Lower House at its lowest

On Friday, the 15th Lok Sabha ended. Even the most aloof of observers would have noted that this session was the worst in history, both in terms of the bills being passed and upholding the dignity of democracy.

The highest law-making body in the land has been in some kind of suspended animation since the time the UPA government took office for a second term in 2009. The Opposition has not exactly covered itself in glory, and the governing alliance never made any serious attempt to get work done, thanks to the many scams it got embroiled in and a weak parliamentary affairs minister.

A record 104 bills remain pending out of the 200-odd since the inception of the 15th Lok Sabha, reflecting the amount of bickering that has been going on. Since the end of 2010, hardly a few bills have been even debated, let alone passed.

This does not augur well for a nation in the throes of an economic slowdown combined with rising inflation. Job creation has hit a roadblock, and the signs of prosperity that were seemingly our right, thanks to 8-9 per cent growth rate until the end of the UPA-I, have evaporated into thin air. The country grapples with high prices of real estate and essential commodities, and thanks to short-sighted policy, the good old days of gold smuggling are back.

The worst thing a government can give its citizens is the loss of hope in the future. This government has done just that, and an ineffective Parliament has not helped matters either.

In the middle of this year, India goes to the polls again. This time, hopefully, the parliamentarians won’t disappoint.

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