Coming out in defence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Tuesday wondered if, in the name of expression, one could run down the Supreme Court and two decades of thorough investigation, in an obvious context of the controversial BBC documentary on the PM and the 2002 Gujarat riots.
”We have a robust court system. Things are analysed for the high and mighty including the honourable Prime Minister. For two decades, the issue was deliberated in judicial quarters and thoroughly investigated at all levels. The highest court of the land, the highest court of the largest democracies pronounced on all fronts in 2022 finally, and we have a narrative being set afloat by a documentary, some people say this is an expression,” he said in his address at the IIT Madras.
On the recent comments by American billionaire George Soros about the Indian democracy, Dhankhar said; ”There is one gentleman somewhere using some money power, he has some backers, he has some beneficiaries, he has some fiscal parasites and they talk about our country’s democracy. I have been appalled, pained, how can a sane mind compare us with a southern country, with our neighbours?”
On the recent storm raised by the Opposition in both Houses of Parliament over the Adani issue, Dhankhar, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, said; ”If our founding fathers, framers of the Constitution who decide about constitutional issues, contentious issues, issues by nature very divisive without shouting without sloganeering, without getting into disturbance, without going into the well, without challenging the chair, why should we do it now? This temple of democracy is for dialogue, debate, discussion and deliberation. This is not for disturbance and disruption.”
He said he was surprised that the conduct of the parliamentarians did not evoke a response. ”I have not seen in any editorial in any newspaper, I have not seen intelligentsia and journalists raising it, I have not seen people’s movement on this. How can the public of this country countenance disruption in the House?”, he asked.
The vice-president said the House has to preserve the dignity of 140 crore people so that it did not become an ‘Akhada’ or a dumping ground for any information, unverified, reckless to set narratives.
”I have, therefore, made a fervent appeal, any information can be there in the house, the full flow of information and expression will be there. That is a sense of democracy. But it comes with one tag. You must authenticate the information. You must take responsibility for the information and if that turns out to be wrong, we have a mechanism in Parliament ‘Breach of privilege,” he added.
Dhankhar said the best defence for a nation was strategic preparedness and one of the great facets of economic preparedness was economic nationalism. ”We have to inspire and motivate our people to be a little thoughtful, and care for economic nationalism,” he said and wondered while alluding to China, why India should be importing items like earthen lamps for Diwali and kites from other countries.