His Excellency President of India, respected Vice President, respected Speaker, Respected Manmohan Singh ji, respected Advani ji, all present respected senior gentlemen, brothers and sisters. I heartily congratulate all the three great gentlemen who are being felicitated for their excellent work. I am hopeful that this tradition being followed for the past few years will inspire all the parliamentarians. Each one will feel that in their respective roles as parliamentarians one should try and achieve high levels of conduct, depth in speech and clarity in thought as maintained by these great senior members. These kinds of thoughts would inspire all new members like us.
I agree that there are lot of intellectual talent in the house and I see people who are capable of presenting their word beautifully but the house cannot run as an ornate articulation or as a remarkable art of presentation. Till there is a seamless integration of leadership, duty and oration, just the words will fail to make an impact on the house or inspire the nation. And so those who won these awards today are the ones who have not only been good orators but are equally capable leaders and dutiful members. The country expects a lot from the Parliament of India. We give the awards within the parliament, But sometime there should be a public survey, on how the public rates the house and in a very professional way the public opinion should be presented. How does the common man view the entire house, what does he feel, maybe that may inspire us to think our way forward.
I would request the speaker to call the speakers of all Vidhan Sabhas if possible and start this tradition in the state assemblies too. I think this will be a good step that we can take. Another thing I would like to point out is that when I was in the Vidhan Sabha and now for some time when I have been in Parliament, the humour and sarcasm which was an explicit feature is now missing, something that we have heard and read so much about. It has practically vanished from our party system. One reason someone makes a remark, then how will those who are on air 24 hours interpret it and will they debate this for 24 hours. So, the ones who can speak are scared and I think we need to seriously contemplate on this.
I have heard of old incidents, of which I remember two or three episodes. Once there was a programme in the house to commemorate the 50 years of Independence. I had come to the house to hear it and some debate was going on and probably Sharad Pawar ji spoke first and then Sushma ji spoke. She joked and said “I don’t understand whether it is Sharad Pawar or Lalita Pawar”. The way I saw that scene, the way Sharad Pawar enjoyed that jibe, such a holy atmosphere prevailed. And that remark was not blown out of proportion by anyone in the print media or the electronic media. There is a casual sense of humour in our Parliament. And as our honourable Speaker and Arun Jaitely ji mentioned, sharp words can get you 24 hour footage but it can neither be effective nor inspirational.
That does not mean that everything should be done sweetly. That is not what I am saying. The need of the hour is to present the Parliament in a way that it becomes inspirational for the future generations. Every sentence uttered in the Parliament has its value, that it should not be undignified. And this is a collective responsibility. This is our collective responsibility, it is not about this political party, that political party, or about this or that specific individual but it is about our collective responsibility.
Dr. Karan Singh is a very experienced individual. He is still bound by the cultural traditions. Whatever disappointments he has shared, I am sure they will be helpful in self introspection. For a distinguished person like him who for so many years has served the nation through this Parliament, to know his pain, to understand his disappointment and then to modulate as per his hopes and expectations will usher in a new dignity in the house. I congratulate these three dignitaries once again.
I am new to the parliament. I also have to learn a lot. There are so many senior members, and by hearing them and understanding their views, I too will gain something. Sharad Ji said that once if he sits down to chat with the President he does not feel like getting up. I am telling you the truth. He gives such a lot of information with date and time and name, it is surprising. Like Sharad ji said, he wonders what kind of software does the President has in his mind. He said that what one would gain after reading an entire book, more than that one would have acquire half of the knowledge about India can be understood by having a conversation with him. Every parliamentarian should have the intention to remember dates, events, analysis of the situation and an ability to grasp things. All these can be learned from these seasoned members. And it is true that “Clarity of the Thought, Faith in Conviction and Correction in Acts” can help us take the dignity of the Parliament to a new level. I congratulate you once again.