(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 20, 2009
THE WEEK IN PARLIAMENT
THE third week of the winter session was an eventful week, with the BJP, the irresponsible opposition party, trying to drown the debate on the Liberhan report in a din of noises. When the home minister, P Chidambaram, was replying to the debate in Lok Sabha on Liberhan report on Babri Masjid demolition, BJP members shouted slogans for about 75 minutes. During the debate, other members charged the BJP with breaking every single promise made to the Supreme Court, the central government and the National Integration Council on protection of the structure.
Both the houses had had a discussion on this subject. From the CPI(M) side, Sitaram Yechury and Moinul Hassan spoke in Rajya Sabha and Basudeb Acharia and P Karunakaran in Lok Sabha.
Yechury said the Liberhan commission, detailing the circumstances that led to demolition of the Babri Masjid, has come to conclusion that the demolition was carried out with great preparation and not in any outburst of emotions. The central issue is how this mosque was demolished and who is responsible for this. Though the commission took 17 long years to prepare its report, it confirms that the demolition was not an act of spontaneity. Stating that many commissions’ recommendations remain implemented, Yechury said the moot question is whether we want justice to be done. He also termed the government’s Action Taken Report (ATR) as completely unsatisfactory, adding that its implication is that nothing can be done till a court decides the issue. He therefore asked the government to club all the cases together, move the Supreme Court and ask it to give an early verdict on it.
Yechury pointed out that in
fact the Sangh Parivar’s attempt has been to demolish secularism, one
pillars of modern
The CPI(M) leader pointed out
that three distinct visions emerged in the 1920s --- one of the RSS,
the Communist Party and a third of the Congress --- about what an
should be like. The Left wanted not merely the establishment of a
Yechury also asked: If the
Congress’s vision was one of a secular democratic
Moinul Hassan wondered where the central government, the UP government, the prime minister and the chief minister were on the fateful day when the Masjid was demolished. It was nothing but calculated vandalism by communal and fundamentalist forces, challenging the secular fabric of our country. He accused the then central government and its sleeping prime minister of having compromised with the communal forces, warning that any permission to mixing politics with religion would be dangerous for the country.
In Lok Sabha, Basudeb Acharia rejected the argument of spontaneity, saying we have seen how the RSS spread the communal venom after 1986. While Mr Advani’s rathyatra flared up the basest of passions, the Congress compromised with communal forces; it even joined hands with the BJP to pull down the V P Singh government. Earlier the Congress government appeased the Hindu fundamentalists by opening the locks of the Masjid in 1986 and appeased the Muslim fundamentalists by amending the divorce law following the Shah Bano case. This was the Congress brand of secularism. While the states then ruled by the BJP assisted the karsevaks, the then prime minister, Narashmha Rao woke up only after the Masjid was demolished. Acharia said thousands of Muslims were killed in the subsequent riots, and the responsibility thereof must be fixed.
P Karunakaran said we cannot tolerate either majority or minority communalism as both are dangerous to the nation. Against them, the government in power needs to act in time. However, late V P Singh lost his government just because he stood for the secular values while the Congress compromised with communal forces for narrow political ends. We cannot forget these facts while analysing recent history. The nation needs communal harmony to face its myriad of problems while communalism diverts attention from real problems. Fundamentalist, communal forces always oppose the progressive values and do not want the nation to develop, Acharia said.
During the debate, BJP members tried hard to prove the commission’s report was a bogus one with lots of ambiguity. An overwhelming majority in both houses rejected their plea.
In Rajya Sabha, the opposition
slammed the minister for environment for his statements on the issue of
change. From the CPI(M), Sitaram Yechury said the minister had assured
and the country that there were two red lines not to be crossed. One,
binding emission cuts will be acceptable to
On this issue, led by Yechury, the entire opposition walked out in protest.
From the CPI(M), M B Rajesh
and Saidul Haque participated in the short duration discussion on the
Lok Sabha. They said climate change is today the single largest threat
existence of humanity. The Inter-Government Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) has pointed
out greenhouse gas emissions are approaching the levels beyond which
devastating climate changes could occur. According to IPCC, the level
dioxide has increased tremendously, and it would have the worst effects
poor, especially in developing countries. According to an international
375 million people the world over are going to be affected by global
and India is likely to be among the worst affected countries, with
erratic and non-seasonal
rainfall, melting Himalayan glaciers, floods and droughts, changes in
patterns resulting in a sharp drop in food production. Rises in sea
to polar ice melting would inundate the coastal areas, threatening the
livelihood of 27 million families. Himalayan glaciers are shrinking at
of 10 to 15 metres per year. This will affect water supply in
The CPI(M) members asked who
is responsible for this kind of situation. Undoubtedly, it is the
Moving a calling attention
motion in Rajya Sabha on the present status of WTO negotiations, Moinul
said the seventh WTO ministerial meeting in
In Rajya Sabha, Saman Pathak raised the issue of land scam by the army and expressed apprehension that a case similar to that of Sukuna cantonment in Darjeeling may happen in the area around Siliguri city. He said the army had acquired a large area in Siliguri and Jalpaiguri after 1962 and has developed army cantonment by denuding the entire forest area. Instead of returning this vast vacant land to the landowners, it has now gone to the businessmen, promoters and brokers. The army is also trying to evict the settlers who have been around the cantonment area for long. He demanded institution of a high level inquiry committee in view of the seriousness of the matter.