Rajya Sabha Vice President Dhankhar Eliminates Additional Friday Namaz Break, Citing Rulebook Adherence

New Delhi, December 10, 2023

In a significant move, Vice President of the Rajya Sabha, Jagdeep Dhankhar, has implemented changes to the schedule, eliminating the additional 30-minute break designated for Namaz on Fridays. The alteration, enforced by Dhankhar, is seen as a decisive shift in adhering strictly to the existing rulebook.

Traditionally, the Rajya Sabha operates from 11 AM to 1 PM and resumes proceedings from 2 PM to 6 PM, allowing for a one-hour lunch break from 1 PM to 2 PM. However, Fridays have historically deviated from this routine, with the house reconvening at 2.30 PM after the lunch break.

The decision to remove the supplementary break for Friday prayers has sparked discussions within the political sphere, with opinions divided on the matter. Proponents argue that the move aligns with the standardized schedule outlined in the rulebook, promoting a sense of uniformity in the daily proceedings of the Rajya Sabha.

Critics, on the other hand, express concerns about the potential implications on religious accommodations and the overall atmosphere of inclusivity within the parliamentary setting. The Friday Namaz break had been a long-standing practice, providing members the opportunity to observe religious obligations during the working hours.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar, in justifying the decision, emphasized the importance of upholding parliamentary protocols and adhering strictly to the established rules. The move is expected to set a precedent for maintaining procedural integrity within the Rajya Sabha.

As discussions surrounding this decision unfold, it remains to be seen how this change will impact the dynamics of parliamentary proceedings and whether it will spark further debate on the balance between religious accommodations and the adherence to institutional rules.