Highlights

  • Rajya Sabha Secretariat issues circular banning demonstrations, dharnas, fast or religious ceremonies in Parliament complex
  • Bulletin issued a day after the LS released the 'Unparliamentary Words 2021' list
  • Opposition cries foul

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After diktat on ‘unparliamentary words’, MPs are told not to protest, fast in Parliament

The Opposition, which equated the 'unparliamentary words' circular to a “gag order”, has criticised the new order as a means to quell dissent in a democracy. 

A day after over 50 words and expressions were declared unparliamentary by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, a new circular by the secretariat of the Upper House dictates that demonstrations, dharnas, fasts or religious ceremonies can no longer be held in the Parliament House complex.

The Opposition, which equated Thursday’s circular to a “gag order”, has criticised the new order as a means to quell dissent in a democracy.

The new bulletin, issued by the Rajya Sabha Secretary General P C Mody ahead of the Monsoon session of Parliament scheduled to start July 18, seeks the ‘kind cooperation’ of all members.

"Members cannot use the precincts of the Parliament House for any demonstration, dharna, strike, fast, or for the purpose of performing any religious ceremony," the bulletin said.

Congress general secretary and chief whip of the party in Rajya Sabha Jairam Ramesh took to Twitter to attack the government.
"Vishguru's latest salvo — D(h)arna Mana Hai!," he said, sharing a copy of the circular issued on July 14.

Opposition leaders have in the past demonstrated inside the Parliament complex and Mahatma Gandhi's statue has also served as a popular spot for protests and fasts within the compound.

Also read: 'Corrupt' to 'Jumlajeevi': words MPs can no longer use in Parliament, Oppn flays list as 'gag order'

The 'Unparliamentary Words 2021' booklet released yesterday stated that the use of several terms such as 'jumlajeevi', 'baal buddhi', 'Covid spreader', 'Snoopgate' and even commonly used words such as 'ashamed', 'abused, 'betrayed', 'corrupt', 'drama', 'hypocrisy' and 'incompetent' will henceforth be considered unparliamentary in both the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.

However, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla clarified that no word has been banned from use in Parliament but will be expunged on a contextual basis. Members are free to express their views while maintaining decorum of the House, he had said.
Once a word or expression is expunged it does not form part of the Parliament records.

The circular drew flak from the Opposition which insisted that every expression used by them to describe how the BJP was destroying India has now been declared unparliamentary.

With PTI inputs

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