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Amendment Bill on Jallianwala Bagh Memorial – End of Entitlement Culture

Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019

The Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which has been passed in the Lok Sabha in the earlier session and the clearance in Rajya Sabha is expected to be attained in the ongoing session has made Congress jittery. The grand old party has opposed amendment to this bill. The contention of Congress over the amendment is indicating how the party that enjoyed power at the Centre for a longer period of time seemingly accustomed to the culture of entitlement.

INC President Remaining as Trustee

In the present scheme of things, President of Indian National Congress is a trustee. The amendment passed in the Lok Sabha on August 2, 2019 “delete “the President of the Indian National Congress” as a Trustee”. The amendment also makes a provision wherein, “To make “the Leader of Opposition recognised as such in the House of the People or where there is no such Leader of Opposition, then, the Leader of the single largest Opposition Party in that House” a Trustee, in place of the Leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha’ ”.

This is the gist of the bill. Before we also take into the account of other features of the bill, one need to reflect on the above-mentioned point to understand the reservations expressed by the Congress. How can a political party can claim that it should be remained as trustee in any of the organisation of national importance? Does Congress also suspect on being a single largest opposition party in Lok Sabha in the days to come? Is this not democratic on the part of the government to provide an opportunity for the single largest opposition party to be a Trustee of a national memorial? What is that makes Congress to think that it is a claimant by default in any issue of national importance?

These are the objectives that the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019 aims at:

Culture of Entitlement – Previous Instances

Remember the noise Congress had made over the changes regarding Nehru Memorial Museum and Library? The attitude of Congress was similar in that instance also, in which the government wanted Teen Murti Bhavan a place for honouring all the Prime Ministers of India, irrespective of the party they belong. But Congress wanted it exclusively for Jawaharlal Nehru’s memory. In fact, the nature and character of NMML itself is against this exclusivity. We have covered this issue in detail in our article Is Nehru’s Legacy Being Damaged at NMML As Alleged by Former PM Singh?.

In a related note, it can also be remembered that ever since the Modi government came to power, it ensured that the political class no longer overstays in the government accommodation at the expense of taxpayers’ money. In fact, many prominent figures from BJP who held public office have acted exemplary in this regard by saying no to any government facilities soon after they demitted office. You may read about this in detail in our article How Modi Government is Scripting a New Chapter of Probity in Public Life.

With the Jallianwala Bagh National Memorial (Amendment) Bill, 2019, the government has once again ensured that nobody is “entitled” to have any position and they need to earn it from democratic means.