June 19, 2019

Religious sloganeering in Parliament

Negative Start: Religious sloganeering in Parliament not conducive for government-opposition coordination on important issues
June 19, 2019, 12:29 pm IST Quick Edit in TOI Editorials | India, politics | TOI

For the second day in a row, newly elected Lok Sabha members raised religious slogans during their oath-taking. While BJP MPs shouted “Jai Shri Ram”, MPs of the Trinamool Congress countered with “Jai Hind”, “Jai Bengal” and “Jai Ma Durga”. Meanwhile, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi chanted “Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Takbeer Allahu Akbar, Jai Hind”. Clearly, the political polarisation on religious grounds that was part of the Lok Sabha campaign has found its way to Parliament.

This is unfortunate as Parliament is supposed to reflect the secular ethos of the country as it is the highest seat of Indian democracy. Some may argue that there’s nothing wrong with MPs invoking religious slogans during oath-taking because the Indian Constitution gives equal space to all religions. But what is happening in Parliament today is religious sloganeering with a clear political motive. The MPs not only want to send a signal to their respective constituencies but are also trying to browbeat their political rivals. This cannot be condoned.