Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for bringing the term ‘Global South’ to the central stage and positioning it in a forum like G20, Dhankhar said that just a few years ago, no one was even aware of the term 'Global South.'
Noting that democracy is all about dialogue, discussion, deliberation and debate, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Sunday expressed his pain over the weaponization of disturbance in the temples of democracy.
Dhankhar’s remarks came after both the Houses of Parliament were disrupted over Manipur violence for the second consecutive day on Friday and were adjourned without taking up listed business, although the government said that it was ready for a discussion on the situation in Manipur.
The Vice President emphasised that democracy is all about dialogue, discussion, deliberation and debate, and called disruption and disturbance antithetical to democratic values.
He also expressed his pain and concern over the fact that “disturbance has been weaponized in the temples of democracy that should be functional 24×7 to ensure justice to the people at large.”
Addressing the Centenary Year Convocation of Jamia Millia Islamia here, Dhankhar said: “What is democracy? Democracy is about dialogue, discussion, deliberation and debate to secure public good. Surely, Democracy cannot be about disruption and disturbance! I am pained and anguished to indicate to you that disruption and disturbance have been weaponised as strategic means to taint the temples of Democracy.”
Calling upon everyone to act to preserve and sustain the essence of democratic values, the Rajya Sabha Chairman underlined that there can be no alibi for not making Parliament functional every second.
Stating that the people of this country are paying a huge price for it, he highlighted: “When there is disruption in Parliament on a particular day, there can’t be the Question Hour. Question Hour is a mechanism to generate accountability and transparency in governance.”
“The government is obligated to respond to every question. This goes to enormous benefit of the government. Not having question hour can never be rationalized when you think in terms of democratic values and good governance,” he said.
The Vice President underlined that disagreement and dissent are a natural part of democratic process, but “turning disagreement into hostility is no less than a curse for democracy.” Cautioning that ‘opposition’ should not turn into ‘revenge’, Dhankhar suggested dialogue and discussion as the only way forward.
Noting that the nation has transformed itself from being among the ‘Fragile Five’ economies to being among the ‘Top Five’ economies in the world today, the Vice President said that with India’s remarkable growth, there are bound to be challenges too.
“Your progress can’t be to the liking of everyone. There are pernicious forces with sinister designs to taint, tarnish and demean your institutions and growth story,” he said while exhorting the young minds to take initiatives and neutralize such forces.
Referring to some foreign universities, the VP said they have become breeding grounds to set afloat anti-India narrative on untenable grounds. Cautioning that such institutions also use our students and faculty members for their narrow agenda, he asked the students to be inquisitive and focus on objectivity when dealing with such situations.
“It is surprising that those who had the occasion to serve this country in one position or another, the moment they lose their position, they turn Nelson’s eye to the great advancement that our country is making all around. I urge young bright students to neutralize and decimate such an anti-India narrative. Such misinformation can’t be allowed to be traded freely,” he stressed.
Describing transparency and accountability as the main focus area of the present government, Dhankhar said that corruption, middle men and power brokers find no place today. “That being so, stakeholders in corruption have converged into a group. They are marshaling all forces to find cover and escape,” he highlighted while adding that “street demonstrations to challenge rule of law is not a hallmark of good governance and democracy of our nature.”
The VP further said that corruption as antithetical to equitable growth and equal opportunities, and found it soothing to note that “all escape routes of violators of law engaged in corruption have been largely plugged.”
Congratulating all passing out students for entering a new phase in their lives, the Vice President emphasised the need for students to become innovators and entrepreneurs so that our young students emerge as job creators rather than job seekers.
Stating that it is not in national interest to compromise economic nationalism for fiscal gain, Dhankhar called upon the youth to “fully subscribe and immerse themselves in economic nationalism.”