15 Jan 2012

Unparliamentary Behaviour, Really?

I will focus my attention today from daily musings to a phrase in English – ‘Unparliamentary Behaviour.’

I was fooling around in office one day, pulling people’s legs (something I’m good at) when one of the copywriters told me to stop my ‘Unparliamentary Behaviour’. And that’s when the discussion started.

I am not the 1st to question this term; it’s been questioned by a lot of people before. But how did the people who coined the term agree to it in the 1st place? Yes, ‘Unparliamentary Behaviour’ is a term to describe unruly behaviour on the part of a person/people. Quite a paradox, that! Not just India, parliaments across the world have witnessed various instances of more than mere unruly behaviour while the house has been in motion.

It’s hard to find images of unruly parliamentary behaviour online, but Isreal, Zimbabwe, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, etc. have all seen many instances of vandalism in the parliament. Research states that about 22% of the parliament’s time is lost due to such misbehaviour. Australia and some other countries have proposed a fine on politicians who misbehave and cause damage in the parliament. This should rein in those hooligans. Pity it won’t work in India, though...

So, is ‘unparliamentary’ an apt term for unruly behaviour? You would agree it should be the opposite, isn’t it? ‘Parliamentary Behaviour’, right? But it’s highly unlikely this change in diction will be implemented because it’s gonna be a major blotch on the so – called image of these politicians.

I still don’t get it! Do these politicians & bureaucrats assume their behaviour is an example for us? Where is the correlation between misbehaviour and behaviour of bureaucrats?  My office colleague and I are still scratching our heads. Someone please make sense of it for me! :(


  1. just like saying 'its not cricket'!
    the noble has been replaced by the ignoble!

  2. Vishal, if un-parliamentary behavior = un-ruly behavior.. then a parliamentary behavior should logically mean 'decent'.. Which is quite ironic in itself!! :D

  3. lol very intrstng post,i thnk i will have to agree with magiceye here:)

  4. What a contradictory word ya and the colleague who used it, does he watch TV :D

  5. Thanks for your comments, guys :)

    Do you think we can change this term and make it something more apt, like 'Parliamentary Behaviour'? ;)

  6. So 78% of the time is spent on useful business! that's far better statistics compared to India!
    Vishal, but be careful. What you are writing may amount to breach of privilege of parliament!
    Nice post.

  7. Thank you for dropping by and leaving a comment, sir... :)


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