Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I wanna watch my parliamentarian

This isn’t a note to “The Member of the Parliament.” It’s an appeal from a stupefied citizen: an appeal from a constituent who voted for the DPT.

Please don’t tell us, after the inaugural broadcast, that the BBS crew is suddenly causing awkwardness among representatives. The reasons cited were of the theatrical kind that supposedly affects the parliamentarians.

Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” comes to mind.

I don’t buy that ruse of an excuse. And neither do people with common sense. The farmer is as perplexed as the civil servant or the businessman. The thing is, you see, I’m a constituent and I believe I’ve the right to demand to see my elected man in action. Whether my man in the house has“acting” issues is irrelevant. That’s his phobia. In today’s wired world, you’d better get used to it.

Elected officials are subject to public scrutiny. It’s the nature of the office. We’ve a natural right in a democratic set-up to see and judge for ourselves. The visual medium provides instant gratification. Pros and cons notwithstanding; the point is simple: The deliberations must be broadcast. India runs two channels called the Rajya and Lok Saba. The British House of Commons and its public broadcast probably makes it the world’s greatest forum for open-air-discussions, debates and rebates; done with decorum and dignity.

We need not ape. We’ve our own cultural bend and nuance. At worst, the broadcast will mirror “revelations.” Well, that’s transparency and accountability! At best it will inform the viewer. Well, that’s connectivity. In conclusion, it brings out issues concerning the citizenry.

Now that’s fair and democratic.

But should the DPT government persist with a closed-door session then I’ve some bones to throw their way:

I’m not comfortable seeing our representatives in colorful scarves. I get the uneasy feeling it distracts them from being humble, helpful and caring.

I’m not comfortable seeing our elected-men carrying swords. They tend to go “cut and dry.”

I’m not comfortable seeing our representatives drive big cars and simultaneously do mobile-chatter. It makes them swat away simple civic sense; becoming bad role-models in the process (and we all know the poor Bhutanese civic-sense).

I’m not comfortable with the fact that the DPT government promised “accountability, transparency and strengthening media-cooperation.” If the broadcast is blacked-out, then the principles mentioned above are pure hog-wash.

I’m not comfortable with the kind of “firing” the private sector receives from the DPT government, where, the private sector is told not to “think” about “profits!” Well, there’s more to business than just profits, employment being one.

I’m not comfortable with the DPT government’s perception of an “overwhelming mandate” from the electorate to do as they wish and please. The DPT government, in my opinion, received what is known as a “negative vote.”

This happens when you like one person lesser than the other.

I’m not comfortable with the DPT’s decision to create a superficial CDG when a proven-working-mechanism is already in place. It casts doubts over the sanctity of the constitution.

Now you see; there’s no end to the issue of my comfort-ability! But surely I cannot get rid of each fly that buzzes my way except for the occasional squash.

Barring the fourth estate isn’t the solution. Democracy is more of a vibrant process and less of a goal (and good processes lead to fruitful harvests).

Now for my final appeal: broadcast yourself; the lesser you hide, the longer you thrive. The opposite is also true. By all measures, the inaugural session was smooth and the BBS is not the sloth it once was.

Let’s tune in.

Ps: YourLustForLifeStartsRightNow!

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