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Orissa Assembly Loses its Sanctity

"The behaviour of members engaged in a kind of vandalism on the Orissa Assembly floor and the teachers ransacking the Bargarh collector’s office are similar to a great extent and equally shocking."

HNF Editorial : November 20, 2007

On the very first day of winter session, i.e., 19 November 2007, Orissa Assembly saw its members engaged in fighting on the floor that shocked every one in the state as the visuals of opposition members coming with a banner to the centre of the house, the banner being snatched by some members and the house marshal from both ends where the marshal got some injury, few ruling party MLAs threatening the opposition members to stop such vandalism in a manner as if gang leaders instructing the street gundas to stop their activities. All these happened in front of the journalists and news cameras representing different media. Thank god, that’s why people of the state could see how daring gundas there representatives are.

The house was cool till the end of the condolence ceremony in memory of some ex-assembly members. It was just when the question hour was to be started, opposition members and leader wanted the house discuss about government’s attitude towards the demands of the agitating teachers who were caned by the state police.

The incident of teachers being beaten up by state police took place on 17 November at Bargarh district collector’s office and some other district headquarters. Situation took worst turn at Bargarh when teachers engaged themselves in the most foolish act of ransacking the emergency department of Collector’s Office and even threw the furniture to dismantle.

The behaviour of members engaged in a kind of vandalism on the Orissa Assembly floor and the teachers ransacking the Bargarh collector’s office are similar to a great extent and equally shocking. In both the cases, moral and ethical values were sacrificed by some people who should behave with more responsibility than any other individual.

When one takes the case of the teachers who are demonstrating over government’s grant-in-aid and peon appointment policies since November 1st, it is truly shocking to imagine that people who are believed to be the moral guardians of thousands of children can come down to ransack an important establishment like collector’s office. If the teacher’s are so ill behaving, what we and the teachers can expect from the children who are being groomed under the supervision of such undisciplined teachers? Should we expect them anything better than their mob like gurus?

But, unfortunately being at the receiving end, police and administration had to take all the blames for the incident and the ruling government is forced to be accountable for this although this kind of incidents are not quite a new thing for the opposition parties. Teachers were rather mercilessly beaten up by Orissa police in Bhubaneswar during an assembly session when the present opposition party was in rule.

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The members of Orissa Assembly who acted either as the saviours of the ransacking teachers or as some of the committed members of the ruling parties were scolding each other and were trying to establish their views forcefully. They never thought that they are in the assembly to discuss some of the serious issues that matter to the larger population of the state. There were issues relating to global warming and its impact on the climate of Coastal Orissa, the existing mining lease policy, impact of large scale industrialisation on State agriculture, distribution of water to the farmers and the industries coming up in the state as recently the issue took a controversial turn in Western Orissa over channelisation of water from Hirakud Dam to different nearby industries.

If the leaders of opposition parties are so sympathetic to the teachers who behaved like violent mob, they could discuss about it after the question hour. But, as it seemed, opposition party members of the house were not truly concerned about the teachers beaten up by the police but to show how great gundas they are. Some members showed a banner with critical statements about the present government knowing that display of posters, banners and placards in the house is unlawful as it is strictly prohibited in the house.

Still, when vandalism of the members are all captured by the news camera, both opposition leader and the Chief Minister who happens to be the leader of ruling coalition in the house blamed each other while expressing their disapproval to the incident. People who have seen the visuals on television are quite surprised over the statements made by the Chief Minister and the leader of opposition who explained the incident as shocking but denied involvement of their party colleagues in the nuisance. What people desire to keep the sanctity of the house intact is, scan the visuals broadcasted for the public, identify the miscreants – be them from opposition or ruling party, and announce an exemplary punishment so that no one would dare to create such nuisance in the house in future.



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