No words ‘banned’, unparliamentary words expunged in context: LS Speaker

New Delhi, July 14 (FN Agency) Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Thursday clarified that no words have been ‘banned’ from use in Parliament, and the list of unparliamentary words prepared by the Lok Sabha secretariat is an old tradition, and the listed words are expunged only if used in a particular context. Speaking after a controversy was ensued by a new list of unparliamentary words issued by the Lok Sabha Secretariat, Birla said while no word was banned, lawmakers should ensure that the language used in Parliament and the conduct keeps the dignity of Parliament. “It came to my notice that Lok Sabha secretariat has issued a list of unparliamentary words which are not as per the dignity of Parliament. It includes context of state assemblies as well… This is a procedure of Lok Sabha has been on since 1954. Unparliamentary words are deleted as per presiding officer from the MP’s speech,” Birla said.

“Those who have no idea about parliamentary traditions have triggered a debate, they should know that no word has been banned. Words are expunged as required in certain context,” the Speaker explained. He said list of unparliamentary words is published time to time, and since 2010, it is being issued annually. The decision to include words in the list is based on the decisions by presiding officers in the Houses as well as state assemblies, and the parliaments of Commonwealth countries. Explaining the procedure further, the Speaker said usually words are expunged if MPs object to it, or by the presiding officer as per their wisdom. The expunged copy of speech is sent to the lawmaker, and they can submit a notice to the Secretariat if they have objections.

“I assure people and MPs, you have elected me as Speaker, whether government or opposition, all are protected and have freedom of speech… No word has been banned.the collection is based on references from assemblies and Parliament. No one can take away freedom of expression but it should be ensured debates are dignified,” he said. Birla also said the words in the list include references of words used by both ruling an opposition members, and cited the example of the word ‘Koyla chor’ (coal thief). He also gave example of the word ‘ashamed’ and said it was banned in 2012. Lok Sabha secretariat issued a list of unparliamentary words, banning words like jumlebaaz’, ‘Covid spreader’, ‘Snoopgate’, and ‘Khalistan’ among others, triggering a controversy. Opposition Congress said the government banned all words used by Opposition to question its policies. The controversy started just ahead of the Monsoon Session of parliament which starts July 18.