Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu expresses concern over erosion of values in public life
Says it is the duty of all political parties to ensure that their members, including legislators, always maintain ethical conduct, and at all places
Hyderabad: Expressing concern over the erosion of values in public life, the Vice President of India M Venkaiah Naidu said that if urgent and collective action was not taken to cleanse the system people will lose faith in the political class.
Delivering the 3rd Atal Bihari Vajpayee Memorial Lecture organised by the India Foundation on Saturday, Venkaiah Naidu emphasised that it was the duty of all political parties to ensure that their members, including legislators, always maintain ethical conduct, and at all places. He also appealed to the legislators to raise the level of debates, follow standards, avoid unruly behaviour and always adhere to 3Ds—discuss, debate and decide—avoid the 4th D-disrupt.
He said the absence of value-based politics, lack of ideology, hunger for power, muscle and money power and the entry of people with a criminal background into politics is leading to violence in the political arena and debasing politics. "Unless these undesirable trends are checked, the situation will further deteriorate and cause irreparable damage to the country's polity."
Drawing attention to the way the anti-defection laws have been rendered ineffective, Venkaiah Naidu emphasised the need to make anti-defection laws more stringent and effective. He wanted that it should be made mandatory for the presiding officers to dispose of defection matters within three months. Naidu wanted all political parties to put an end to 'politics of convenience' and practice the 'politics of conviction' and 'politics of consensus' as demonstrated by late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
He also called upon the political parties to shun populism and accord priority to long-term development. "Political parties should not resort to competitive populism. Such policies will prove to be unproductive in the long run", he said.
Expressing dismay over the sway of 4Cs - cash, caste, criminality and community—in Indian politics, he appealed to the people to elect their representatives based on other 4Cs—Character, Conduct, Calibre and Capacity.
Naidu said Vajpayee fast-tracked development in various sectors, from rail connectivity, air connectivity, tele connectivity, and he even achieved political connectivity! He appealed to the youth to learn from the lives of visionary statesmen like Atal ji. Terming former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as an embodiment of decency, dignity and decorum, Venkaiah Naidu said that Vajpayee inspired the people of the country and enjoyed their goodwill and confidence.
"For people of his generation, Atal Ji and Advani Ji are gurus, guides, philosophers and mentors," he said. Vajpayee only had friends and no foes across the political spectrum. He had enriched the debates with the force of his thoughts, the flow of language, the punch and the wit and his occasional poetic expressions. He was a towering intellectual and an orator par excellence.
The Parliament was missing such leaders, he remarked. His consensual approach enabled him to successfully lead a large coalition to its full term in an era of unstable coalition governments. He is the 'Father of Coalition Practices' in India, Naidu added.
He further said, "Vajpayee fast-tracked development in various sectors and it was a golden era for the economy as it grew at a rate of 8% per year. The Vice President said that his decision of conducting nuclear tests in 1998 and deft handling of the economic sanctions thereafter amply demonstrated this.