“The Summit is a unique confluence of various parliamentary practices from around the world”
“P20 Summit is taking place on the land which is not only known as the mother of democracy but is also the largest democracy in the world”
“India not only conducts the world's largest elections, but people's participation in it is also continuously increasing.”
“India has connected the election process with modern technology”
“India today is promoting women's participation in every sector”
“A divided world cannot provide solutions to the major challenges facing humanity”
“This is the time of peace and brotherhood, a time to move together. This is a time for growth and well-being of all. We have to overcome the global trust crisis and move forward with human-centric thinking”

Namaskar!

On behalf of 140 crore Indians, I extend a hearty welcome to all of you at the G-20 Parliamentary Speakers’ Summit. This summit, in a way, is a 'Mahakumbh' or massive congregation of different parliamentary practices from around the world. All the delegates like you are experienced in the working style of different parliaments. Your visit to Bharat with such rich democratic experiences is a great pleasure for all of us.

 

Friends,

This is the festive season in Bharat. These days, many festive activities take place across Bharat. But this time G-20 has sustained the enthusiasm of the festive season throughout the year. We hosted G-20 delegates in different cities of Bharat throughout the year. Consequently, an atmosphere of festivity was created in those cities. After this Bharat landed on the Moon. This further enhanced the celebrations across the country. Then, we hosted a successful G-20 summit here in Delhi. And now this P20 summit is taking place here. The greatest strength of any country is its people; the will power of its people. Today, this summit has also become a reason to celebrate this strength of the people.

Friends,

The P20 summit is being held in Bharat, which is the mother of democracy, the largest democracy in the world. As representatives of various Parliaments around the world, you are aware that Parliaments are important places for debate and deliberation. We have very good examples of debates and deliberations that took place here even thousands of years ago. In our scriptures that are more than 5000 years old, in our Vedas, meetings and committees have been talked about. There, collective decisions were taken in the interest of the society. It is also said in our oldest Veda, Rigveda – संगच्छ-ध्वं संवद-ध्वं सं, वो मनांसि जानताम् । That means we walk together, we speak together and our minds are one. Even during that period, decisions related to villages were taken through debate in gram sabhas.

 

When the Greek ambassador Megasthenes saw such a system in Bharat, he was surprised. He had written in detail on this system that prevailed in different states of Bharat. You will also be surprised to know that we have a 9th century stone inscription in Tamil Nadu. It mentions the rules and codes of village legislatives. And it will also be very interesting for you to know that on that 1200-years-old inscription, it is even written that which member could be disqualified, for which reason and under which circumstances. I am talking about 1200 years ago. I also want to tell you about Anubhava Mantapa. Even before Magna Carta, we have had a tradition of “Anubhava Mantapa” in the 12th century. Debate and discussions were encouraged in this as well. People from every class, every caste, every community used to go there to express their views in “Anubhav Mantapa”. This gift of Jagadguru Basaveshwara still makes Bharat proud. This journey from 5000 years old Vedas till today, this development of parliamentary traditions, is not only our heritage but the heritage of the entire world.

Friends,

Bharat's parliamentary processes have continuously improved over time and have become more powerful. In Bharat, we consider General Elections as the biggest festival. Since independence in 1947, 17 general elections and more than 300 State Assembly elections have been held in Bharat. Bharat not only conducts the world's largest elections, but people's participation in it is also continuously increasing. In the 2019 general elections, the countrymen have made my party victorious for the second consecutive time. The 2019 general election was the largest democratic exercise in human history. More than 60 crore i.e. 600 million voters participated in it. You can imagine, at that time there were 91 crore i.e. 910 million registered voters in Bharat. This is more than the total population of the entire Europe. The turn-out of around 70 percent of the total registered voters in Bharat shows how much trust people have in parliamentary practices in Bharat. And in this, an important factor was the maximum participation of women. Indian women voted in record numbers in the 2019 elections. And friends, not only in numbers but also in terms of political representation, you will not find any other example like Bharat's elections in the world. More than 600 political parties took part in the 2019 general elections. In these elections, more than one crore i.e. 10 million government employees contributed to election work. More than 1 million or 10 lakh polling stations were set up in the country for the elections.

Friends,

With time, Bharat has also integrated the election process with modern technology. Bharat has been using Electronic Voting Machines- EVMs for about 25 years. With the use of EVM, both transparency in elections and efficiency in the electoral process have increased. In Bharat, election results are declared within a few hours after counting begins. Now I am giving you another figure. You will be surprised to hear this as well. You must be aware that next year there is going to be general elections in Bharat again. 100 crore voters i.e. 1 billion people are going to cast their votes in this election. I extend an advance invitation to all the delegates of the P20 Summit to come and watch the general elections to be held next year. Bharat will be very delighted to host you once again.

Friends,

Just a few days ago, the Parliament of Bharat has taken a very important decision, about which I want to make you aware. Bharat has decided to provide 33 percent reservation to women in its Parliament and state legislative assemblies. There are about 32 lakhs i.e. more than 3 million elected representatives in local self-governance institutions in Bharat. Of these, about 50 percent are women representatives. Today, Bharat is promoting women’s participation in every sector. The recent decision taken by our Parliament will further enrich our parliamentary tradition

Friends,

There is another crucial reason for the unwavering faith of the countrymen in the parliamentary traditions of Bharat, which is very important for you to know and understand. Our strength lies in our diversity, our vastness and our vibrancy. We have people of every religion here. Hundreds of types of food, hundreds of ways of living are our identity. Hundreds of languages are spoken in Bharat; we have hundreds of dialects. There are more than 900 TV channels in Bharat, in 28 languages working 24x7 to provide real-time information to the people. More than 33 thousand different newspapers are published here in about 200 languages. We have about 3 billion users on different social media platforms. This shows how massive and powerful is the flow of information and the level of freedom of speech in Bharat. In this world of the 21st century, this vibrancy of Bharat, unity in diversity, is our greatest strength. This vibrancy inspires us to fight every challenge and solve every problem together.

Friends,

Today no one is untouched by whatever is happening in different corners of the world. Today the world is facing crises due to conflicts and confrontation. This world full of crises is not in anyone's interest. A divided world cannot provide solutions to the major challenges faced by humanity. This is a time for peace and brotherhood; a time to move together; a time to move forward together. This is a time for growth and well-being of all. We have to overcome the global trust deficit and move forward on human-centric thinking. We have to look at the world in the spirit of ‘One Earth, One Family, One Future’. The greater the participation in making decisions related to the world, the bigger the impact will be. In this spirit, Bharat proposed to make the African Union a permanent member of G-20. I am glad that all the member countries accepted it. I am very happy to see the participation of the Pan Africa Parliament in this forum too

Friends,

I am told that our Speaker, Om Birla ji, is going to take you to the new Parliament House of Bharat this evening. There you are also going to pay tribute to Pujya Mahatma Gandhi. As you know Bharat has been facing cross-border terrorism for decades. Terrorists have killed thousands of innocent people in Bharat. Close to the new Parliament building you will also see the old Parliament of Bharat. About 20 years ago, terrorists had also targeted our Parliament. And you will be shocked to know that Parliament was in session at that time. The terrorists had planned to take the MPs hostage and to kill them. Bharat has reached here today after dealing with many such terrorist incidents. Now the world is also realizing how big a challenge terrorism is for the world. Wherever terrorism strikes, for whatever reason and in whatever form, it is against humanity. In such a scenario, we all will have to be extremely stringent all the time regarding terrorism. However, there is another global aspect to this, to which I would like to draw your attention. It is very sad that there is no consensus on the definition of terrorism. Even today the International Convention on Combating Terrorism is waiting for consensus in the United Nations. The enemies of humanity are taking advantage of this attitude of the world. Parliaments and representatives around the world will have to think about how we can work together in this fight against terrorism.

Friends,

There can be no better medium than public participation to deal with the world's challenges. I have always believed that governments are formed by majority, but the country is run by consensus. Our Parliaments, and this P20 Forum can also strengthen this sentiment. Our efforts to make this world a better place through debate and deliberations will definitely be successful. I am sure your stay in Bharat will be pleasant. I once again wish you all the success for this summit and a pleasant journey in Bharat.

Thank you very much.

 

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