This lesson in parliamentary democracy, the girls could have done without

Dehra Dun : Do not be taken aback should you hear girls creating a bedlam in their classes and not heeding to the orders or instructions of the class teacher. In fact, from the lessons they have learnt it will be no surprise if they troop to the principal’s office, gherao his table and sit down in dharna raising slogans against him.

For after all this was what the law makers of the state were doing on the floor of the Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday morning.

Students of the Khurbura-based Guru Ram Rai Public Girls College were taken to the Vidhan Sabha on Wednesday. Their teacher told them that they would get to see practically what they had read in their civics class rooms.

Seeing introduction of bills, debates on the bills, bills being passed by voice vote and question hour. Obviously getting to see all this first hand, would ensure that the girls would remember them and would not have to cram them from their books.

But much to the chagrin of the girls, who sat in the visitor’s gallery eagerly to watch the proceedings, specially all that they had been told by their teacher, nothing of the sort happened.

Right from the word go, there was bedlam in the House with the members of the opposition Congress stalling the proceedings by raising slogans and storming into the well of the House and demanding a CBI probe into the various scams that allegedly took place during the tenure of previous chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.

Speaker Harbans Kapoor tried to pacify the agitated members of the opposition benches and repeatedly tried to restore normalcy in the House, but that was not to be. In fact on quite a few occasions, he even got up on his feet, hoping that the Congress legislators would follow the rule book and take their seats when he was standing.

But the opposition was hell bent on ensuring that chief minister B C Khanduri agreed for a CBI probe. The Speakers was forced to adjourn the House four times and in the din that continued three Bills were passed without any discussion.

Obviously the girl students were taken back at the behaviour of the public representatives from the Congress benches, who ensured that no business was done for the day.

They returned without seeing what they had hoped to see and get first hand information on the functioning of the legislature, but quite a few were hard saying that if the legislators could do so, why could they not do the same in school, when things did not go the way they wanted.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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