New Delhi, July 23 (IANS) Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said he realised as a parliamentarian that disruptions of proceedings “hurts the opposition more than the government”.
Citing his experiences, he said: “In those days, both the Houses of the Parliament used to reverberate with animated discussions and illuminative and exhaustive debates on social and financial legislations.
“Listening to the stalwarts for hours and days in Parliament sitting in the Treasury or Opposition Benches, I felt one with the soul of this living institution. I understood the real value of debate, discussion and dissent.”
“I realised how disruption hurts the opposition more than the government as it denies them the opportunity to raise the concerns of the people,” said Mukherjee during his speech at a function in the Central Hall of Parliament to bid him farewell.
He said he had internalised the essence of “what (India’s first Prime Minister) Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said (and I quote): ‘There has always to be balancing of change and continuity. The system of parliamentary democracy embodies these principles of change and continuity.’
“‘And it is up to those who function in this system, members of the House and the numerous others who are part of this system, to increase the pace of change, to make it as fast as they like, subject to the principle of continuity. If continuity is broken, we become rootless and the system of parliamentary democracy breaks down (unquote)’.”
He further said: “I experienced the joy of the enactment of pro-poor and pro-farmer legislations. The recent passage of Goods and Services Tax and its launch on 1st July is a shining example of co-operative federalism and speaks volumes for the maturity of Indian Parliament,” he added.