Art of democracy lies in consultations: Pratibha Patil
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Members of Parliament gathered at the Central Hall on Monday evening to bid farewell to President Pratibha Patil two days before she is scheduled to demit office. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi were present at the function along with Vice-President and Rajya Sabha Chairperson Mohammad Hamid Ansari and Speaker Meira Kumar.
Speaking on the occasion, Patil told MPs not to let their differences come in the way of their ability to meet expectations of people. "The art of democracy lies in finding a way forward, in which, differing viewpoints and interests are discussed and a solution found through consultations," she said.
"Naturally," Patil said, "there will be arguments in the process for the search of answers, but it should never happen that in the din we lose our way forward. At the end of the day, the worth, value and respect of a legislature is judged by its output in terms of serious debate and legislations."
Referring to the changes which had taken place during the last two decades — "information explosion, technological innovations, increasing economic prosperity, growing materialism and in its midst the danger of losing values" — she called upon governments and legislatures to reflect upon them. For, if they remained "unnoticed, our systems and institutions could be out-of-size and out-of-time," said Patil. "Therefore," she told the MPs to give a deep thought to "our institutions, legislatures and legal processes" and see how they could fulfill these growing demands.
"Parliament must be a robust body, with its members guided by values and a vision of the inclusive progress for the nation," she said, adding, "I am confident that our Parliamentarians will deliver on this."
Patil described her successor Pranab Mukherjee as a "veteran Parliamentarian" and said "he has a formidable reputation based on his insightful mind and sharp memory". She said: "He brings to the office of the President, sagacity, experience and a deep understanding of national and international issues."
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