All the Members of Parliament are defenders of the dignity of the Parliament, whether they represent the ruling party or the opposition, said the President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind. He was speaking at the Constitution Day celebrations, being organized by the Indian Parliamentary Group, in the Central Hall of Parliament House today (November 26, 2021).
The President said that Parliament is at the apex of India’s democratic system. All MPs gather here to discuss issues related to public interest along with making laws. In fact, the elected representatives of the Gram Sabha, the Vidhan Sabha and the Parliament should have only one priority. That singular priority lies in working for the welfare of all the people of their constituencies and for the interest of the nation. He said that there may be differences of opinion, but no difference should be so great as to hinder the real purpose of public service. It is natural for members of the ruling party and the opposition to compete – but this competition should be about being better representatives and doing better things for the public good. Only then will it be considered healthy competition. Competition in Parliament should not be confused with rivalry. We all believe that our Parliament is a ‘Temple of Democracy’. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of every parliamentarian to conduct themselves in this temple of democracy with the same spirit of reverence with which they do in their places of worship.
The President said that the opposition is, in fact, the most important element of democracy. Without an effective opposition, democracy becomes ineffective. It is expected that the Government and the opposition, despite their differences, continue to work together in the best interests of the citizens. Our constitution makers had envisioned this and it is also necessary for nation-building.
The President said that if the Members of Parliament look at their responsibility as an extension of the ideals of the freedom struggle, they would remain mindful of their duty towards strengthening the legacy of the framers of the Constitution. If they realize that they are occupying the places where once our constitution makers used to sit, they would naturally feel a deep sense of history and sense of duty.
Speaking about the release of digital version of the debates, calligraphed version of the Constitution and updated version of the Constitution as well as launch of online quiz on constitutional democracy, the President said that in the Constituent Assembly debates we get glimpses of the greatness of human thought and consciousness channelled for nation building. With the digital version of the debates made available, not only our countrymen but the whole world, especially the younger generation, would get to know about the greatness and potential of our country and would also get guidance for the future. In the calligraphed version of the Constitution, people would get to see the finest examples of the excellence of our art, culture and ideals contained in our history and legend. With the updated version of the Constitution, citizens, especially students would get knowledge about the journey of our constitutional progress so far. The initiative to conduct online quiz on the subject of constitutional democracy would be very effective in promoting constitutional values among our citizens, especially the younger generation.
The President said that we have recently observed the year-long 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi. We are now celebrating the 75th anniversary of our Independence. It is a matter of happiness for all of us that people from all over the country are actively participating in various programs organized as part of ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. It is evident from the enthusiasm of ordinary citizens that they carry within their hearts, deep respect for those known and unknown freedom fighters whose sacrifices made it possible for us to breathe the air of freedom. He stated that commemorating such historic events are also occasions to remind us of the values which our freedom fighters fought for. Those values of Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity are enshrined in the preamble of our Constitution. He urged all to rededicate themselves to follow those great national ideals in our daily lives. He said that by following these ideals, we would further enhance our stature on the world stage and would be equipped to face any challenge effectively.