Democracy becomes reality when there is decency in legislature: Prez

Democracy becomes reality when there is decency in legislature: Prez
Democracy becomes a reality if there is decency in the legislature along with three other 'D's' -- "debate, dissent and decide", President Ram Nath Kovind said here today.

He was addressing the joint session of the Karnataka Legislature to commemorate the diamond jubilee of the Vidhan Soudha, the seat of the state legislature.

"We are aware of the three D's of the legislature, that it is a place to debate, dissent and finally decide. And if we add the fourth D, decency, only then does the fifth D, namely democracy, become a reality," Kovind said.

He pointed out that the legislature is an embodiment of the will, aspirations and hopes of the people, irrespective of political belief, caste and religion, gender or language.

"It needs the collective wisdom of both Houses of the legislature to fulfil the dreams of our people," the president underlined.

Kovind said it is for the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council to function as "sacred temples" of democracy and contribute to raising the level of political and policy discourse.

"A member of the House is elected by his or her voters. But once elected, the MLA or MLC represents the entire constituency, and not just those who have voted for him. The legislator equally represents those who did not vote for him or in fact those who opposed him," he added.

The foundation for Vidhana Soudha, considered to be one of the most imposing buildings in the country, was laid by former Prime Minister Jawaharalal Nehru on July 13, 1951, and it was completed in 1956 with an expenditure of about Rs 1.84 crore.

Built in a 'Neo-Dravidian' style of architecture, Vidhana Soudha is spread over 60 acres and houses the Legislative Assembly and Council chambers along with offices of chief minister, prominent ministers and senior government officers.

The majestic structure built largely with "Bangalore granite" was the brain child of Kengal Hanumanthaiya and has grand stairs in the front, a central dome supported by eight pillars and six smaller domes as its attraction.

Kovind said the building is a monument of the history of public service in Karnataka and that the two Houses (of legislature) represent the ideals and optimism and the energy and dynamism of the Kannadiga people.

A galaxy of political stalwarts have participated in the proceedings of the two Houses, he said, adding that "It is for the current members of the two Houses to take forward the legacy of these remarkable public representatives."

Lauding Karnataka and its people, the president said the state's dreams are not for Karnataka alone but the dreams for all of India.

Calling Karnataka as engine of Indian economy, he said there was a time when Hampi, the seat of erstwhile mighty Vijayanagar empire in Karnataka, was one of the richest and greatest cities in the world.
Read more: Karnataka's contribution to intellectual, democratic heritage great: Prez

"Today, as our country strives to regain its importance in the global economy and international system, once again we look to Karnataka to provide India with the enlightenment, the technology and unity of purpose to take us forward," he said.

The diamond jubilee celebrations also had its share of controversy with reports about proposal for extravagant celebrations, following which chief minister Siddaramaiah issued directions for curtailing funding for the event.

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