60 years is a good time to assess working of India's Parliament: Ansari
New Delhi, May 13 (ANI): Vice President and Rajya Sabha Chairman Mohammad Hamid Ansari on Sunday said that sixty years was a good time to assess the working of Parliament in two critical areas of its functioning-ensuring accountability and oversight of the executive, and deliberation and law making.
Speaking at a special function to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Parliament of India, Ansari said that both these areas tend to exhibit a declining efficacy.
"The institutional mechanisms and procedural norms for ensuring accountability are being progressively underused. There is a perceptible drop in the working days of Parliament. Deliberation is less frequent; legislation is at times hasty," said Ansari.
He stressed that that Parliament is central to economic reform and development, as these hinge on bringing about new laws, amending old ones and harmonizing differences.
"As we see nation after nation suffering from fiscal problems, it is the key responsibility of Parliaments around the world in prudent fiscal management and ensuring financial accountability," he reminded.
Describing it as a privilege to participate in Sunday's historic function, Ansari said it was an occasion that should be celebrated and observed with happiness, humility and hope - "joy at the distance travelled; humility in remembrance of the sacrifices made by our people; hope and expectation for a radiant future for the nation and its citizens."
He said the functioning of Parliament is based on universal suffrage, and was a "testament to our brand of democratic politics."
Describing this objective as "unimaginable, in scale and reach, at the inception of the Republic", Ansari said that while the evolution of Parliament was yet to reach perfection, it "has been successful in good measure in representing and harmonising the diversity of our social and political interests, and in moving forward on the basis of commonality and inclusion, rather than superiority and exclusion."
"While much has been achieved, more needs to be done to attain the lofty objectives so succinctly delineated in the Preamble of the Constitution. New imperatives propel us. We do need to respond meaningfully to awakened expectation of a new generation in a changing world," Ansari said.
"Our citizens know, must know, that Parliament is central to economic reform and development as these hinge on bringing about new laws, amending old ones and harmonizing differences," said the vice-president.
He used the occasion to recite an Urdu couplet: " Tere va'de par jiye hum, to yeh jaan, jhoot jana Ki khushi se mar na jate agar aitbar hota, which translated means: "Had I lived on your pledge, I would surely have lost life. Out of sheer joy and ecstasy, if I had believed in it."
He concluded by recalling the words of India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, to restore "the majesty of Parliament". (ANI)
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