Pandemonium in Rajya Sabha-Deputy Chairman’s Anguish

Dr. Ravi Chaturvedi

The ancient Greek philosopher & teacher of Aristotle, Plato said, “Opinion is the medium between knowledge and ignorance”. These soothing words will provide solace to Harivans Narayan Singh, Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha who was saddened by the ruckus created recently by eight members of the Upper House. It was crystal clear that the opposition members were wide off the mark on farmer’s bill.

Hrivansh who was elected Deputy Chairman second time on September 14 had to face the music of opposition within six days of his election. It was misfortune in the very first adventure. The suspended MP’s ill-mannered behaviour was sheer arrogance at its height. These undignified parliamentarians will do well to read Socrates saying, “Pride divides the men, humility joins them. The house witnessed an unprecedented scene when members of the Upper House indulged in violent activities in the name of democracy. They attempted to threaten the person on the Chair. Every rule, system of the Upper House was consigned to

dustbin of history. The most deplorable scene was the opposition leaders getting up on the table of the officials of the House, raising unparliamentarily and crude slogans and indulging in the violent behavior.

The Deputy Chairman was left with no alternative but to invoke Rule Number 255 of its Rule Book which states, “to “direct any member whose conduct is in his opinion grossly disorderly to withdraw immediately” from the House. “…Any member so ordered to withdraw shall do so forthwith and shall absent himself during the remainder of the day’s meeting.”

Earlier seven members of Lok Sabha were suspended on March 5 for unruly behavior and disrupted proceedings of the house for the day.

It may be worthwhile to recall recent such events. Sumitra Mahajan, last Speaker of Lok Sabha cracked whip on 45 members of the Upper House for continuously disrupted proceedings for days.

The action was taken under rule 374A of the Lok Sabha which says they cannot attend the remaining days of the session.

The day after the suspension of eight Opposition members, Harivansh reached out to them next morning by offering them homemade tea at the Mahatma Gandhi statue where they were holding dharna. He approached with tea for the eight suspended MPs, saying he was there “as a friend”. However, the MPs refused take tea. The arrogant MP’s would do well to listen to great Greek ancient teacher Aristotle, “Humility is a flower which does not grow in everyone’s garden”.

Harivansh addressed a sentimental letter to President Ram Nath Kovind, conveying his anguish at the developments and how it had deeply hurt him and caused him anguish.

He saw the light of the day on June 30, 1956 in Balia district of Uttar Pradesh in a middle class family. The quote of the iconic teacher of antiquity Aristotle inspired him, “The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet”. He embarked upon academic pursuit  to obtain post graduate degree in Economics from  BHU and went on to acquire Diploma in Journalism. He started modestly with job on a meager salary of Rs 500 per month. His journalistic ventures have been with the widely read and circulated far and wide Dharamyug, Ravivar and played prominent part in resurrecting out of ICU, gasping for breath Prabhat  Khaba which exposed fodder scam that proved suicidal for Lalu Prasad Yadav.

Harivansh was the Janata Dal (United) nominee to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar and has been twice elected Deputy Chairman of the Upper House as the candidate of the National Democratic Alliance. He conducts the proceedings of the house with dignity and aplomb. He is fair and impartial to all and does not favour members from any party. Humility is the hallmark of Harivansh, prompting, author and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson to write, “A great man is always willing to be little”.

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