How I learnt parliamentary politics from Somnath Chatterjee

He was deeply saddened by the way parliamentarians these days malign the ethics of the Lok Sabha.

 |  4-minute read |   13-08-2018
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Somnath Chatterjee has been like a father figure to me since my childhood. Under his able guidance I started taking baby steps in parliamentary politics. As far as my political knowledge and shaping up of my vision is concerned, I owe him a lot. He always motivated me.

In his vision he rose above politics, religion, caste, creed, language, nationality and regional barrier. He was a great human being.

Even when he was the Speaker of the Lok Sabha or a member of Parliament (MP) or when he was not holding any office, he persistently stressed on the practice of true parliamentary politics. In his political career, he had always followed what was justified by the Indian constitution and spent a lifetime imbibing those and never deviated.

He always made a conscious effort to uphold human rights, constitutional rights and unity of the society and the nation. He worked to ameliorate the condition of the backward and downtrodden people of our society.

somnath1-inside_081318074005.jpgUnder his able guidance I stared taking my baby steps in parliamentary politics. 

Somnath Chatterjee was an extremely talented and a multifaceted person. He was an erudite person who had the expertise to become an able judge, a great administrator, an excellent writer and a professor. But he gave up everything to be with those who had nothing. He raised his voice for those who could not speak up for themselves and fought for their rights either in parliament or in the courtroom.

He always upheld the tradition of the Lok Sabha after becoming the Speaker. Today, we get see a lot of controversies taking place, like the ethics committee that was supposed to have been created to probe into the Narada case, and which is still pending. But during his tenure as the Speaker of the Lok Sabha such incidents never occurred. During his term I was appointed as one of the members of three such committees where we had suspended the membership of 10 MPs.

He was strictly a no “nonsense man”. Unlike many, he never used to judge anyone by their appearance. He did what he thought was right and just.

somnath_081318074035.jpgHe had always upheld the tradition of Lok Sabha

As a member of the parliamentary delegates, I have travelled to many places with him. There, I had seen the other side of the man. He has taught me how to uphold the rights of the nation. During many international tours, even if he had some point of disagreement, still in many instances I had seen him maintaining a neutral front and fighting for the cause of his nation.

book_081318074209.jpgHe was exceptionally affectionate towards me

In his autobiography Keeping the Faith — Memoirs of a Parliamentarian he has penned a lot of good things about me. Such kind words of praise coming from a person of his stature and caliber puts me into immense embarrassment. But I understand this is his profound affection for me.

Parliamentarians like Hirendranath Mukherjee, Bhupesh Gupta, Indrajit Gupta who have cut out a niche for our state in the center and have also upheld the true moral of the Indian Parliament are getting tarnished in the present days. Somnath Chatterjee was deeply saddened by the way parliamentarians these days malign the ethics of the Lok Sabha as well as the deterioration of the parliamentary debates.  

He had a utilitarian point of view and until his last breath he was extremely worried about the wellbeing of the nation. He donated his eyes and body. His body would be donated to SSKM hospital.

His death is a great personal loss.

Also read: Last 'lal salaam' to Somnath Babu, who remained a Communist all his life


MD Salim MD Salim @salimdotcomrade

Socio-political worker. Politbureau Member, CPI(M). MP from Raiganj, WB. Former General Secretary, DYFI. Out-of-Box thinker tempered with pragmatism.

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