Watch: MP argues for constitutional review with traditional Hindi song

Screengrab via Twitter video of MP Nyi Sein singing. Via Htin Kyaw Aye @ Ananda
Screengrab via Twitter video of MP Nyi Sein singing. Via Htin Kyaw Aye @ Ananda

Naypyidaw’s Union Assembly meetings are usually routine and often boring affairs — save for that dramatic confrontation between the military and the NLD-led civilian government over the decision to form a constitutional review committee last week — but an MP decided to incorporate a little pizzazz into yesterday’s parliamentary proceedings with a traditional Hindi song.

U Nyi Sein, the Ta-ang National Party MP for Shan State’s 5th constituency, surprised the other MPs attending the otherwise drab parliamentary session when he introduced an element of song-and-dance to his speech arguing for the formation of a constitutional review committee.

“This traditional song is from our neighbors, India”, he said, before breaking into a little song-and-dance in a speech making the case for constitutional amendment during Tuesday’s parliamentary session, prompting laughter on the floor.

MP Nyi Sein enthusiastically sang a line from the song, bouncing up and down in in position, while other MPs around him looked on with entertained looks on their faces.

With smiles all around, Nyi Sein, told his fellow MPs that the line he sang in Hindi translates to “Peace and equality are twin siblings.”

Amending the constitution was the signature campaign promise of the NLD government in 2015, something they had placed on the back-burner until just a week ago.

In a surprise announcement to begin discussions about the formation of the aforementioned committee last week, the NLD-led civilian government moved to begin the process on the two year anniversary of the assassination of NLD legal advisor, U Ko Ni, who was reportedly working on revising the 2008 constitution before being shot in broad daylight outside Yangon International Airport.

The current constitution reserves 25% of the seats in the upper and lower houses of parliament for the military and places key ministries, such as Defence, Border Affairs, Home Affairs under their control.

Nyi Sein’s reference to the Hindi song was part of his argument that the constitution was preventing equality from being achieved in Myanmar. Therefore, to achieve peace, the twin of equality, you need to amend the undemocratic portions of the constitution.

The process of amending the constitution will no doubt be a long, difficult and tedious one for politicians. MP Nyi Sein probably had the right idea trying to add a little levity to things with his song-and-dance moment. After all, as Groucho Marx said, “if you’re not having fun, you’re doing something wrong.”

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