a bottle of liquor in rural areas. That is a good and clever way of evading elections and damning the electorate as well.