PM Modi at Sansad TV launch: ‘In India, democracy is our life stream’
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday suggested that better debates and conduct can help parliamentarians connect with more people, as he launched Sansad TV jointly with Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla.
Sansad TV has been created by merging Lok Sabha TV and Rajya Sabha TV.
During his speech, the Prime Minister said that while people usually say that content is king, in his experience, content is also “connect” as better content can reach out to more people.
“As much as this applies to the media, it is equally applicable to our parliamentary system. There is not only politics in Parliament, there is also policymaking. When Parliament is in session, debates are held on diverse subjects, and there is so much for the youth to learn. Members of Parliament also get inspiration for better conduct, better debate inside Parliament when the country watches them,” Modi said.
Vice President Naidu echoed similar sentiments and said that Parliament needs “voice, not noise”, an apparent reference to frequent disruptions that marred the last monsoon session in both Houses of Parliament. The Chairman of the Upper House, currently considering an allegation of disruption against several Opposition MPs, added: “We need to have meaningful debates echoing people’s aspirations. The loud disruptive noise should not drown the voice of people.”
Addressing the event, the PM backed the new television channel as technology is rapidly changing. Lauding the channel as “a new chapter in the story of Indian democracy”, PM said: “The country is getting a medium of communication and dialogue which will become a new voice of the nation’s democracy and people’s representative.”
Reiterating that India is the mother of democracy, Modi said: “India has more responsibility when it comes to democracy. It is not just a system, democracy is an idea, a spirit in India. It is our life stream.”
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said that Sansad TV will help the country watch the entire democratic system from Parliament to panchayet. “This will show positive and inspiring works of our elected representatives and make young people aware of our parliamentary work.” Earlier in the day, Birla, in a conference of presiding officers, emphasised maintaining discipline and decorum in Parliament and other legislatures. “Collective and coordinated efforts are required by the Presiding Officers, Leaders of all parties to ensure the implementation of the earlier resolutions and decisions (to maintain decorum).”
He suggested a separate meeting of presiding officers on decorum and discipline.
Naidu sought parliamentary debates to “amplify concerns, clarify doubts and deepen shared understanding”. “Debates in the legislatures throw up solutions to the problems. But disruptions only dissipate our collective energies and delay the task of building a new India.”
Sansad TV CEO Ravi Kapoor said that the new channel will reduce cost by 25% and run around 60 programmes such as Defenders (for India’s armed forces) and “Itihas”, to narrate the history of modern India. Women’s issues will be discussed in “Meri Kahani” and special programmes such as “India’s start up journey”, “Healthy India”, “Smart kheti” and “Art of science” will be telecast on related subjects.