Enacting laws without discussion bad for democracy, says President Pranab Mukherjee

BY: shamin, 26 Jan 2015

President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday did some plain talking to the government and said enacting laws without discussion is not good for democracy as it breaches the trust of people.

In his address to the nation on the eve of the 66th Republic Day, the President also asserted that religion cannot be made a cause of conflict. "Tolerance and promotion of goodwill between diverse communities needs to be preserved with utmost care and vigilance," he said. Mukherjee's remarks came on the day the government was hosting US President Barack Obama.

A few days ago, he had rapped the government for excessive usage of ordinances to enact laws. "Ordinances are meant for specific purposes to meet an extraordinary situation under extraordinary circumstances," he had said.

Mukherjee, on Sunday, highlighted the importance of the legislature and said the people had voted a single party to majority after three days in the hope of a stable government. "the voter has played her part. It is now up to those who have been elected to honour this trust. It was a vote for clean, efficient, gender-sensitive, transparent, accountable and citizen-friendly governance," he added.

Mukherjee felt that the legislature was a platform where progressive legislations, using civilised dialogue, must create a delivery mechanism to realise the aspirations of the people and reconcile differences among all stakeholders before passing laws. "Enacting laws without discussion impacts the law-making role of Parliament. It breaches the trust reposed in it by the people. This is not good for democracy," Mukherjee remarked

Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the President said religion is a force of unity. "We cannot make it a cause of conflict as wisdom of India always teaches us-unity is strength, dominance is weakness," he added.

Mukherjee noted that the Constitution was the holy book of democracy and a lodestar for the socio-economic transformation of the country, which has celebrated pluralism and advocated harmony between diverse communities.

The comments come at a time when some Rightwing parties have sparked one controversy after another by raising issues like ghar wapsi, have eulogised Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse and made inappropriate comments on minorities.

"The freedom inherent in democracy sometimes generates an unhappy byproduct when political discourse becomes a competition in hysteria that is abhorrent to our traditional ethos. The violence of the tongue cuts and wounds people's hearts," the President said.

Mukherjee made a veiled reference to Pakistan while speaking on terrorism and said the country's adversaries will stop at nothing to disrupt India's progress. "The multi-nation conflict has converted boundaries into blood lines and turned terrorism into an industry of evil. Terrorism is seeping across our borders. While peace, nonviolence and good neighbourly intentions should remain the fundamentals of our foreign policy, we cannot be complacent about adversaries who will stop at nothing to disrupt our progress towards a prosperous and equitable India," he added.

Source: Indiatoday

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