ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Contours of Debate

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKLY Contours of Debate Over the last few years one has come to expect that any given session of parliament may quickly deteriorate into a cacophonic marketplace, with no sense of decorum, and less of propriety. Exchanges in the house have been elevated to the level of constructive debate less and less over the last decade. But what has come to pass over the last few months must surely be noteworthy even against this backdrop. With the NDA keeping away from parliament the Finance Bill has been passed without debate and only a voice vote. That in a parliamentary democracy an exercise as important as the dispensation of Rs 5,00,000 crore and proposals for revenue generation should have been held up not as a consequence of debate, but because of a refusal on the part of the opposition to participate in parliamentary dialogue and the required process of law-making is a development that must shame the proponents of democracy. At issue here is not whether the NDA

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