Parliamentary Probes

Amidst new political developments, we should not forget the threat to democracy that occurred in the form of the Faizabad protests. While we can see why no one would want to prolong the issue, the handling of the affair raised some serious questions on misuse of authority, and set some very dangerous precedents for protesters; thus it is imperative that we remain insistent on our demands for an inquiry.

Asma Jahagir and the HRCP have joined senators in demanding for an investigation into the problems of the Faizabad sit-in. The questions she raises are pertinent; there is absolute need for n inquiry to dispel notions of undue army interference or to confirm it, as well as to determine the failings of the LEAs to control it properly and see what went wrong. Asma Jahangir also rightly raised the concern that the appeasing of this protest encourages extremist violence- as we have seen mirror protests spring up in the style of Faizabad. The protest, which was going against the writ of state, served as a proxy ground for a passive-aggressive battle between the primary institutions of the country.

Most importantly, Asma Jahangir expressed concern on the deteriorating state of democracy and parliament today. In this, she joins a larger movement of people who are condemning the increasing violation of the separation of powers stipulated in the constitution. For a good part of the year, other institutions have been steering into the domain of the parliament, which has taken a good hitting, and constantly being delegitimised, and the Faizabad event, when the military went against the government’s mandate, by acting as a guarantor between the protesters, is just one example.

Accountability is well and good; but politicians should set aside their petty politics to demonstrate the importance of the separation of powers in the constitution, and not let their institution be delegitimised.

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