M A I N   N E W S

Kalam calls for politics of development
Presents awards to PM, Advani, Jaswant
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 21
In a veiled reference to recent developments in Jharkhand, President APJ Abdul Kalam today decried dubious and undemocratic means adopted to cobble up numbers to form governments and called for introspection so that politics did not degrade itself to political adventurism.

Making candid observations over polling processes that have been, of late, under severe strain with fatal violence, the President pleaded with the parliamentarians to embark upon course of “developmental politics” instead of “political politics” which the political parties had been following now.

“The arithmetical compulsions of incremental numbers and the alleged tradability of certain legislative seats, won perhaps through means allegedly dubious and undemocratic, have many a time created doubts on our democratic system in the public eye”, Dr Kalam said.

The President was speaking in the Central Hall of Parliament after giving away the Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union Minister Arjun Singh, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha L K Advani and Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Jaswant Singh.

Dr Kalam said when politics degraded itself to political adventurism; the nation would be on the calamitous road to inevitable disaster and ruination.

He said, “Let us not risk it. It is time all of us did introspection and grew up to the expectations that were enshrined so diligently and optimistically by the founding fathers in our Constitution so that India sustained itself and grew as a mature, healthy, vibrant democratic nation.”

Accepting the award, the Prime Minister regretted the decline in general atmosphere in Parliament and standard of debate and called for introspection before people lose faith in the institution.

Reminding the gathering that people were yearning for lifestyle change and expect Parliamentarians to bring smile on their faces through appropriate policies, laws and facilitating societal transition, the President said, “We seem to have been working with policies and procedures which are at times based on mistrust.”

Seeking to distinguish between ‘political politics’ and ‘developmental politics’, he said the former was needed at the time of independence movement.

Today, the President said, what was needed for India was a mission to make it free from poverty, illiteracy and unemployment and this situation necessitated developmental politics.

Dr Kalam said Parliament needed to launch a mission to identify and scrap complex old laws and those administrative procedures, which hindered growth-oriented development economy.

“This will give scope and a hope to a large section of the people who are honest, to flower and flourish. India must move to a trust-based system and only members of this great Parliament can bring about this change,” the President said.

Presenting a situation in which political parties perform in the environment of developmental politics competing with each other, the President said while one party would promise to make India a developed nation with a growth plan of every five years in 15 years, another would unveil a new strategy to achieve it in a shorter period.

In another scenario, he expected parties to ensure all border conflicts were resolved in 10 years while another would promise to create harmonious relationship within a period of five years. Yet another might say, border trade would become meaningless.

Dr Singh said everyone would agree that the increasingly negative public perception of politics as an instrument of social change and those who make it their vocation was partly due to decline in standards.

“Without pointing fingers, we need to examine whether we are living up to the standards set by great parliamentarians of early years of our independence. It is for us to ensure that we set better standards for future,” the Prime Minister said.

Dr Singh said the day the people begin to lose faith in the institution of Parliament would also be the day that this important edifice would come under pressure. “We must not; we must never let this happen.” 

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