Who will work in the Parliament now?

Though I had a TV at my house ever since I can remember, it was not until 1991 that I surfed the channels so seriously that some images stuck. My bond with tennis started here when I saw those two lovely ladies – the adorable Steffi Graf and the sexy Gabriela Sabatini – in action in the Wimbledon final.
And as much as I got hooked on to the idiot box, the bland images from the parliament later that year put me off. The proceedings of the Question Hour were telecast for the first time and all I could see was all MPs shouting all at once and creating a din for the sake of a showman film producer (it hasn’t changed, has it?). Amid all this, everyday for the few days that I patiently followed the circus, one man always rose to ask his question diligently and ignoring hoots from fellow parliamentarians as they tried to shout him down.
That man was Somnath Chatterjee, roly-poly as ever. If nothing, he has maintained an integrity and clear conscience which made him the most deserving Speaker in the history of Indian politics. It was he who made a case for the ‘live’ telecast to be extended to full day’s proceedings.
Ironically, he retired in a year which was the least productive when it came to the working hours of our policy-makers.
The parliament was his karmabhoomi and it must have pained him when his own party asked him to take sides and break the sanctity of the post of a neutral Speaker and later disowned him when he refused to comply.
All credit to him again for standing upto the pressure and preserve his morals with a self-belief so rare among politicians.
Pity his time was up when the younger generation of the Gandhis, Scindias, Deoras and Abdullahs are about to infuse some fresh energy.

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