16 Sep 2023  |   06:08am IST

Why a lotus on new staff uniform in Parliament?

The Central government continues to make controversial decisions in its last year of Lok Sabha tenure.

Of course, these decisions are appropriate according to the ruling party, but there is a lot that can be objected to if one was to analyse these decisions with a neutral approach. 

A special Parliamentary session has been called, which begins from September 18. The first day of the session will be held in the Old Parliament House while it will continue from Day Two in the newly built New Parliament building. The uniforms of the Parliament workers have been changed, and it seems as though the government has decided to not take anything from the Old Parliament House to the new one. 

The Members of Parliament are able to style themselves as per their wish - be it jackets, kurtas, suits, blazers and so on, while the Parliament staff were supposed to continue with their old uniform. Maybe this is what the government felt bad about and decided to revamp the staff uniforms as well. However, the irony is that the government has not maintained uniformity even in the matter of assigning uniforms. The staff working at the table office, notice office and parliament reporting section have been given uniforms with the figure of a lotus flower on it, while other departments’ staff members have been given different uniforms. While this is objectionable, however, as per the government, this uniform showcases ‘Indianness’. The intent is not to question the move but to question why one of the uniforms has a lotus flower on it. 

Lotus is the electoral symbol of Bharatiya Janata Party, and Congress has accused the ruling party of saffronising the Parliament personnel. Congress’ question is fair, and the BJP does not seem to have a valid answer to it. BJP in its response has said that lotus is India’s national flower and there is no reason for it to be objected. However, is this believable? There’s no compulsion to use lotus on a uniform despite it being a national flower. There are multiple other things which would have looked good on the uniform. If the government wanted only a flower, then they could have chosen any other flower species. One might also ask why not a lotus flower? The answer is very obvious as this flower is BJP’s electoral symbol. It does not make sense to feature it on uniforms of government servants. If Congress were to use the symbol of hand and call it the hand of hard working labourers/workers, would that have worked? BJP leaders would have never agreed to such a move. So, why should the Opposition parties agree with the ruling party’s stubbornness now? The government needs to actively show through its actions that it is judicial. 

The government has lost its credibility by printing a lotus on the uniforms and they did not stop there. The ruling party has also drawn the symbol of lotus on the carpet of Rajya Sabha. What was the motto behind this? The government owes answers to the Opposition and its people, but seldom do those in power consider it to be an important part of their duty to be answerable. The possibility for them to address this controversy is little to none. All this signals towards BJP's intention of publicising their party symbol, but they need to remember that just because they are in power presently does not mean they will be ruling forever. What if the things they have done are reversed in future? The current regime has changed many things, including the names which were given during Congress’ rule. They have changed museums and parks named after Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru as well. Nehru was independent India’s first Prime Minister and had contributed immensely to the country’s freedom movements. He even had to serve 10 years of imprisonment for the same. Memories of such personalities have to be preserved and celebrated but the current government does not miss an opportunity to erase them. 

The effort to divert the public attention from burning issues to the minor ones is nothing but appalling. ‘India v/s Bharat’ is one such battle that the government has ignited between the countrymen. Is this of any benefit to anyone? The government is supposed to bring a positive change in the day-to-day life of the common people, but, instead, it is only creating more problems. 


Idhar Udhar