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Removal of Question hour from parliament in a Democratic country by the government is a sign of ‘Dictatorship’

Question Hour is a segment of a parliament session during which opposition MPs are allowed to ask questions to the government and counter/criticize the work done by them.
Parliament Building [Image – PTI]

This decision is nothing but an effort by the ruling party to curb down the voices/questions of people that arise against the government.

The decision taken by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha not to have Question Hour during the upcoming monsoon session of parliament has been questioned by the citizens as well as constitutional experts who believe it was the one hour in which ministers are duty-bound to reply to every query posed by the members and opposition.

The Lok Sabha secretariat said Question Hour was being dispensed with to prevent crowding. A statement issued by it said:

“It was decided to do away temporarily with Question Hour due to extraordinary situation caused by Covid and to avoid assembling of large number officials to be present in galleries of the House during the Question Hour in view of the need for social distancing.”

Question Hour embodies the power of parliament to check the government. Both in India, as well as in other parliamentary democracies that take after the UK model, Question Hour is vital to parliamentary conduct, allowing elected representatives to make the government more responsive.

For the past few years, criticism has poured in accusing the Modi government of dangerously centralising power and attempting to bypass democratic checks and balances.

Parliament is the most critical part of the checks and balances when it comes to Indian democracy. To refute these allegations, the Modi government must make sure that every parliamentary function is restored fully in this monsoon session.

Otherwise the opposition claiming it’s a ‘murder of democracy’ won’t be wrong. Afterall, it is the right for the people to support or oppose the government else it would be nothing but a dictatorship with no individual rights.