Parliament Junkie is stumped by Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury's Vatican analogy
news Monday, July 27, 2015 - 05:30
Parliament is serious business, but that doesn't mean we can't see the humour in it! If Parliament was high school, the Speaker would be the Headmaster/Headmistress, Parliamentary Affairs Minister the Class Teacher, the PM would be the surprise inspector, opposition members the troublemakers, MPs of the ruling party the cheerleaders, the young, the hip and the Cabinet-hopefuls the popular kids and poor first time MPs would make up the class nerds. And Parliament Junkie is the mean kid who blows the whistle on what every other kid does. In this series, our Parliament Insider, who follows the working of the Sabhas closely, often from within, will give you the inside dope on the happenings of the Parliament. Baith Jayiye! 1630 Hours, South Delhi Mean Time It's official: Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury has joined the infamous Lok Sabha Wall of Shame. (No, that isn't actually a thing. But it should be.) So, who is Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury? He might be many things, but today, we're only concerned with his role in the chaos that has been the Monsoon Session of Parliament for the past week. While the Congress has been agitating on Vyapam, Lalitgate and a myriad other issues, and the BJP has been counter agitating with arrows to the heads of senior Congress leaders, and the TRS MPs have been trying to get their 2-bit in for a separate high court for Telangana, one man stood out in the crowd in the eyes of the Speaker. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury went down in history by climbing the steps to the Speaker's podium, placard in hand. Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, completely pissed with the behaviour of the opposition (and still somewhat accepting of the equally bad behaviour of the ruling party), had had enough by 4pm. She decided to do the unthinkable, and allow the motion to suspend Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for disrespect. *GASP!* The shock that rippled through the House (and Parliament Watchers across the length and breadth of the country) was palpable. The S-word is not to be used lightly. The S-word, if used too frequently, can chop off the head of dissent in the seat of democracy. The S-word is not a friend of the troublemakers; it's a tool even the cheerleaders wouldn't use too frequently... But all that changed today. (Although, yes, people have been suspended before. It's not the first time.) People tried to rescue Adhir -- from Sougata Roy to Mallikarjun Kharge to Mohd Salim, Parliamentarians requested the Speaker to not single him out and to pardon him. Some suggested that he would apologise in order not to be suspended. And that's when Adhir spoke and Junkie (and the rest of the nation) heard what has to be, hands down, the most baffling analogy the Parliament has seen in recent times. "The Vatican has Pope," said Adhir Ranjan, to a moment of (perhaps imagined) pin drop silence from an audience that didn't know what hit them. "The Vatican has Pope and the Lok Sabha has you. Just like the Pope is the Supreme Sovereign of the Vatican, Speaker is the Supreme Sovereign of Lok Sabha!" exclaimed the man at the centre of the mess. Umm. What? This, children, is how you try to impress your teacher when you've done something very, very naughty. Unfortunately for you, however, the teacher isn't going to be impressed. Nor was the Pope. The Speaker, I mean. :P While Adhir gave the usual Lok Sabha non-apology of how he regrets what he did while justifying why he did what he did, Sumitra ji called him out for his trick. So he got up and tried again, but with a non-apologetic-smirk plastered on his face. "I have apologised unconditionally and I will do it again if you want," he said. And that set the Speaker off to no end. "I don't want anything," she said, in what gave Junkie a very family-argument deja-vu. "If you want to apologise, then you should. I don't want any apology from you." Till that point though, all our sympathies were with her. But what she said next might be a little pricky to her own conscience. Sumitra ji insisted that only an apology that was from the heart was a real apology. And only that true and pure apology can be accepted in the House. Errr, Sakshi Maharaj? ("If some people were hurt, then I regret it. The opposition is raising non-issues.") Sadhvi Niranjan? ("They demanded an apology, I have apologized. What more can I do?") Junkie just feels, if Sumitra ji would take her own advice sometimes, it would be nice-like. "Dono haathon me laddoo nhi ho sakte." Meanwhile, Adhir Ranjan had to leave the House for the day -- he won't be suspended for the whole session or anything -- but it's a lesson and all.