Fish Mongers, Unite!

WE, who sell fish to the public, must protest against the slur cast on us by Justice S N Dhingra during his remarks on TADA detainee Kalpnath Rai. He compared the functioning of Parliament to a fish market. This is surely an injustice to us fishmongers.

He said, \”In the past, most of the time of the nation in the most prestigious institutions, that is the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, has been wasted by causing walk-outs, pandemonium, creating fish-market scenes and halla guild and going to the extent of using muscle power in the House.\” Now, it may be true that the functioning of Parliament is frequently paralysed by shouting and pandemonium. But this can hardly be equated with a fish-market scene. In a fish market, the din and shouting is a way of conducting business. This is very different from Parliament, where the din is aimed at obstructing business.

In a fish-market, as in a stock exchange, participants shout aloud their bids and offers in order to improve communications. But in Parliament, people shout to drown out others, not to communicate with them. This leads to walk-outs in Parliament, something which never happens in a fish market.

The honourable judge may be right in saying that the two Houses have transacted very little legislative business in recent sessions. But how can he imply the same for us? We in the fish market always transact business, from morning to evening. Indeed, we seek to maximise business, whereas many in Parliament seek to minimise it.

Our livelihood depends on conducting our business. Apparently, that of parliamentarians does not.

For us, time is valuable. For parliamentarians, it seems not.

There are, of course, occasions when parliamentarians do not shout at all. When one of them dies, they promptly declare a holiday and disperse. We in the fish market continue working regardless of deaths in the community. Customers for fish depend on us, and we cannot afford to let them down. MPs apparently can.

We hear that the High Court has passed strictures against Justice Dhingra for his remarks. But it seems the strictures relate to his remarks against MPs, not against us fishmongers. This is grossly unjust. We appeal to the High Court to rectify the injustice.

sd/-Fishmongers\’ Society of India.

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