Sixty years of parliamentary democracy has delivered several historic legislations, but many more milestones have to be crossed to meet the rising aspirations of the world’s largest democracy, key speakers said at a function to commemorate 60 years of Parliament at the Central Hall.
Underlining the challenge of pushing India towards a healthier democracy, President Pratibha Patil, in her speech, said, “We must constantly improve our systems, and remove all corrupt and other malpractices.”
The President’s observations were seen coming in the backdrop of the upsurge in the civil society movement. “People are articulating their demands very vocally and many shades of opinions are emerging. There is always the requirement of finding a balance...,” Patil said.
While she asked the legislatures, judiciary, executive, citizens and media to play their roles responsibly, Vice-president Hamid Ansari minced no words when he said, “more needs to be done to attain the lofty objectives .... delineated in the Preamble to the Constitution… We need to respond meaningfully to awakened expectations...”.
PM Manmohan Singh pointed out that the mechanisms and safeguards in India’s functioning democracy allows for reconciliation of diverse interests. He emphasised that revival of the “reasoned and constructive debate” in Parliament is required to earn people’s respect.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar emphasised that MPs must keep in mind they will be assessed for their performance in Parliament and that national interest should always be paramount for them.