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India’s Hostage Parliament

NEW DELHI – The ongoing disruption of the “monsoon session” of the Indian parliament has showcased both the resilience of India’s democracy and the irresponsibility with which its custodians treat it.

Demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the allegedly improper allocation of coal-mining blocks to private companies, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party has stalled parliament’s work for three of the session’s four weeks. The repeated paralysis of parliament by slogan-shouting BJP members – violating every canon of legislative propriety and prompting the hapless speaker to adjourn each day’s meeting – has caused legislative business to grind to a halt.