A tribute to our MPs – Men in Parliament
Of the many virtues that men are adored for, it’s valour that stands supreme. In the face of formidable challenges, men of valour fight heroically, vanquishing every foe or perish themselves in the process. While the thunderous army of chivalrous cavalry men pulverising the mightiest of armies dot our medieval history, it’s the indomitable courage of our countless countrymen, armed by the sheer strength of character and sacrifice, that broke the vertebrae of a mighty global empire and rooted out the foreign yoke from our land .And men of letters wielded their pen to inspire a generation script new annals, unparalleled in valour and never wanting in courage. From Shivaji to Gandhi, from Arjun to Bhagat Singh, from Tagore to Bharati, our national heritage is an uninterrupted stream of towering heroism of noble men.
This heroism continued to find eloquence in the post-independent India as erudite men immersed themselves to the task of nation building and in structuring the many institutional edifices that nourish it. An Ambedkar and his colleagues set upon to the meticulous crafting of the most comprehensive and inclusive constitution, the like of which the world has neither seen before nor thereafter, a Sardar Patel single-handedly embarked on a Bismarckian mission of annexing and unifying a scattered motley of princely states, and a Nehru unravelled the blue-print for the social, economic and scientific regeneration of a majestic country long subdued by alien dominance. These astute parliamentarians were ably supported by the financial wizardry of a TTK, by the oratory skills of a Krishna Menon, by the non-partisanship of a Mavalankar and many such titans inside the house while men of the stature of Mahalanobis, Homi Bhabha and Vikram Sarabhai gave purpose and direction to the young nation from outside. Oh, what a masculine lineage our present parliamentarians have!
But the challenges thrown to our current MPs are much more over-arching than anything their predecessors had ever have to content with and tests their very character and the limits of their spirit of sacrifice. By asking the male MPs to vote for the women’s bill that, in rotation, reserves 1/3rd of the seats in Lok Sabha and state legislatures for women, they have been virtually instructed to script their own political obituary. When called upon to decide on the question of Indian independence, Churchill famously remarked that he cannot preside over the liquidation of the British Empire. And now our own men in the parliament are called upon to preside, participate and actively vote for the liquidation of their own survival! A choice between one’s instinct for self-preservation and the larger national aspiration for gender equality. Will our MPs rise to the occasion?
The answer is a resounding Yes. It’s yes because our men have always put national interests before selfish agendas. It’s yes because they have the ideal of a galaxy of stalwarts who selflessly propelled our freedom movement. It’s yes because we have a glorious tradition of honouring the women at all costs and that includes the subjugation of one’s self interests. And it’s yes because our men in parliament correctly gauge the pulse of the nation which is overwhelmingly towards giving women their due. It is this accurate assessment that resulted in the passing of the bill in the upper house. And it would again be for the same reason that it will get its accent in the lower house.
In all these the valour of our Men in Parliament is in ample display. The true MPs!
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