Saturday, June 17, 2023

We are Rivals, Not Enemies’: Shri. Venkaiah Naidu's Call for Political Harmony

Mumbai, June 17 - As dawn breaks on the third day of the National Legislators’ Conference Bharat (NLC Bharat), a day filled with insight, inspiration, and impactful conversations lay ahead. Assembled under one banner, India's foremost political minds converged at the historic conference, ready to ignite a wave of transformative dialogue and action.


The third day of the conference shone brightly with the presence of the revered former Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu, who presented an inspiring address. Joining him were Dr Meira Kumar and Smt Sumitra Mahajan, distinguished former Lok Sabha Speakers and patrons of NLC Bharat; Shri Shriniwas Patil, the respected Member of Parliament from Satara; Dr. Vishwanath Karad, Founder of MIT-WPU; Smt Brinda Karat, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and an esteemed former member of the Rajya Sabha; and Shri. Rahul Karad, Convenor of NLC Bharat. This gathering illustrated a unique blend of varying perspectives, all united by a common commitment to advancing India's progress.

“Although I am retired from active politics, I am not inactive. I keep meeting, greeting, and engaging with people. To the legislators present here, I offer these points: aim high, work hard, uphold discipline, and be punctual. Discipline is key to success,” said Shri Venkaiah Naidu. 

“Our founding fathers were acutely aware of their responsibility towards the nation's future when drafting our constitution. Therefore, we should adhere to the collective ideals it represents. Today, India is gaining recognition and respect worldwide. However, challenges persist: 20% of our people are below the poverty line; 18% are illiterate, and we have yet to achieve gender equity in public life. As elected representatives, we should contribute positively to the system's proper functioning, and respect parliamentary rules. We should be mindful of the public's perception of our conduct and strive to improve it. I suggest political parties enforce a code of conduct for their members,” he said. 

“We should remember that we are rivals, not enemies. We should respect each other, counter effectively, and treat our rivals with dignity. As representatives, our conduct in assembly matters, for we are role models to many,” he said. 

“As we approach the Amrit Kaal period, our ultimate aim should be a stable, progressive, and strong India. Our goal is not to dominate others, but to strengthen ourselves. A self-sufficient nation is the essence of Atmanirbhar Bharat. We must ensure wealth creation penetrates all levels of society and leads to happiness.” He added: “Peace is the training wheel for progress. Without peace, we cannot focus.” 

“In conclusion, a leader must be disciplined and determined, putting aside personal comforts to work for the people. This dedication will ultimately define you as a leader of the people,” he said. 

Former Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Shri Prithviraj Chavan, addressed the gathering of legislators via video conferencing. During his online address, he said: “This is the first time the world has witnessed such a gigantic conference. One of the most significant challenges we face today is preserving India as the liberal democracy and democratic republic that our founding fathers envisioned. Although various challenges may arise and states may follow different paths, the original concept of India—created by our founding fathers when they established the republic and penned the constitution—should never falter under our stewardship. The liberal and secular democracy we have inherited demands our unwavering commitment to strengthen it. After all, it is this very democracy that will secure India's prosperity and development in the near future.”

Special Guest of Honour Smt Brinda Karat, Social Activist & Senior Leader, CPI (M) and Former Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha, said: “In times like this, where politics has gained such bitterness, organising a conference on the theme of ‘Together for Bharat’ is commendable.” She added, “Men and women in India have fought shoulder to shoulder in the freedom struggle. Yet, we don’t have adequate women in politics. I hope that by the year 2047, we will have 50% women’s representation in Indian politics.”

A special written message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Maharashtra for their contribution towards creating a platform for the development of Bharat. “This land has always been the land of innovative thinking. It is a pleasure to witness that through this conference, the youth are able to achieve guidance and leadership in politics. My heartfelt congratulations to all,” read his message. 

“India’s future will be shaped by the values her leaders choose to uphold. Each one of you here holds the power to shape our public values and steer the course of our polity. I hope our legislators continue to fight for the inclusive idea of India,” said Shri Rahul Gandhi, member of the Indian National Congress (INC), in his written message. He added, “Our shared values of inclusion and harmony have been shaped by the vision of towering individuals. From Mahatma Gandhi to Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, great social reformers believed in the idea of a just and humane society, and they affected change by bringing diverse people together.” 

Shri Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, said: “The organisation of this conference sends a positive signal for our nation; it's an excellent beginning. This event will serve as a significant source of inspiration, particularly for the younger generation.” 

“The legacy of NLC Bharat will continue,” concluded Shri Rahul Karad.

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