The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu today asserted that the functioning of democracy in the country conforms to the Constitutional principles of ensuring equal rights and justice for all citizens and it needs no validation from any external agencies. He made this assertion while releasing the English and Hindi versions of books titled “Democracy, Politics and Governance” authored by Dr. A. Surya Prakash, Vice Chairman, Executive Council of Nehru Memorial Museum and Library and a leading commentator on parliamentary and constitutional issues and a veteran journalist.
Shri Naidu’s defense of Indian democracy comes in the backdrop of some recent adverse reports on it’s functioning by some western and American agencies. He complimented Shri Surya Prakash for coming out with effective evidence based counter narratives in this regard.
The Vice President further stressed that to be an Indian national is all about adhering to the spirit and philosophy of the Constitution which is aimed at promoting fraternity among all citizens as equals and said “every national is required to rise above the divisions of caste, creed, color, region and religion’’. He complimented Shri Prakash for promoting this cause through his writing over the last 30 years.
Shri Naidu stressed the need for extensive research by journalists and keeping the news and views separate. He suggested that journalists and commentators should be imbued with ‘’passion, purpose, perspective and perseverance”. He complimented Shri Prakash for upholding these norms through out his 50 year career in media and as a commentator.
Union Minister, Shri Pralhad Joshi, Union Minister, Shri Anurag Thakur, Minister of State, Shri Arjun Ram Meghwal, Minister of State, Shri Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Editor of Tughlak, Shri S.Gurumurthy and Chairman of Vivekananda International Foundation, Shri Surya Prakash, and senior media persons were present on the occasion.
Following is the full text of the speech:
“Today is the ‘Constitution Day’ and this morning we commemorated the 72nd anniversary of the adoption of the ‘Constitution of India’ this day in 1949 at an event in the Central Hall of Parliament.
I am indeed happy that the release of two books authored by Dr.Surya Prakash, titled ‘Democracy, Politics and Governance’ in English and ‘Loktantr, Rajniti and Dharm’ in Hindi is scheduled to coincide with such a solemn occasion. Such timing of the release is befitting because he has spent a life time analyzing the functioning of our parliamentary institutions and the constitutional framework that guides our public life and polity and amplifying the messages that flow from the same for wider dissemination and sensitization.
At the outset, I compliment the author for the ‘passion, purpose, perspective and perseverance’ that marked his 50 year long career as a journalist to start with and as a commentator later. I have reasons to believe that it has been a meaningful and satisfying mission for him on account of his contributions on record and their impact on all the concerned stakeholders including the reading public. Shri Prakash was totally objective as a journalist keeping the news and views separate and passionately pursued his perspective laden views as a commentator later. These 4 ‘P’s that I referred to should guide any journalist and commentator.
After his entry into journalism in 1971 with the Indian Express in Bengaluru and his relocation in New Delhi in 1981 and as a commentator over the last three decades, Shri Prakash has pursued the mission of serving the larger public cause by extensively reporting and writing on the functioning of various institutions with the sole purpose of nudging them to raise the bar.
My sense is that the imposition of the ‘Emergency’ just four years after his debut as a journalist and the attendant scars that he personally underwent and witnessed resolved him to focus on the rights and dignity of citizens and to ensure that the nation’s march is guided by the philosophy outlined in the Constitution. His respect for and commitment to the constitutional principles comes out as the defining principle of his 50 year long mission. There are very few who can match such a single minded pursuit of Shri Surya Prakash with such determination and clarity of thought and purpose.
The two books that I am releasing today chronicles the trends and temptations that marked our public life over the last 30 years bringing out the attendant concerns and flagging the required correctional interventions. These books are of great value as ready reckoners to understand the shortcomings in the functioning of our constitutional and parliamentary institutions and the aberrations triggered by shortsighted persons in power and authority. What marks the works of Shri Prakash is the intense research and the following evidence that he marshals in support of his arguments.
His book ‘What Ails Indian Parliament’ published 26 years ago is a clear proof of such an approach of Shri Prakash which brought out the shortcomings in the functioning of our apex legislature with a huge body of statistics, perhaps, for the first time.
Another unique contribution of Shri Surya Prakash is his strong defense of ‘Indian nationalism’ which our Constitution seeks to foster. Amidst growing domestic and international efforts to rundown the cause of nationalism and even our vibrant democracy, he has been coming out with effective counter narratives basing his arguments on the demonstrated core values of our country and the philosophy of our Constitution. Only a strong and united India as a fully integrated nation can take our country to the peak of its glory that we deserve.
The core argument of Shri Prakash is that our Constitutions has clearly set the rules of the game and all stakeholders should abide by those rules with unflinching commitment. He brings out in clear terms that our democracy, despite some shortcomings conforms to such principles and no one needs to give us any certificate in this regard. In the process, he brings out the democratic fervor that guides the so called ‘rightist’ thinkers in our country who have been under constant attack from the so called ‘left thinkers’ who have dominated the national psyche for too long.
Being an INDIAN is nothing but being guided by the constitutional principles of equality of and justice for all and the spirit of fraternity which is the hallmark of every ‘nationalist’ rising above the divisions of caste, creed, colour, region and religion. Shri Surya Prakash has been pursuing this mission and I compliment him for the same.
Every Indian needs to take pride from our past and march forward with confidence and commitment to realize a New India of the dreams of freedom fighters and of the vision of the framers of our Constitution so as to realize the aspirations of Young India. I am happy to note that Shri Surya Prakash did his bit in this regard through his published works.
I am aware that Shri Surya Prakash has been instrumental in introducing the live telecast of parliamentary proceedings and Committee system in 1993. His study of Bundestag, the German Parliament and his report thereof played a key role in these two momentous decisions which was acknowledged by the then Lok Sabha Speaker Shri Shivraj Patil. I appreciate Shri Prakash for his role in them.
I am indeed happy to release the two books of Shri Surya Prakash on the Constitution Day today.
I am also happy to note that a large number of dearer and nearer ones of Shri Prakash are here today as a measure of your acknowledgment and support to the mission that he has pursing over the last 50 years. No doubt this is a great moment of joy to share for all of you. I also complement all of you for standing by him all these years.
I am sure Shri Prakash will continue with his mission for many more years to come.
Thank you all!”