The Vice President, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu has appealed to all political parties to ensure that the Parliament functions effectively and evolve a code of conduct for their members. This would ensure that the stature of Parliament and parliamentarians was enhanced and would reinforce people’s trust in the sacred institution.
Speaking after giving away Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2018 to nine MPs, including Lifetime Achievement Awards to Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi and Shri Sharad Pawar, the Vice President expressed his concern over disruptions caused by unruly behavior of a few members and pointed out that people were not appreciative of such behavior.
The Vice President said that the need of the hour was to have new norms of public and political discourse. He said people while electing public representatives should give preference to those who possess character, good conduct, caliber and capacity. Unfortunately, four other Cs—cash, community, caste and criminality were getting precedence at times.
Shri Naidu also expressed his concern over the downward trend witnessed in the last few decades in the overall quality of debates.
The Vice President also advised the media to highlight constructive debates that take place in the Parliament and not obstructive incidents.
The Vice President said that a great parliamentarian’s life was always dedicated to the cause of the people. The collective faith of the nation was vested upon them and those in public life have a tremendous opportunity to shape the future and make history, he said. As parliamentarians, every word they utter, every decision they make, every vote they cast, resonates deeply within the hearts of their people who have great expectations from them.
Shri Naidu said that a good parliamentary debate shakes the Government and fires the imaginations of the public and the media. Deliberation in the Parliament, by way of representation of different points of view was an indispensable feature of the functioning of democracy, he added.
Lauding the awardees, Shri Naidu said they had ushered in a refreshing new work culture through their commitment and dedication. They have all been inspirational to their counterparts in some form or the other, he added.
The Vice President said though the media was not formally recognized as a part of a political system, it wielded significant power and was capable of influencing the society both directly and indirectly. “Unfortunately, today we see a number of unwelcome tendencies in the media environment such as the mixing of news with views, the propagation of fake news, sensationalism and various kinds of biases and vested interests in reporting news”, he added.
The Vice President said that a sense of duty and commitment to democracy and the common man should be what drives media and not the motive for amassing profit. Media should also be sensitive to the plight of those who have been wronged and brave enough to expose the wrongdoers even if they are in positions of great power and privilege, he added.
He said the media should never lose sight of its Dharma, the original mission of informing, educating and empowering people.
Shri Naidu said that the vision of Lokmat Group’s chairman Shri Vijay Darda has conceived and shaped the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards. Those who have been selected for the awards have distinguished themselves by raising the voice of the common man in the Parliament and they are definitely worthy of praise, he added.
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar, the former Chief Minister of J&K, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Gansraj Gangaram Ahir, the Chairman of Lokmat Group, Shri Vijay Darda and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Awardees of Lokmat Parliamentary Award 2018 include Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi – `Life Time Achievement Award’ as Member of the Lok Sabha, Shri Sharad Pawar – `Life Time Achievement Award’ as Member of the Rajya Sabha, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad – Best Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Rajya Sabha, Shri Nishikant Dubey – Best Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Lok Sabha, Smt. Rama Devi – Best Woman Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Lok Sabha, Ms. Kanimozhi – Best Woman Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Rajya Sabha and Smt. Chhaya Verma – Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Rajya Sabha.
Following is the text of Vice President’s address:
“‘लोकमत संसदीय पुरस्कार’ जैसे एक महत्वपूर्ण और अभिनंदनीय पहल के लिए मैं लोकमत मीडिया समूह को बधाईदेता हूं। मुझे ज्ञात हुआ है कि इन पुरस्कारों का उद्देश्य हमारे देश के प्रतिभाशाली और विद्वान सांसदों को सम्मानित – प्रोत्साहित करना है।
एक महान सांसद का जीवन जनता की सेवा में समर्पित होता है। देश का साझा विश्वास और आशा उनमें निहित होती है।जो लोग जन सेवा में समर्पित हैं उनके पास देश का भविष्य संवारने और एक इतिहास रचने का, स्वर्णिम अवसर होताहै।
सांसद के रूप में आपके द्वारा बोले गये हर शब्द, हर निर्णय, आपके हर मत में, आपकी जनता की अपेक्षा, आशा कीअनुगूंज प्रतिध्वनित होती है।
I congratulate the Lokmat media group for envisioning the ‘Lokmat Parliamentary Awards’, an important and much needed initiative. I am happy to know that these awards seek to honour and appreciate the brilliant parliamentarians of our country.
A great parliamentarian’s life is dedicated to the cause of the people. The collective faith of the nation is vested upon them.
Those in public life have a tremendous opportunity to shape the future and make History.
During my travels across the country over the last one year, I could clearly see a certain degree of unrest among the people over our political discourse not being in alignment with the aspirational India.
People conveyed their anguish saying..”Har cheese me rajniti hoti hi..samasyaye kaise sudhrenge is tarike se?”
That is a genuine concern. The way we run our polity should be assuring the people about their future and that of the country.
As parliamentarians, every word you utter, every decision you make, every vote you cast, resonates deeply within the hearts of your people who have great expectations from you.
It is therefore important to reassure them, to reaffirm their confidence in you as well as the parliamentary system.
One way of ensuring this is to be guided by a certain degree of national consensus over issues of broader concern and the political debates conducted on those lines.
For example, such issues for consensus could be economic reforms, national security including terrorism, nationalism, addressing regional inequalities etc.
Recognitions such as the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards stand testament to the great work that parliamentarians do, they speak of their dedication and their commitment to the nation and its people.
They play a crucial role in strengthening and concretizing the faith of people in Parliamentary democracy.
I understand that the winners of these prestigious awards have been chosen through a rigorous selection process by a distinguished Jury Board.
The winners are those Members of Parliament who have ushered in a refreshing new work culture through their commitment and dedication. They have all been inspirational to their counterparts in some form or the other.
Along with congratulating today’s winners, I take this opportunity to appreciate the all those MPs who have not been recognized here today but are doing exceptional work through their productive and disciplined interventions in the Parliament.
I am pleased to learn that Lokmat not only purveys news through print, electronic and digital media but also plays the role of a social ambassador.
Lokmat is deeply embedded in the social, political, economic and cultural landscape of Maharashtra and Goa.
Media is very often referred to as the Fourth Estate and has been attributed the title of ‘the watch dog of democracy’. Though media is not formally recognized as a part of a political system, it wields significant power and is capable of influencing the society both directly and indirectly.
Unfortunately, today we see a number of unwelcome tendencies in the media environment such as the mixing of news with views, the propagation of fake news, sensationalism and various kinds of biases and vested interests in reporting news.
As we look for ways in which we can deepen democracy, we all agree that media is a close invaluable partner in strengthening democratic culture.
However, it would be useful if the temptation of giving more importance to disturbances and disruptions than the constructive contribution made by the members in the House can be overcome.
My appeal to media on this occasion is that they have a greater responsibility to see that constructive debate is given importance and not obstructive behavior.
A vibrant, independent and truthful media of unquestionable integrity is crucial to empower the common man and to ensure the accountability of the government. The media should serve as any democracy’s moral compass.
The media should be capable of effective self regulation, self monitoring and course correction.
Media should never lose sight of its Dharma, the original mission of informing, educating and empowering people.
A sense of duty and commitment to democracy and the common man should be what drives media and not the motive for amassing profit.
Media should also be sensitive to the plight of those who have been wronged and brave enough to expose the wrongdoers even if they are in positions of great power and privilege.
They should always maintain high benchmarks of professionalism in reporting and journalism and maintain immaculate standards of ethics.
It is heartening to know that Lokmat is protecting and nourishing its long legacy of truthful and fearless reporting.
I am glad that whenever there is a crisis in the country, the Lokmat group has come forward with full vigour and has fulfilled its social obligations.
The vision of Lokmat Group’s chairman Shri Vijay Darda has conceived and shaped the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards. I understand that Lokmat earlier honoured members of Maharashtra Legislature. The awards have now moved to the national stage.
Those who have been selected for the awards have distinguished themselves by raising the voice of the common man in the Parliament. They are definitely worthy of praise.
Recognitions such as these will surely motivate budding MPs to be more dedicated, creative and energetic. Parliament is the central pillar of democratic governance. It is the voice of the people and articulates their hopes, aspirations and dreams through laws that govern their lives. Armed with legislative, deliberative and oversight functions, the Parliament strives to achieve the country’s socio-economic objectives.
Parliament, over the years, has enacted a number of forward looking legislations in pursuance of its goal of fostering a welfare state.
Whenever there has been a threat to the country’s unity and integrity, the Parliament has risen to the occasion, strengthening the hands of the Government.
A good parliamentary debate shakes the Government and fires the imaginations of the public and the media. Deliberation in the Parliament, by way of representation of different points of view is an indispensable feature of the functioning of democracy.
A good parliamentarian should be disciplined. In the recent times, a number of Parliamentary sessions have been disrupted due to the sporadic, unruly and unparliamentary behavior of a few members and their utter disregard for the sanctity of the Parliament.
Such behavior leads to the erosion of public’s respect for the legislatures and the wastage of precious time that could otherwise have been spent on productive discussions.
So, the need of the hour is new norms of public and political discourse. If things are going wrong, they should be pointed out with all the force. At the same time, the good things happening also need to be flagged by everyone concerned.
The Parliament and all the legislatures of the States need to be guided the faith of the people of our country in democracy and do their bit to redeem the faith of the people in the legislatures.
The best way of doing is by ensuring meaningful and productive sessions of law making bodies.
The governments and the political parties have the right and responsibility of pursuing respective agendas.
But such agendas need to be harmonized to evolve a common agenda for the nation. The sole aim of such common agenda shall be the rapid development of country which would only help in realization of the hopes and aspirations of the people of our country. Legislatures are the best forums for evolving such common agenda.
एक अच्छे सांसद को अनुशासित होना चाहिए। यह चिंता का विषय है कि हाल के समय में संसद के सत्र कुछ सदस्यों केगैर जिम्मेदाराना व्यवहार के कारण बाधित हुए हैं।
इस प्रकार के व्यवधान से जनता की नजर में सांसद का सम्मान कम होता है और सदन का बहुमूल्य समय भी नष्ट होताहै जोबहस के लिए प्रयोग किया जाना चाहिए। ऐसे अवसर पर मुझे पूर्व राष्ट्रपति श्री प्रणब मुखर्जी का स्मरण हो आता हैजब उन्होंने सांसदों से अपेक्षा की थी “Debate, Discuss and Decide but don’t disrupt.”
यद्यपि सदन में सांसदों के व्यवहार के लिए नियम हैं, फिर भी प्राय: लगता है कि व्यवधान किसी राजनैतिक रणनीति केतहत किया जाता है। मैं राजनैतिक दलों से अपेक्षा करूंगा कि वे साझा रूप से अपने सदस्यों के लिए Code of Conduct विकसित करें। राजनैतिक दलों का यह प्रयास जनता की नजर में न सिर्फ संसद का बल्कि सांसदों और उनके दलों कासम्मान बढ़ायेगा। यदि संसद एक राजनैतिक संस्था है तो इसकी प्रतिष्ठा में राजनैतिक दलों की प्रतिष्ठा भी निहित है।
I recall the wise counsel of our former President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee who said: “Debate, Discuss and Decide but don’t disrupt”.
The political parties must evolve a code of conduct for its members. This will ensure that the stature of parliamentarians and the parliament is enhanced. This will reinforce people’s trust in this sacred institution.
We have to work collectively to infuse greater transparency, sincerity and responsiveness in the functioning of our parliament.
It with grave concern that I note here that barring a few parliamentarians, the over-all quality of debates has seen a definite downward trend in the last few decades.
The quality of interventions and debates can be substantially enhanced with adequate homework and preparation by the Members of Parliament.
They should develop a deep and analytical understanding of the issues that are to be brought to the Parliament’s attention and maintain a strong connection with their constituencies through regular interactions and exchanges.
A Member of Parliament should also be able to put the larger interest of the nation above the interests of their political parties.
Today, a new India is emerging. A substantial part of our population constitutes youth who have higher aspirations for better life.
They expect our democratic institutions and public representatives to respond to their needs and provide ample opportunities for their empowerment.
We know that there are Members who are capable of doing great work and are genuinely engaged in shaping the bright future of the people.
Parliamentarians must hear their voices. They must have patience to hear diverse opinions.
Only then can we arrive at carefully considered decisions. Each political party must help build this culture of mutual respect, reasoned arguments and well-informed debate.
Politics is to connect and reach consensus and not to divide or create enmity among people.
Competitive and confrontational politics are not in the interest of any parliamentary democracy.
I congratulate all the proud winners of these prestigious awards. I do hope that the great legacy of democracy that we have inherited remains safe in your hands and you will, in turn, inspire other parliamentarians to contribute to national development.