He said so after releasing the ‘Rajya Sabha Calendar 2019’ in the presence of senior leaders of different parties in Parliament House today. Referring to the persisting turbulence in the Upper House, Chairman Naidu invoked the 12 preceding Chairmen of Rajya Sabha who insisted on ensuring effective functioning of the House so as to contribute to nation building.
Chairman said; “I am pained by our inability to ensure convergence of different agendas into a national agenda. No nation can emerge stronger without such a shared parliamentary agenda. While there is a broad degree of commonality over rapid economic growth as an instrument of bettering the lives of the people, there is much more to the progress of our nation. Parliamentary institutions can’t be held captive to the competing agendas. We can’t afford to lose any more time in lending a degree of maturity to our democratic processes and institutions. The civility of proceedings in parliamentary institutions is a certain barometer of an aspiring nation finding it’s feet and fulfilling it’s quest”.
A wide array of 65 leaders including 13 Chairmen, 12 Deputy Chairpersons includng three women, 26 Leaders of the House and 14 Leaders of the opposition from different parties since the inception of the Upper House in 1952 are featured in the calendar.Referring to this, Shri Naidu noted that the calendar is a chronicle of political changes and the history of Rajya Sabha since 1952.
Describing the calendar as innovative, imaginative and inspiring, the Chairman recalled what his predecessors said about the functioning of the House and expressed hope that that it would serve as a reminder to all the leaders and members of the House all through the year about the need for effective functioning of the House.
The calendar features one Chairman in each page along with the quotes of what they said about the expectations from the House and the members.
Chairman Naidu recalled that the first Chairman of Rajya Sabha Dr. S. Radhakrishnan and urged the members to do everything to justify the creation of the second chamber of Parliament.
While Dr.Zakir Husain stressed on quality and fruitful deliberation as a measure of contribution to national life, V.V.Giri hoped that a national consensus would emerge from the daily deliberations.
Chairman Naidu further noted that while the Jurist Chairman Mohammad Hidayatullah urged the members to live up to the trust reposed in them by the people, R.Venkataraman stressed on making Indian democracy the largest qualitatively as well. K.R.Narayanan hoped that if debates in the House are centered around the poorest man, it will result in the automatic emergence of a minimum basis on which all can agree.
Bhairon Singh Shekhawat desired the Upper House to be a watchdog on the affairs of the nation and also as a guide to the Union and the States to achieve the objectives of economic growth, effective governance and public welfare. Shri Naidu recalled his immediate predecessor Shri Hamid Ansari urging the members to be fully aware of the changing need in legislations on account of the reality in transition of public mood from passive receptivity to active quest.
Shri Naidu then said; “As a humble successor to these 12 men of wisdom, over the last 17 months, I have been trying to impress upon the members only three words, viz., Discuss, Debate and Decide. My anguish over the state of affairs in the House so far had only limited impact.”
He also added; “As we turned a new leaf in the history of time and as we resolved to make a difference in our lives and in our homes, let us make a difference to the state of affairs in the House of Elders as well.”
Leader of the House Arun Jaitely and Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad hailed the Rajya Sabha Calender 2019 as educative even for senior members of the House providing useful information about the history of the House.
Secretary General of Rajya Sabah who explained the theme of the Calendar 2019 said on account of the vastness of information and it’s uniqueness, the calendar is a ‘learner’s delight’.
Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha Harivansh, Leader of the House and Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitely, Leader of the House Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Shri Vijay Goel and other leaders of various parties including Shri Ramgopal Yadav, Dr.Navneeth Krishnan, Shri Derek O’Brien, Shri Prasanna Acharya, Shri Bhupendra Yadav, Dr.T.K.Rangarajan, Shri D.Raja, Shri Jairam Ramesh, Shri Y.S.Chowdary, Shri Vijaya Sai Reddy, Shri Majid Memon and shri Manoj Jha attended the release of the calendar.