We all know what an usual day in the Indian Parliament looks like. Shouting MPs, displaying of placards, throwing things at each other (shoes and chairs included), a disturbed Speaker trying to calm the House down and resulting in adjournment almost every half an hour.
It may not have been anything new for us, but a bunch of Bhutanese delegates who had gone on a visit to the Indian Parliament on Monday to "learn" democracy, may have thought that they are better off without it.
The Bhutanese parliamentary delegation led by Lyonpo Jigme Zangpo, Speaker of National Assembly of the Parliament of Bhutan and the chairperson of the National Council of Bhutan, Sonam Kinga visited the Rajya Sabha on Monday. They are on a four-day visit in India.
In a huge embarrassment to the nation, the shouting MPs misbehaved, and displayed placards even in the presence of the foreign delegation. All this despite the Upper House speaker telling the MPs while introducing the Bhutanese delegates, that they are here to learn from the Indian Parliament.
After introducing the delegates, Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari said, "We hope in their stay here they can learn more about the Parliamentary system." The MPs immediately bursted into laughter, fully aware, that the Parliament has been in gridlocks for weeks, ever since the Monsoon session began on July 21.
An unidentified voice even asked: “Why did you add that line, Sir?”
The delegation, whether in amusement or embarrassment, kept smiling and looking at each other.
Watch what happened here:
A little over half a decade ago, the Bhutanese formed their first elected parliament. In 2011, the election commissions of Bhutan and India signed a memorandum of understanding (pdf) for the “promotion of exchanges of knowledge and experience in electoral processes,” among other things.
The country is still trying to learn "democracy". But picking India as example may really not have been the ideal choice.
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