Without feathers

Without feathers

Parliamentarians have been very hot under the collar ever since Lok Sabha speaker Somnath Chatterjee sensibly proposed that they should be paid only if they worked.

PRS Legislative Research has compiled some telling data on how little our legislators did in the recently concluded monsoon session. The hours worked in the Lok Sabha dropped from 124 hours in the monsoon session of 2006 to 65 hours this year; Rajya Sabha hours dropped from 113 to 52.

There was also a sharp reduction in the number of Bills passed—from 17 to 11. However, the number of Bills introduced in the two monsoon sessions is the same, at 16.

We are not surprised at this low batting average, given the way Parliament has been reduced to a theatre for slogan-shouting and walk-outs.

True, the Indo-US nuclear deal has been a contentious issue. Yet, we cannot resist saying this: even “headless chickens" would do better.