Speaking at the valedictory ceremony of the two-day Festival of Libraries 2023 organised by the Union culture ministry in the national capital, the VP noted that Parliament is also the temple where debate, discussion and dialogue have to take place. He said no one expects Parliament to be engaged in disturbance. People want their representatives to function in national interest and he is working in that direction.
Dhankhar, who is also the chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, said, “One is sometimes pained and anguished as some of us make a sinister effort with pernicious motivation, to taint, tarnish, demean our institutions. Be judgmental about them. Attend to their point of view. If you are convinced otherwise, never hesitate to neutralise anti-Bharat narratives because when the country of our size grows very fast and the fastest growth is projected and calibrated on global parameters.”
The VP’s remarks assume significance in the light of the fact that both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha have witnessed unruly scenes ever since Parliament met for the monsoon session on July 20. The opposition has been creating ruckus and stalling the proceedings of both the Houses demanding a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi followed by a long duration discussion and on the ethnic violence in Manipur raging since May 3. Both the Houses witness multiple forced adjournments every due to pandemonium.
On several occasions, Dhankhar in the Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla have told the opposition members to maintain decorum and allow proceedings to take place peacefully. However, their repeated appeals have not made much difference.
Dwelling on the issue, Dhankhar said, “We have enormously talented people in Parliament. They bring on the table huge experience. I want that to be utilised for national purposes. But if our parliamentary system, temples of democracy do not engage in dialogue and discussion, they are plagued by disruption and disturbance, the space is not going to be vacant and it will be occupied by forces that are not accountable to the Constitution.”
The VP appealed to the people to use their power as the common man and as citizens of the country to generate an ecosystem that they always act in a manner to keep interest of the nation first and commit themselves in an imperative manner to their duties.
He said, “We must always take pride in our country. Let us be proud Indians. Take pride in our historic achievements and must always keep our nation first.”
The VP noted that a decade ago India was in double digits, when it came to global economy status. “We were at number 10 or 11. In September 2022, we had the occasion to be at number 5 and in the process, we overtook our erstwhile colonial rulers. By the turn of the decade, we will be the third largest global economy.”
He said when there is such an unprecedented and unparalleled growth, which could not have been dreamed of a few years ago, there are bound to be reactionary challenges. “I would appeal to everyone, when it comes to nationalism or the interest of the nation, never have a partisan approach.”
Dhankhar was of the opinion that a political partisan approach is fine in the political arena. But when one becomes a stakeholder in the growth of the nation, politics must take a back seat.
“Can you imagine in a country when law takes its course, people take to the streets? This has not happened anywhere in the civilised world. If you have to face the wrath of law, the only way out is to take recourse to the robust judicial system we have in the country. And that robust judicial system, I can say without the fear of contradiction, is the best in the world. Why, therefore, take to the streets?” he asked.