Farewell Mr. Sircar | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 27, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 27, 2009


Farewell Mr. Sircar

You leave a bad legacy

MR. Jamiruddin Sircar has relinquished his duty as the Speaker. We would like to wish him good health and a happy future with the hope that he would be able to acquit himself better in his new calling, whatever that might be, than he had done as the Speaker of the eighth parliament.
When we look back on his role as the facilitator of the parliament's business, the presiding officer of the legislature, we are constrained to say that history will not be kind to him. It is a matter of regret that he was unable to rise above his partisan identity and act impartially as the Speaker of the House.
We cannot but find his statement, made to the parliament before handing over the gavel to the new incumbent, that success of the parliament is the success of democracy and democratic government, and his exhortation that the new speaker and his deputy be impartial in discharging their duties, rather ironic. Mr. Sircar wants others to live up to the very standards that he himself had dismally failed to live up to. We find his assertion that he had allotted more time to the opposition rather amusing. The facts speak differently.
We wonder whether one can truly say that the last parliament was a functional and successful one. On the contrary, by making the opposition ineffective in the parliament by denying it the space to perform as an effective opposition, the legislature was made virtually unproductive. He forgot the very essence of his role, that of a referee not a player.
Mr. Sircar had failed to reach out to the opposition and did very little, if at all, to gain their confidence. He did not allow a single bill from the opposition during the five years of the parliament. It boggles our mind to think that he did not find any of the bills that the opposition wanted to bring to the floor of the House worthy of his consideration. This is a record that will perhaps remain unsurpassed in the annals of legislative history.
His partisan character was never more blatantly demonstrated than when he refused to allow discussion on the 21 August grenade blast. This was a matter of grave national importance, and no one with an ounce of love for the country would have seen the matter through a partisan eye. Moreover, he repeatedly thwarted efforts to allow discussion on important national issues like price hike, Kansat etc, thus preventing people's concerns to be brought to the floor of the house whose task it is to debate issues of public suffering.
We regret to say that he even failed to uphold the sanctity of his office by misusing his protocol during the last election and by undertaking trips abroad that could have been avoided. He didn't think twice before appointing persons of his constituency to different posts in the parliament disregarding the norms.
We would like to repose our faith in the new Speaker of the House, and contrary to what Mr. Sircar suggests to the new Speaker, that he tread his path, we would hope that Mr. Abdul Hamid would work to restore the image of the Chair, and make parliament more effective.

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