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PM’s address at inaugural session of 82nd All India Presiding Officers’ Conference

PM’s address at inaugural session of 82nd All India Presiding Officers’ Conference

Namaskar!

Present with us in this program are Hon’ble Speaker of Lok Sabha Shri Om Birla ji, Hon’ble Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Shri Harivansh ji, Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh Shri Jai Ram Thakur ji, Leader of Opposition in Himachal Legislative Assembly Shri Mukesh Agnihotri ji, Speaker of Himachal Vidhan Sabha Shri Vipin Singh Parmar ji, the presiding officers of the various legislatures of the country, and ladies and gentlemen!

This important conference of presiding officers is held every year with some new discussions and new resolutions. Every year some nectar emerges from this churning, which gives impetus and new energy to our country and the parliamentary system and inspires new resolutions. It is also very pleasant that today this tradition is completing 100 years. This is also the good fortune of all of us, and it is also a symbol of India’s democratic expansion. On this important occasion, I congratulate all of you, all the members of the Parliament and the Legislative Assemblies of the country and also all the countrymen.

Friends,

Democracy is not just a system for India. Democracy is ingrained in our nature and part of life in India. Your journey has become even more special because India is currently celebrating Amrit Mahotsav, the 75 years of its independence. This coincidence not only enhances the uniqueness of this program, but also multiplies our responsibilities.

Friends,

We have to take the country to newer heights, achieve extraordinary goals in the years to come. These resolutions will be fulfilled only through ‘Sabka Prayas (everyone’s effort). When we talk about ‘Sabka Prayas’ in democracy, the federal system of India, then the role of all the states is a big basis for that. The active participation of the states has played a big role in what the country has achieved over the years. There are many things which the country has done in the last few years with everyone’s efforts whether it is the resolution of the decades-old problems of the Northeast or completion of all the big projects of development that have been stuck for decades. The biggest example is Corona before us. The solidarity with which the country has fought such a huge battle with all the states is historic. Today India has crossed a mammoth figure of 110 crore vaccine doses. What once seemed impossible is becoming possible today. Therefore, the dreams of the future before us, which are ‘Amrit (nectar) resolutions’, will also be fulfilled. These are going to be accomplished only with the united efforts of the country and the states. Now is the time to pursue our successes. What is left behind has to be completed. And at the same time, we have to make new rules and policies for the future with a new approach and new vision.  The traditions and systems of our legislatures may be inherently Indian, our policies, our laws should strengthen the spirit of Indianness, the resolve of ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat’ (One India, Supreme India). Most importantly, it should be our collective responsibility that our own conduct in the legislatures should be according to Indian values. We still have many opportunities to realize in this direction.

Friends,

Our country is full of diversity. In our journey of development for thousands of years, we have recognized that the sublime and divine unity flows uninterrupted even in the midst of diversity. This seamless stream of unity cherishes our diversity and preserves it. In today’s changing times, it is the special responsibility of our legislatures to remain alert if there is a contrasting voice regarding the unity and integrity of the country. May diversity continue to be honored as a heritage, may we continue to celebrate our diversity; this message should be conveyed from our legislatures perpetually.

Friends,

Often there is an image about politicians and public representatives among some people that these leaders are engaged in political manipulation round the clock. But if you notice, there are people’s representatives in every political party who spend their time and life for the uplift of the people and in the service of the society. These acts of service keep people’s faith in politics strong. I have a suggestion for such dedicated public representatives. We do several things in our legislatures, like we introduce private bills and spend time on them. There are some others who spend their time on zero hours in the legislatures. Can 3-4 days in a year be kept aside in a legislature so that our public representatives share with the rest of us about their special initiatives for the society and inform the country about this aspect of their life? Along with public representatives, other people of the society will also get to learn a lot from this. The constructive contribution of politics will also be exposed. If those who are engaged in creative works but tend to keep away from politics and the people doing such noble works join politics, then politics will also prosper in itself. I think a small committee should be formed which should screen and verify such experiences and then decide who should get the opportunity to articulate their views. A lot of qualitative change will come. The presiding officers know well how to explore and bring the best before people. Such events will inspire the rest of the members to do something different than politics and at the same time the country will also get an opportunity to know about such efforts.

Friends,

We can always do something innovative needed to promote quality debate. How to add value to debates and how to set new standards for quality debates? Can we think of setting aside time for quality debate? Such a debate in which there is dignity and seriousness and there is no political slander. In a way, it should be the healthiest time of the legislature. I’m not asking for everyday. It can be two hours, half a day or a day sometimes. Can we try something like this? It should be a healthy day, healthy debate and quality debate, a debate that does value addition and which is absolutely free from everyday politics.

Friends,

You also know very well that when the Parliament or any assembly of the country starts its new term, most of the members are the first timers. There have been frequent changes in politics and the people constantly give opportunities to new people who are brimming with new energy. It is because of the efforts of the people that there is always freshness and new enthusiasm in the legislatures. Do we need to mold this freshness into a new methodology or not? I think change is necessary. For this, it is necessary that the new members are given systematic training related to the House and they are briefed about the dignity of the House. We have to emphasize on making continuous dialogue across the parties and set new parameters of politics. The role of presiding officers is also very important in this.

Friends,

There is also a big priority before us to increase the productivity of the House. Along with discipline in the House, equally necessary is the commitment to the set rules. Our laws will prevail only if they are directly related to the interests of the people. Therefore, meaningful discussions in the House are very important. Young members, people’s representatives from aspirational areas and women in the House should get maximum opportunities. Similarly, our committees should also be made more practical and relevant. Not only will it be easier for us to know the problems of the country and their solutions, but new ideas will also reach the House.

Friends,

All of you are aware that the country has implemented several systems like ‘One Nation One Ration Card’, ‘One Nation One Mobility Card’ in the past few years. Our people are also getting connected with such facilities, and the entire country is also getting a new experience together, as if the country is connecting from north to south, east to west. I would like all our legislatures and states to take this campaign to a new height in this virtuous period. I have an idea called ‘One Nation One Legislative Platform’. Is it possible? Such a digital platform, a portal that not only gives the necessary technological boost to our parliamentary system, but also works to connect all the democratic units of the country. All the resources for our legislatures should be available on this portal and central and state legislatures should work in paper-less mode. The presiding officers can take this system forward under the leadership of Honorable Speaker of Lok Sabha and Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. The ongoing work to digitize the libraries of our Parliament and all the legislatures and make them available online will also have to be accelerated.

Friends,

In this virtuous period of independence, we are rapidly moving towards 100 years of independence. Your journey of 75 years is a testimony to how fast time changes. Next 25 years are very important for India. We are going to celebrate 100 years of independence after 25 years. Therefore, this virtuous period, 25 years, is very important. Can we make one mantra distinctive with full strength, dedication and responsibility? From my point of view that mantra is duty and duty only. There should be a sense of duty in the House, the House should send messages of duty, there should be a sense of duty in the speeches of the members, there should also be a custom of duty in their behavior, there should be tradition of the lifestyle of centuries, the duty should be primary even in the conduct of the members, duty should be paramount in debates and solutions, duty should be paramount in everything, there should be a sense of duty in everything. Duty should be given top priority in every aspect of our working style for the next 25 years. Our Constitution also tells us the same. When this message will be sent across from the Houses repeatedly, it will have a bearing on the entire country and on every citizen of the country. The speed at which the country has progressed in the last 75 years, the mantra to take the country forward at a manifold rate is – Duty. Duty of 130 crore countrymen to fulfill a great resolution! Best wishes to you for this new initiative of 100 years of parliamentary system. May this summit be very successful! May you come out with a clear outline where to take the country by 2047 and what role the legislatures will play for it! It will give a great strength to the country. I once again congratulate you all very much and many thanks.