Leader of the Lok Sabha and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday set the ball rolling on the debate on the occasion of 60 years of Parliament with a call for tolerance towards divergent views in the task of nation-building by the lawmakers.
He lamented that a handful of members throttle silent majority and called for a mechanism that will eliminate disruptions. On many occasions,this House has been tumultuous,tempers ran high,but disruptions was the least this House has adopted. Because when we disrupt the House then it serves no purpose. We cannot hear. We cannot speak. Only a handful of members completely throttle the desire of a silent majority to speak, he said.
Mukherjee said that Parliament has acted as a shock absorber on several occasions and whenever there have been disputes,dissensions,the Lok Sabha has played a role in defusing it.
While Mukherjees views found support across the political parties,senior leaders also stressed the importance of Oppositions views in strengthening democracy in Parliament.
BJP leader L K Advani said that tolerance and understanding for each others views and debates in Parliament can solve issues. Highlighting the success of Indian parliamentary system,he said views of the Opposition are given due understanding and respect. Parliament is a major example of that, he said,adding that he endorsed the views of Mukherjee that differences can be resolved through debates.
Calling for more representation of women in Parliament in future,Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said that Opposition and Treasury benches might debate and differ on issues,but when it comes to the security and prestige of the nation,the whole House unites. The years 1962,71 and 75 were such instances when the barrier between Opposition and government collapsed for the sake of the country, she said.
As the last speaker,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,supported the view. In times of calamity or crisis,our Parliament has always demonstrated the ability to reflect the collective resolve of our nation and show solidarity with the people and the government. Be it the external aggressions of 1962,1965,1999 or the glorious moments of 1971,this institution surmounted political partisanship to reflect the common aspirations and sentiments of our people, he said.