Friends, at the outset I join you all and many more across the globe in wishing Dr Karan Singh a very happy birthday as he enters 93rd year of an eventful life, marked with sublimity, simplicity, disarming modesty and captivating elegance.
Dr Singh is a shining example of how age is just a number for a well-disciplined, thinking and vibrant mind with positivity ever being the fulcrum of the thought process. An extraordinary scholar who synergises deep knowledge with personal experiences.
Born a prince, he willingly shed his elitist image and adapted himself to a democratic order of which, to our good fortune, he remains a leading light.
By versatility and genius Dr Karan Singh Ji is eminently positioned to dwell deep into gems of मुण्डक-उपनिषद् that seek to enrich our mind with knowledge so that we liberate ourselves of errors and wails of ignorance.
Indeed an honor and privilege to formally release his book, “Mundaka Upanishad” मुण्डक-उपनिषद् and highly commend it for wider circulation. It’s worth everyone’s time.
Friends- The lessons we draw from Upanishads are eternal and contemporaneously relevant as never before. Upanishads take us to the wholesome path of order, truth and moral values. मुण्डक-उपनिषद् is of particular significance to us - Our national motto सत्यमेव जयते is part of a mantra from मुण्डक-उपनिषद्. “
The motto is written below the Asoka emblem which is our State emblem. It is indeed my constitutional duty and honour to sit below that hallowed emblem as Vice-President and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha and be in the service of the Nation.
Friends, Dr Singh, during his illustrious long parliamentary career exemplified constitutional virtuosity that calls for adulation and emulation. He reflects the essence of our founding fathers who evolved the constitution through dialogue, debate, discussion and deliberation, traversing some of the most contentious and divisive issues without there being a single disturbance and disruption in the proceedings.
Friends, the contemporaneous scenario in the temples of democracy is worrisome. Disruption and not decorum is the order of the day. I call upon the people, in particular the intelligentsia, media and youth, to generate mass awareness to contain this sacrilege of our parliamentary system.
The time for such a movement has come so that we rightly pride ourselves of being the largest, as also the mother of democracy in the world.
Undoubtedly our people are concerned and anguished with disruptors of proceedings, shouters of slogans and practitioners of indecorous conduct - throwing papers and whipping out mikes and walking into the well of the House. Our Parliamentarians need to exemplify conduct worth emulating.
Friends, Bharat, now in Amrit Kaal, is the most functional democracy that has evoked global recognition. India is setting global discourse on many issues. All Indians are elated that the country is on the rise as never before and its upward growth trajectory is unstoppable as we are on our way to 2047.
Young minds who are before us, some of us may not be around at that time, but the warriors of 2047 who are in their 20s and 30s must get a positive directional approach from us.
How ironic, how painful! While the world is applauding our historic accomplishments as a functional vibrant democracy, some amongst us including parliamentarians are engaged in the thoughtless, unfair denigration of our well-nurtured democratic values. How can we justify such wanton orchestration of a factually untenable narrative?
And mark the timing of this unwholesome misadventure - While India is having its moments of glory— as President of G20 and there are people outside of the country working in overdrive to denigrate us.
Such misplaced campaign mode to taint and tarnish our parliament and constitutional entities is too serious and exceptional to be ignored or countenanced. No political strategy or partisan stance can justify compromising our nationalism and democratic values.
If I observe silence on this misadventure-orchestration by a Member of Parliament outside the country which is ill-premised, unwholesome and motivated, I would be on the wrong side of the constitution. It will be constitutional culpability and outrage of my oath of office.
How can I sanctify a statement that mikes in Indian Parliament mikes are put off? How can people say so? Has there been any illustration? Yes! We did have a dark chapter of our political history. Proclamation of Emergency was the darkest period any democracy can suffer. Indian democratic polity is now mature. There can be no repeat of that. Anyone who says so, inside or outside the country, that in Indian Parliament Mikes are put off... Imagine this being done after having held the floor for nearly 50 minutes. Such kind of wanton and misadventure to run down our democratic values cannot be countenanced. I call upon everyone - intelligentsia, media and youth who are our warriors of 2047 to rise to the occasion, expose these forces and neutralize them.
I am not a stakeholder in politics. I don’t engage in a partisan stance. But I do believe in constitutional duties and I know fear cannot dominate my mind after I have Dr. Singh by my side for so long.
If I observe silence, the mass majority of people who believe in this nation will be silent forever. We cannot allow such a narrative to gain momentum by those elements who wish to antidote our rising growth.
I preside over Rajya Sabha, let someone come forward and say mike was put off. There is the fullest freedom of expression as per the constitution and no democracy in the world can rival that. We can see the blossoming of democracy at all layers. Which country can claim to have a multi-layer democracy at the panchayat, municipal, state level and central level?
You run down our judiciary on foreign soil. Where on the planet is a judiciary that acts with lightning speed? Our judiciary is made with the most brilliant minds in the world.
Sir, you know the importance of Committees. I got inputs from a number of members and Chairmen of Committees to do something affirmative to improve productivity. So, I sharpened the human resource attached to Committees. I put research-oriented, knowledgeable people so that they can help the Committee members to optimize output and performance.
But a narrative has been set afloat by sections of media that the Chairman has appointed his own members to the Committees. Has anyone even checked the facts? Committees comprise the Members of Parliament. It is their exclusive domain. I am terribly upset and concerned about what our editors are doing. Can you engage in such a narrative that is based on falsehood? And you don’t care to check the truth. I have acted because the Chairmen and Members had come up to me and I’m doing it after multi-layered consultations.