Democracy is likely to degenerate into tyranny if it disallows criticism: Hamid Ansari

Ansari in his farewll speech quoted former Vice President S Radhakrishnan and said "a democracy is likely to degenerate into a tyranny if it does not allow the opposition groups to criticise fairly, freely and frankly the policies of the government."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 10, 2017 5:46 pm
hamid ansari, rajya sabha, vice president hamid ansari, ansari farewell, ansari rajya sabha, ansari on democracy, indian express news Vice president Hamid Ansari  (Express photo by Prem Nath Pandey)

Outgoing Vice-President and chairman of Rajya Sabha Hamid Ansari on Thursday said democracy can transform into tyranny if people are stopped from making free and frank criticism of government policies. On his last day as the Vice President of India and the Upper House Chairman, Ansari mentioned that Rajya Sabha, which has been created by the Constitution, reflects the diversity of our nation.

Ansari in his farewell speech quoted former Vice-President S Radhakrishnan and said “a democracy is likely to degenerate into a tyranny if it does not allow the opposition groups to criticise fairly, freely and frankly the policies of the government”.

Ansari further added that, while the members “have every right to criticise, their right of criticism should not degenerate into wilful hampering and obstruction of the work of Parliament. All groups, therefore, have their rights and their responsibilities”. He also said that “a democracy is distinguished by the protection it gives to minorities. …. But at the same time the minorities have also their responsibilities”.

Commenting on the debates held in the Sabha, Ansari said, “This House is a creation of the Constitution and reflective of the wisdom and foresight of the founding fathers who wished it to portray India’s diversity and to be a calibrated restraint on hasty legislation. It has upheld democracy’s sacred creed that discussion, instead of being a stumbling block in the way of action, is in fact an indispensable preliminary to wise action. Deviations from this golden rule contribute neither to diligent policy making nor to our claim to be a mature democracy based on Rule of law.”

Ending his reign as the chairman of the Sabha, Ansari said he hopes that all sections of the House would seek to achieve this laudable objective, as the manner in which they conduct business is watched by the citizens with a discerning eye. Reflecting back on his 10-year-long term, he said a decade is a long time in the life of an individual. He also remembered how he was assisted by an eminent member of the House, which had benefitted him immensely.

A number of members appreciated Ansari’s way of leading the Sabha and also mentioned how they have learnt a lot from him.

with inputs from news agency PTI 

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  1. S
    Aug 11, 2017 at 7:04 pm
  2. S
    Aug 11, 2017 at 7:03 pm
    Scratch the God ed VP and you will find a God ed Muzzie
  3. G
    Aug 11, 2017 at 11:59 am
    People of India are aspirational today. Modi’s government and his own personality are simply raised on the hope of the people for an efficient government without corruption. People of India for a moment are willing to forget about communalism and diversity. BJP is as or more corrupt as any other government but Modi is able to conceal it and make people believe in him because of two reasons. First, he gives an appearance and semblance of efficiency. I think this is the only new thing that he has introduced. His government is NOT less corrupt, but more efficient. It can do something like demonetization and GST without public anger. Second, he is able to do all this also because the RSS does the dirty job on the ground of giving a religious and parochial color to the government. You may be a cosmopolitan but most people are parochial. Communalism is thriving due to this. Ansari is right. But we will have to wait and see what tomorrow’s India holds in store.
  4. V
    vijay mane
    Aug 11, 2017 at 11:37 am
    Hamid Ansari's comments reflect his experience of 'managing' the Rajya Sabha. It echoes the views of many Indians who feel that parties must debate not disrupt, that all voices must be heard, that criticism must be accepted in the right spirit and rebutted with facts not suppressed, that members should not descend into the 'well' of the House. Ansari has served the country and fulfilled his duties with fairness and dignity. He deserves credit, not abuse.
  5. G
    George Cruz
    Aug 11, 2017 at 7:13 am
    The truth is that Hamid Ansari is a bad, bad, bad Muslim, incompetent, a congress party pseudo secular thug, Sonia Gandhi's slave just like incompetent Manmohan Singh, always hiding behind Sonia's skirt and never contributed anything (ZILCH) to the betterment of the nation, and his departing comments "feeling of unease and a sense of insecurity is prevailing among the Muslims " is highly deplorable.
  6. U
    Aug 10, 2017 at 7:19 pm
    If there is tyranny then how come you made criticism on Hindus? Freedom of criticism for every one not just for Muslims like you. You never do criticism on Muslim terrorists doing genocide of Hindus in Kashmir. So that makes you real bigot. If you consider this as tyranny then you want to impose your Muslim tyranny on others! Are you for real freedom of criticism for every one? Will you agree to remove the ban on Muslim Rushdie 's book? Do not call this abuse!
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