President Pranab Mukherjee today asked lawmakers to improve the quality of debates in legislatures, saying India cannot remain a role model to the world simply because of the size of its electorate.
Delivering the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Memorial Lecture here, President Mukherjee lauded the parliamentary democracy in India and said Parliament's functioning is based on 3Ds -- Debate, Dissension and Decision.
He said once a decision is taken by majority in the House, it becomes the decision of India.
"You cannot remain the role model to the world simply because of the size of your electorate," he said.
The president asked lawmakers of Parliament and state Assemblies to improve the quality of deliberation, discussion and debate in the House, saying people have vested power and privileges in them.
"...What is applicable to Parliament is applicable to legislative Assemblies in all 29 states," he said.
"There is a huge power and responsibilities vested in MPs and MLAs of all 29 states by 800 million people. If we do not use these power and privileges, we have to blame ourselves and not anybody else," said Mukherjee, who has over four decades of experience as a lawmaker.
The president recalled prominent personalities in the early days of Indian politics and asked the lawmakers to continue the tradition established by them.
Earlier, Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling was conferred the first Bhairon Singh Shekhawat Life Time Achievement Honour in Public Service by President Mukherjee.
The president lauded Chamling's contribution to his small state and said it's emerging as a role model for other states.
Those present on the occasion included Rajasthan's Governor Kalyan Singh, his counterpart in Punjab V P Singh Badnore, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje and former chief minister Ashok Gehlot.
The programme began with the opening address of Gehlot who said Shekhawat was a warmhearted and fearless political leader who was born into a very simple family and was elevated to the post of the vice president of the country. Shekhawat was the vice-president between 2002 and 2007.