The Upper House of the Indian parliament witnessed an ungraceful situation during the welcome address of chairman of the Rajya Sabha, the Vice President of India, as he welcomed a Bhutanese delegation of MPs into the Council of States. While the chairperson is known to be a man of few words, in his welcome address he said, “I take pleasure in extending a hearty welcome to the leader and other members of the delegation and to wish our distinguished guests an enjoyable and fruitful stay in our country. We hope that during their stay here they would be able to see and learn more about our parliamentary system.” On the mention of the word ‘learn’ the members of the house broke out in laughter, keeping in mind the disruptive state of affairs in the Upper House of Parliament.
However the cherry on the cake, as they say it, were the smug, yet knowing smiles the Bhutan MPs wore as they saw the house react to their speakers ironic statement. Bhutan recently transitioned from being an absolute monarchy to a multi-party democracy in 2007 and is visiting India to learn from our dearest and most efficient parliamentarians. Where there is not doubt that our new democratic neighbor is well aware of the proficient governments that use the house meetings to lock horns, there is little good they maybe able to learn or adapt with the current situation of our Houses of Parliament.
The trolls have begun rolling in and the parliament is quite obviously the the subject providing fodder for the spoofs. But everything said and done, the Indian MPs are surely in possession of a reasonably sound sense of humor, and if the Bhutanese wish to learn, this one aspect may go a long way in stabilizing tensions that may crop up for the young democracy.
The clip from Vice President, Mohammed Hamid Ansari’s address :