The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu has appealed to all political parties to ensure that the Parliament functions effectively and evolve a code of conduct for their members. This would ensure that the stature of Parliament and parliamentarians was enhanced and would reinforce people’s trust in the sacred institution.
Speaking after giving away Lokmat Parliamentary Awards 2018 to nine MPs, including Lifetime Achievement Awards to Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi and Sharad Pawar, the Vice President expressed his concern over disruptions caused by unruly behavior of a few members and pointed out that people were not appreciative of such behavior.
The Vice President said that the need of the hour was to have new norms of public and political discourse. He said people while electing public representatives should give preference to those who possess character, good conduct, caliber and capacity. Unfortunately, four other Cs—cash, community, caste and criminality were getting precedence at times.
Vice President Naidu also expressed his concern over the downward trend witnessed in the last few decades in the overall quality of debates.
The Vice President also advised the media to highlight constructive debates that take place in the Parliament and not obstructive incidents.
The Vice President said that a great parliamentarian’s life was always dedicated to the cause of the people. The collective faith of the nation was vested upon them and those in public life have a tremendous opportunity to shape the future and make history, he said. As parliamentarians, every word they utter, every decision they make, every vote they cast, resonates deeply within the hearts of their people who have great expectations from them.
Vice President Naidu said that a good parliamentary debate shakes the Government and fires the imaginations of the public and the media. Deliberation in the Parliament, by way of representation of different points of view was an indispensable feature of the functioning of democracy, he added.
Lauding the awardees, Vice President Naidu said they had ushered in a refreshing new work culture through their commitment and dedication. They have all been inspirational to their counterparts in some form or the other, he added.
The Vice President said though the media was not formally recognized as a part of a political system, it wielded significant power and was capable of influencing the society both directly and indirectly. “Unfortunately, today we see a number of unwelcome tendencies in the media environment such as the mixing of news with views, the propagation of fake news, sensationalism and various kinds of biases and vested interests in reporting news”, he added.
The Vice President said that a sense of duty and commitment to democracy and the common man should be what drives media and not the motive for amassing profit. Media should also be sensitive to the plight of those who have been wronged and brave enough to expose the wrongdoers even if they are in positions of great power and privilege, he added.
He said the media should never lose sight of its Dharma, the original mission of informing, educating and empowering people.
Vice President Naidu said that the vision of Lokmat Group’s chairman Vijay Darda has conceived and shaped the Lokmat Parliamentary Awards. Those who have been selected for the awards have distinguished themselves by raising the voice of the common man in the Parliament and they are definitely worthy of praise, he added.
The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Shri Prakash Javadekar, the former Chief Minister of J&K, Dr. Farooq Abdullah, the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Gansraj Gangaram Ahir, the Chairman of Lokmat Group, Shri Vijay Darda and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.
The Awardees of Lokmat Parliamentary Award 2018 include Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi – `Life Time Achievement Award’ as Member of the Lok Sabha, Shri Sharad Pawar – `Life Time Achievement Award’ as Member of the Rajya Sabha, Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad – Best Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Rajya Sabha, Shri Nishikant Dubey – Best Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Lok Sabha, Smt. Rama Devi – Best Woman Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Lok Sabha, Ms. Kanimozhi – Best Woman Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Rajya Sabha and Smt. Chhaya Verma – Best Debut Woman Parliamentarian of the Year as Member of Rajya Sabha.