Thursday, August 11, 2022

Row over ‘unparliamentary words’


The opposition on Thursday went straight for the government’s jugular over the “gag order” on using certain words in Parliament, insisting indignantly every expression used by them to describe how the BJP was destroying India has now been declared unparliamentary.
The clamour forced Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla to step in to soothe frayed tempers by making it clear no word has been banned from use in Parliament but will be expunged on contextual basis.
The opposition was brimming with anger after a new booklet by Lok Sabha Secretariat said on Wednesday the use of terms like ‘jumlajeevi’, ‘baal buddhi’, ‘Covid spreader’, ‘Snoopgate’ and even commonly used words like ‘ashamed’, ‘abused, ‘betrayed’, ‘corrupt’, ‘drama’, ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘incompetent’ will henceforth be considered unparliamentary in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
The list of unparliamentary words also says some terms may not be deemed unparliamentary unless read in conjunction with other expressions spoken during the parliamentary proceedings.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi derisively termed the compilation the “New Dictionary for New India”. “Words used in discussion and debates which correctly describe the PM’s handling of the government, now banned from being spoken.” “Example of an unparliamentary sentence: ‘Jumlajeevi Tanashah shed Crocodile Tears when his lies and incompetence were exposed’,” he said. TMC leader Derek O’Brien showed even greater belligerence, declaring he will use those words and dared the government to act against him.
As the political temperature soared, Speaker Om Birla hastened to address the issue. “No word has been banned. Members are free to express their views. No one can snatch that right, but it should be as per decorum of Parliament,” Birla told reporters. The Speaker’s clarification, however, failed to cut ice with the Congress. “Clarification from @ombirlakota about ‘unparliamentary’ words doesn’t mean much…,” Jairam Ramesh said in a tweet.


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