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

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What Constitutes the Dignity of Public Institutions?

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Legislative institutions in India have been increasingly experiencing a situation where a restive body language embodies the utterances delivered with a loud voice. The legislators’ body language no more manifests the argumentative competence of some of the members; on the contrary, the body language performs through their charged emotions. The changing nature of legislators’ performance pointing at the need for improvement makes it necessary to raise the question of comparison that is much more painful rather than soothing and self-satisfying. There will probably be less disagreement on the observation which suggests that the legislative institutions in the 1950s and the early 1960s did lend a patient hearing to the arguments than is the case in the contemporary times. The difference between then and now is that earlier there were a few legislators and now there are many from both the opposition and the treasury benches who have acquired the distinction to have been responsible for replacing arguments with arrogance and arbitrary assertions that are manifested in the loudness of their utterances that are sustained by a restive, if not violent, body language.

One would very much desire and expect that our enthusiasm to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence should not be dampened by the disturbing and depressing performance of our people’s representatives, at least some of them. However, one is compelled to assess the role of these representatives who are expected to work in public institutions with patience and calmness that are necessary for maintaining the dignity of these institutions. It is not enough to ban certain “unparliamentary words” that are considered morally objectionable and hence would violate the dignity of the house, should these words be allowed to enter Parliament. But it is the aggressive utterances aided by the restive body language of certain representatives that tend to undermine the dignity of the house. In this regard, one could find the high-pitched utterances and the restive body language of some of the legislators in the central assembly to be much more disturbing. It was disturbing because the body language and utterances were performed in excess over the issues that, arguably, had an emotive overtone that was considered to be humiliating. The question that one has to raise is: How does one understand this excess in utterances and body language that has been quite visible both in high-pitched speeches and the volatile performances of certain members in India’s highly revered institutions? Why are the people’s representatives in need of such a loud voice and an aggressive body language that, through its excessive performance, tends to manifest an accusation rather than an argument?

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Updated On : 20th Aug, 2022
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