An eye-opener for MPs
By K G Suresh
Message From Parliament House, Bharat; Compiled by Justice Dr M Rama Jois, Vijnaneshwara Research and Training Centre in Polity, Martur, Gulbarga, Karnataka; Pp 26; Price: Not Mentioned
It is not just the Constitution of India but also wisdom contained in several of our sacred texts and classical literature which guide Parliamentarians in the world’s largest democracy. From the entry gates of both Houses of Parliament to the domes to the lobby and lifts, our elected representatives are reminded constantly of their ‘Dharma’, their duty to the society and the nation.
What’s more, these canons and quotations from the sacred scriptures also guide the lawmakers on their conduct within and outside the Parliament.
‘Speak the truth. Follow the rules of righteous conduct”, is the English translation of the sentence inscribed on the top of the entry gate to the Rajya Sabha. It is indeed a message worthy to be emulated by all Parliamentarians.
Another message taken from the Bhagwad Gita (18-45) and inscribed on the top of the entry gate to the Rajya Sabha is equally relevant. “Every individual attains fulfillment of life and fame only on account of discharging the duties prescribed for him/her”, it says.
Former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court, former Governor of Jharkhand and Bihar and presently Rajya Sabha Member of BJP Justice Dr M Rama Jois in this booklet has sought to remind the Parliamentarians of these hitherto ignored aspect of parliamentary life by compiling many such quotations scattered all over the circular building.
For example, a quotation from Manusmriti, most appropriate for the MPs, is inscribed above lift 2, which says “Either one may not enter the Assembly Hall, or having entered, he/she must speak truth in a righteous way. The one who does not speak and the one who speaks falsely will be a sinner.”
And inscribed in golden letters on the dome near lift no 1 is a saying from the Mahabharata (5-35-58) which offers a vivid commentary on the duty to speak truth in an Assembly.
“That is not an Assembly where there are no elders; They are not elders, who do not speak with righteousness; That speech is not righteous which is devoid of truthfulness; That is not the truth which contains deceit.”
In a sage counsel to the ruling party to take along everyone, accommodate all views and adopt a consensual approach to governance, a verse from Shukraneeti (Chapter 2-3), inscribed on the dome near the lift no.4, says, “the Ruler must always be wise and intelligent. Even so he should not stand upon his own views at any time, rather he should consider the views of the Members of the House, officers, people at large and others who are present in the House and then take his own decision”.
Highlighting the need for bringing about the much-needed change from within, an Arabic quotation inscribed in the arc-shaped outer lobby of the Lok Sabha states< “Almighty God will not change the condition of any people unless they bring about a change in themselves”.
And one sentence that is engraved wherever the Emblem of India is inscribed all over the building is from the Mundakopanishad says it all- ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (Truth will Triumph Always).
All in all, a must read for all Parliamentarians, particularly when the credibility of the institution itself is at stake.