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Opposition protests: Suspension of 25 MPs questions “democratic ethics” of the Modi government

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By Aishwarya Nag Choudhury

The suspension of 25 Congress MPs by Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan sparked a protest in the Rajya Sabha today morning. The Congress and the nine other opposition parties were seen protesting at the Rajya Sabha proclaiming their decision to boycott both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha for the next 5 days.

The MPs were suspended by Mahajan for the next 5 working days from the house for protesting with placards in the well of the Lok Sabha and displaying unruly behavior. This, however, has revoked bigger problems for the Parliament and the chair because the opposition parties are demanding the revocation of her decision.

The Speaker took the decision on suspension by invoking Rule 374(A), using it for the first time in the 16th Lok Sabha.  She claimed she had to do this because the congress members were “persistently and willfully obstructing the House by displaying placards and shouting slogans.”

Just as the speaker was about to make her formal announcement, congress MPs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were seen opposing it. Moreover, TMC leader Sudhip Bandhopadhya and CPM’s P Karunakaran made it a point to translate their parties’ opposition to “harsh action.”

Today morning, the opposition was seen protesting in the Rajya Sabha, triggering adjournment till noon. Congress in collaboration with other parties of the opposition was seen wearing black ties and ribbons around their arms in protest of the suspension.

“As Manmohan Singhji explained, the suspension of 25 MPs is no way of resolving issues,” Mallikharjun Karge said to NewsGram.

However, the issue is no longer restricted to just the suspension of the members. The opposition has delved deeper into the context questioning the democratic ethics of the government.

In an interview to NewsGram, Youth Congress spokesperson Amrish Ranjan Pandey, explained the Congress standpoint. “The Modi government has changed the definition of democracy. MPs are representatives of the common people; the government should listen to their voice. This is the government’s ploy of having not to deal with the debates they cannot withstand” he added.

“Mana ki sansad mein aapki bahumat hain – par sarak humara hain, aur sansad ka raasta sarak se guzar ke jata hain,” Pandey said, referring to the Modi government.

Pandey opined that this is the first time in Indian politics that the government is acting dictatorial and it is not going to work in diversified India.

The Youth congress equally agitated with the suspension are planning to protest against the “undemocratic” government of Modi. The instances of Gajendra Chauhan being trusted to head FTII and Smriti Irani given the education portfolio are being questioned by them. Mahila Congress member Sushmita Puri sharing her opinions with NewsGram said that it is clear that some people in Modiji’s government is corrupt.

“One minister and one cabinet minister is completely corrupt. We demand that you remove them from the ministry and then investigate them, so that they don’t wield power when they are being investigated. If found innocent, they can resume office,” she added.

“We will keep protesting until our demands are met,” was the word of the day in the Rajya Sabha. Samajwadi party’s Dharmendra Yadav paid a visit to support the protest. “I want to ensure democratically fair politics,” he said.  Ghulam Nabi Azad thanked all those who had come in support of the protest and in support of “democracy.”

As the Rajya Sabha resumed at noon, the protestors dispersed. However the agitation against the Modi government has not subsided. This session of the parliament brings into question no ordinary bill, but the democratic ethics of the government.

Discussion is the root of democracy, has the government suspended 25 MP’s to stall discussion and make the opposition weaker? Was the disciplinarian action of Sumitra Mahajan actually required to bring ‘order’ into our Democracy? These were the questions of the protestors in Rajya Sabha. However, it is still to be seen how long the fervour continues. Will the Congress and the opposition parties continue till their demands are met, or will the fervour wither away at the end of the MP’s suspension.

This monsoon session, the government seems to be stuck in a labyrinth that needs efforts to decipher. The steps of the government and the choices of the PM are being closely monitored by the opposition. As the mud-splattering continues, it is still to be seen how the Modi government responds.

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15 Amazing facts about Indian National Song: Vande Mataram

The National song of India, Vande Mataram is considered as the foundation of encouragement to the people in their struggle for freedom.

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Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the lyrics of Vande Mataram. Wikimedia Commons
Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the lyrics of Vande Mataram. Wikimedia Commons
  • Vande Mataram was originally written in 1876 and appeared in Anandamath in 1881
  • Well before the Congress’ Varanasi session on September 7, 1905, Vande Mataram was adopted as the `National Song’ and won India’s heart as its war cry of freedom
  • Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang the national song in the Benares Congress Session in 1905

‘Vande Mataram’, is no less than an epic for our country and holds a special place in the heart of every Indian. The first two words of the title itself are sufficient to induce a great feeling of patriotism.

It would be a surprise for many to know that September 7, 2006, was not the centenary of Vande Mataram. On the contrary, Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay wrote the lyrics of Vande Mataram well before he penned Anandamath, his novel, which described unified Bengal’s sanyasi uprising against tyrannical Muslim rule in the 1770s.

For better clarification, Vande Mataram was originally written in 1876 and appeared in Anandamath in 1881.

The National song was a part of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s most famous novel Anand Math. Wikimedia Commons
Vande Mataram was a part of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s most famous novel Anand Math. Wikimedia Commons

Thus, 2006 was not the 100th year of Vande Mataram, but the 129th anniversary of the `National Song”, which was first recited at the Indian National Congress session of 1896.

Also Read: 10 Must Knowing Facts about Indian Flag

Well before the Congress’ Varanasi session on September 7, 1905, Vande Mataram was adopted as the `National Song’ and won India’s heart as its war cry of freedom.

On January 24, 1950, it was brought at par with the National Anthem officially by the Constituent Assembly.

The protest against Vande Mataram because of its ‘idolatrous’ content began in the 1890s. The Congress party surrendered before Islamic opposition at its Kakinada session in 1923 not only on the Vande Mataram issue but also to all symbols and values held national.

The recent HRD ministerial diktat to compulsorily sing the song throughout the country occupied much media space and ignited a debate on India’s national song’s journey over the last 130 years.

Also Read: 15 Amazing Facts About The Revolutionary Bhagat Singh

The song served as a source of immense strength and inspiration for freedom fighters before India gained freedom.

The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons
The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons

Take a look at some of the glorious facts related to our National song, ‘Vande Mataram’.

  1. The National song, ‘Vande Mataram’ was written by the great Bengali poet and writer, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.
  2. On January 24, 1950, it was adopted as the National Song of India.
  3. The National song of India, Vande Mataram is considered as the foundation of encouragement to the people in their struggle for freedom. The National song of India is versed in the Sanskrit and Bengali languages, in the novel ‘Anandmath’ by Bankim Chandra Chatterji.
  4. The former President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on January 24, 1950, came up with a declaration in the Constituent Assembly that the song Vande Mataram, which had played a significant part in the historic freedom struggle held in India, should be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and must give equal status to it.
  5. The National song was a part of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s most famous novel Anand Math (1882) which is set in the events of Sannyasi rebellion.
  6. The first translation of Bankim Chandra Chatterji’s novel Anand Math, into English was done by Nares Chandra Sen-Gupta, in 1906.
  7. In the 1896 session of the Indian National Congress, it was the first political event when the National song was sung. On the same occasion, the national song of India was first sung by the Rabindranath Tagore.
  8. Poet Sarala Devi Chaudurani sang the national song in the Benares Congress Session in 1905.
  9. The Iron Man of India, Lala Lajpat Rai, published a journal called Vande Mataram from Lahore.

    Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on January 24, 1950, came up with a declaration that Vande Mataram should be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and must give equal status to it. Wikimedia Commons
    Dr. Rajendra Prasad, on January 24, 1950, came up with a declaration that Vande Mataram should be honoured equally with Jana Gana Mana and must give equal status to it. Wikimedia Commons
  10. Vande Mataram was recited in the first political film made by Hiralal Sen in 1905.
  11. The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002.
  12. Two stanzas of the original song have been officially declared as the National Song of India in 1950 after the independence of India.
  13. The song was originally written in two languages, Sanskrit and Bengali, in the novel ‘Anandmath’.
  14. It was also sung by the Dakhina Charan Sen in 1901 after five years during another Congress meeting at Calcutta.
  15. India’s first political film Hiralal Senmade, made in 1905 ends with the chant Vande Mataram.