Noise And Signal

This is quite the WTF headline of the day:

Lok Sabha passes eight Bills in 17 minutes

This burst of productivity came about not due to our venerable MPs taking their jobs seriously, and suddenly becoming efficient, but because of the ‘din’ and ‘tumult’ in the house. As the ToI report puts it:

On Tuesday afternoon, when BJP MPs stormed the well rejecting the government’s statement on minority affairs minister AR Antulay’s demand that the shooting of ATS chief Hemant Karkare should be probed, the chair quickly took up pending legislation which had swelled to nine from the five listed at the start of the day.


The procedure adopted on Tuesday was quite irregular as MPs complained that additional bills, pushed in as the supplementary list of business, were not circulated, while legislation was not discussed at all. In fact, amid the tremendous din in the House, it was barely possible to track which bill had been passed expect by keeping an eye on the minister rising in response to the chair.

Speaker Somnath Chatterjee, who had conducted proceedings since the morning, was absent when the House met at 2pm and, as was the case on Monday, deputy Speaker Charanjit Atwal simply ignored the tumult and went ahead with the legislative business. As it became apparent that the government was moving bill after bill, enraged Left MPs rushed to the chair in protest.

Left MPs NN Krishnadas and Sunil Khan gesticulated at the chair demanding that the proceedings be halted until they were hauled back by CPM deputy leader Mohammed Salim. The Left MPs then stood in a group and tore copies of the bills in their possession and flung them around in order to underline the mockery of parliamentary practice. All along, BJP MPs kept up a steady chorus of anti-Antulay slogans. Some Congress MPs were seen hurling their underwear at the BJP MPs while ululating furiously.

Okay, I made that last sentence up. But given what came before, is it not plausible?

Allow me to remind you here that the taxpayer pays Rs 26,000 for every minute of parliament. Makes you want to ululate, no?

(Earlier posts on parliament: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.)