Shiv Khera, a popular motivational speaker and author, had in one of his most popular books, said that skills, habits and qualities of people are like the tools of a woodcutter or a carpenter; these require to be sharpened and honed at regular intervals to keep them effective. It is not known whether the BJP had picked up this idea.
But then the fact remains that persons who belong to any and every profession – from a chef to a Home Guard, a doctor and a senior government officer – need to sharpen their skills at regular intervals. That is exactly why government officers have to undergo a series of training and orientation programmes. These programmes not only upgrade and sharpen the skills that they require to run the administration and maintain law and order but also to cope up with changing times. What exactly was why former Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan had established a Speaker's Research Initiative (SRI) in Lok Sabha in 2015, whose major objective was to assist the Members of Parliament (MPs) in playing a more effective role in law-making, Parliamentary debates, oversight of governance and also respond to the ever-increasing, ever more complex issues of national and international importance. A similar project called Speaker's Initiative was also launched in the Assam Legislative Assembly by former Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami in 2017, through which the MLAs were put through interactive sessions with experts on various fields to facilitate clear conceptions on emerging issues and also to enrich their knowledge base. Aam Aadmi Party had conducted a training programme for its MLAs when it first came to power in Delhi. The Assam Legislative Assembly had conducted such training-cum-orientation programmes for newly-elected in 2016 as well as in 2021, though the participation of the Hon'ble MLAs is understood to have remained much below expectation for various reasons. In Madhya Pradesh, the State Assembly Secretariat had in July this year had conducted a two-day mandatory training session for the state's Hon'ble MLAs on how to avoid unparliamentary words and expressions while taking part in the proceedings of the House. It is interesting to note that Assembly Secretariat officials in Madhya Pradesh spent close to three months scanning through Assembly proceedings and identified a little over 300 words which have been considered unparliamentary and prepared a handbook containing them, as also containing instructions on how to avoid them and what kind of words to use so that the decorum of the House is maintained properly. It is indeed refreshing to see an attempt being made to maintain the decorum of a State Assembly by way of training hon'ble MLAs on which unparliamentary words to avoid, this at a time when the use of abusive and derogatory and defamatory words and expressions has almost become a part of life for many people.