New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) India’s unflinching commitment to democracy, despite odds, is the reason behind India’s growing global stature, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Sunday, a day that marked 60 years of the first sitting of parliament.
The prime minister said in the Rajya Sabha, “One of the reasons for our growing global stature in the world is our unflinching commitment to pursuing the democratic path to achieving social and economic salvation.”
Participating in the debate, Leader of Opposition in the house Arun Jaitley also hailed India’s growth to the stature of the largest democracy.
Both were speaking during a special sitting of parliament to mark the occasion.
Manmohan Singh said: “India have repeatedly reposed their faith in the democracy. In recent years, they are making their voice heard more forcefully by voting in higher numbers in parliamentary, state assembly and panchayat elections.”
He also raised concern over “repeated disruptions” and “unwillingness” for discussions” also stressing on restoring the decorum that is “expected from the house of elders”.
“It is not to say that we should not reflect the concern and the regrettable unwillingness on occasions to engage in the discussions,” he said.
The prime minister also quoted the first chairman of the Rajya Sabha S. Radhakrishnana, and said parliament is not only a legislative but also a deliberative body.
“So far as its deliberative functions are concerned, it will be open to us to make very valuable contributions, and it will depend on our work whether we justify this two-chamber system, which is now an integral part of our constitution,” the prime minister said quoting the thinker.
He emphasised that the deliberations of the upper house have “enriched” the parliamentary system.
“I have been a proud member of this august house for the past 21 years. I have personally witnessed and participated in some very enriching and lively debates in this august house. This house has always been a repository of wisdom that has proved invaluable to the functioning of our parliamentary democracy,” Manmohan Singh said.
Participating in the debate, Jaitley said, “Social justice, elimination of poverty, healthcare, women’s empowerment, these are all greater challenges in the decades to come,” Jaitley said while speaking in the upper house in a special sitting to mark 60 years of the Lok Sabha.
“We still continue to face the curse of terrorism and insurgency. Let us resolve there will be no politics in these issues. We will not only eliminate but sense will be that those who rebel outside the system one day, we will get them within the system,” he said.
He also paid tribute to those security officials who lost their lives in the attack on parliament in December 2001.
“The last 60 years have seen collapse of many democracies. For a poor country, it is more difficult to sustain a democracy. From poverty, we have come to being a developing nation,” Jaitley said.
“Not only did we survive, we have the distinction of becoming world’s largest democracy,” the leader of opposition added.