In a speech bereft of any harsh comments and full of conciliatory tone and tenor, PM virtually left nothing for the opposition benches to counter him on any point
Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday
At the end of thre-day long marathon debate on commemorating November 26, the 125th anniversary of Dr Ambedkar as the Constitution Day, the Rajya Sabha saw a different avatar of Prime Minister Modi that is ready to tread an extra mile for reconciliation and let the parliament function by reining in forces of intolerance.Speaking on a positive note amid controversies surrounding Aamir Khan and returning of the Awards, PM Modi affirmed unequivocally that “nobody in the country needs to give a certificate of his or her patriotism as everyone in the country of 125 crore is a patriot first.”<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Modi’s well measured speech was quite an antithesis of debate in which treasury and opposition benches traded charges against each other often crossing the brief. It amply suggested that PM Modi is now ready to rein in rabid rebel rousers of intolerance within his party and in the larger Sangh parivar.In a speech bereft of any harsh comments and full of conciliatory tone and tenor, Modi virtually left nothing for the opposition benches to counter him on any point giving indications that he was ready to tread an extra mile to get through important legislations such as the GST and Land Bill. Modi’s speech was applauded by everyone present in the house.”We always talk in voices Paksh (my side) and Vipaksh (opposition), why cannot we be Nishpaksh (impartial) at times…Why we talk in terms of I and you, why cannot we say we in one voice….There are many excuses to be divided, but we should look for reasons to be united,” Modi said.Extending his hand to the Congress, the PM in the beginning of his speech acknowledged the role of Congress leaders, including Jawaharlal Nehru, in drafting the Constitution which he referred to as the single biggest source of guidance for the democratic nation.Modi even quoted Nehru saying that “Pandit Nehru said the successful implementation of our Constitution depends on our mutual cooperation.”Incidentally, on Congress suggestion, the government accepted to include the names of other Congress stalwarts for their role in the making of the Constitution.The resolution passed at the end of the debate read, “Having remembered with gratitude, the commitment of the father of nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the pioneering and monumental role played by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallbhbahi Patel, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and other founding fathers of our constitution and their contribution in enabling us to adopt, enact and give to ourselves the Constitution on the 26th November, 1949, which commenced on the 26th January, 1950…”Not only this, the resolution adopted also contained solemn reaffirmation of commitment to the principles and ideals of the constitution to protect “socialist and secular character” of country, the two values that have often come under attack of the BJP.This, Congress and Left leaders, claim has bound the BJP in a web and will prove to be a vital weapon to check the BJP whenever such need arises.
‘They are the people of India. Constitution gives all Indians fundamental rights. All of us here swore an oath to protect these rights for each one of our citizens,’ he added.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for failing to mention the contribution of Indians to the framing of the Constitution of the country. ‘I listened to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi talk about our Constitution a few days ago in the parliament. He mentioned Gandhi, he praised Ambedkar, he spoke about the contribution of Rajendra Prasad and Sardar Patel,’ Gandhi said in Lok Sabha.’He even had a couple of words for Nehru. While I listened to his speech, I could see how profoundly we differ in our thinking,’ he added. <!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Gandhi also said that for Prime Minister Modi the people he mentioned were intellectual heroes to be worshiped. They had all the answers to India’s problems. ‘For me what was heroic about the people Prime Minister Modi mentioned was their ability to listen to the people of India. They are my heroes not because they had all the answers but because they had the humility to ask the right questions,’ he added.Gandhi further said that for him the real authors of the constitution were people of the country Prime Minister did not talk much about. ‘They are the people of India. Constitution gives all Indians fundamental rights. All of us here swore an oath to protect these rights for each one of our citizens,’ he added.
Prime Minister speaks in Lok Sabha during the second day of winter session on Friday
Skirting replying contentious issues raised by the Opposition during two-day special debate in the Lok Sabha on India’s Constitution to commemorate birth anniversary of its chief architect Dr B R Ambedkar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi rejected contention that his government was denying credit or was undermining the role of leaders like Jawahar Lal Nehru.He sought to refute the Congress charge that all focus on Ambedkar was to undermine contributions of first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and claim ownership over all achievements in the country.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Winding up his 63-minute long speech with slogans on “Idea of India” as Satyamev Jayate, Sarva Dharma Bhavo, etc., Modi talked of “India first” as the government’s “Dharma” and the Constitution as the “Dharma Granth” (religious book) but he padded up his “Idea of India” with quotes from the Hindu religious scriptures. Modi started with a clarification that his government’s resolve to celebrate November 26 as the Constitution Day should not be seen as an attempt to undermine January 26.Breaking the charge of rare appearance in Parliament, for the first time, since he was elected, he sat through the full-day debate in the Lok Sabha on Thursday and in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. He, however, disappointed those, expected him to break silence on growing intolerance in the country, the issue raised by Opposition benches led by Congress President Sonia Gandhi.He regretted that there is too much stress on the rights guaranteed under the Constitution but not an equal stress on “duty” and gave a call for raising a sense of duty to help the nation grow. He also vowed to work for empowerment of those who did not rise in life for want of opportunity and referred to importance of grievance redressal and justice in this regard.Referring to the single most gift of Ambedkar to workers in terms of an 8-hour work a day, Modi listed some of the steps his government took to help the labour class like raising the minimum pension to Rs 1,000 per month and their provident fund (EPF) account moving with them wherever they go.Speaker Sumitra Mahajan steadfast refused anybody seek clarifications after the PM finished as the last participant in the debate and yet Congress group leader Mallikarjun Kharge could put in record that Rs 1,000 pension was the UPA government’s decision and portability of the PF office to let the worker’s PF account move with him was also its decision, first such office opened in Haryana.He even referred to the resolution Nehru had moved on December 13, 1946 and seconded by Dr Rajendra Prasad on what should be objective of the Constitution. Sonia had referred to this resolution. The PM also repeated her reference to Ambedkar on the Constitution being good or bad depends on those who administer it.Modi said he was not saying it today but he had declared from the Red Fort in his Independence Day speech that the nation has advanced because of the efforts of all past PMs and governments and none can say that the previous governments did nothing. However, last August during his trip to the UAE, while addressing investors, he said: I have inherited great amount of difficulties due to the legacy of my predecessors (UPA). I cannot run away from them.”The Congress leaders said Modi was still silent on the charge of promoting intolerance but they will pin down the government in the coming days by forcing a separate discussion on the growing intolerance in the country.They were, however, quite happy at the resolution moved by the Speaker and adopted by the House as it gave credit to not only Ambedkar but also Nehru, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Azad and other founding fathers of Constitution for their pioneering and monumental role and contribution to give the Constitution to ourselves.
“People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it.
Congress President Sonia Gandhi on Thursday targetted the government on issue of intolerance alleging that ideals and principles of the Constitution were under threat and being attacked deliberately.”People who never had faith in the Constitution, nor had they participated in its drafting, are now swearing by it and are laying claim to it.”They are now having a discussion on commitment to it.There cannot be a bigger joke than this,” she said, utilising the discussion in the Lok Sabha on the commitment to the Constitution as part of 125th birth anniversary celebrations of B R Ambedkar to attack the BJP.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Also read: Rajnath Singh attacks Congress on ‘Secularism’ issue, says the word most misused in politicsInsisting that whatever being witnessed over the past few months was “totally against the principles” of the Constitution, she recalled Ambedkar’s warning to hit out at the ruling dispensation, as she sought to highlight the contribution of the Congress in the drafting of the Constitution and in the freedom struggle.She said Ambedkar had observed that howsoever good a Constitution may be, if those implementing it were bad people, then the utlimate effect would only be bad.At a time when BJP is seeking to appropriate the legacy of Ambedkar, Gandhi also utilised Ambedkar’s praise of the Congress for its contribution in the drafting of the Constitution, indicating that the Congress could lay the rightful claim on the document.Gandhi said Ambedkar had said at that time “I was surprised when I was chosen as the chairman. There were more learned and better people than me in the Committee. It was the discipline of the Congress party that enabled the Drafting Committee to give full information about every Act in the Constitution”.The Congress chief also said it was the Congress party which had spotted the “unique talent and capability” of Ambedkar who had returned after higher studies in US, UK and Germany on political theory and economics and was passionately fighting for the cause of the scheduled castes and the oppressed.She said on the morning of 26 November 1949, when the Constitution was formally adopted, Dr Rajendra Prasad complimented Ambedkar by saying, there could not have been a better chief for the Drafting Committee.At a time when Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru’s legacy is under attack, the Congress President underlined that Nehru was among the four stalwarts that guided the Drafting Committee. The others being Sardar Patel, Rajendra Prasad and Maulana Azad.She said of the eight committees of the Drafting Committee, the chairman of these were either Nehru, Patel or Prasad. Azad was a prominent member of five of these committees.The history of the Constitution is very old and linked to the country’s freedom struggle and that it why it is interlinked with the Congress.She recalled that it was under Nehru, the Congress in its Karachi session in March 1931, had brought a resolution on fundamental rights and economic rights.When some BJP members sought to protest, she pointed out to them that what she is saying is history to which no one could have any objection.She noted that there was no doubt that the Constitution gave equal voice to the poor and secular values to the country, made democracy more representative and government more accountable.Hailing the greatness of the Constitution, she said that it happens very rarely in the world that a galaxy of stalwarts work in unison to produce a document of such magnitude.She said that the Constitution had proved to be flexible and had witessed more than 100 amendments in view of the changing circumstances.
President Pranab Mukherjee as teacher of ‘Political History of India’ at Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya, in New Delhi on Friday. President said teachers mould the destiny of students and impart wisdom and learning to future generations
Students of New Delhi’s Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya couldn’t have waited more to attend this class on political science. After all, nearly 400 students of the senior secondary sections of the school have competed over the last week to be part of a select group of 60 students, who were slated to be part of the first-of-its-kind lecture delivered by President Pranab Mukherjee on the eve of the Teachers’ Day. Nearly 46 years after he left teaching and journalism to join politics, Mukherjee donned the hat of a teacher, delivering an hour-long lecture on India’s political history topped with his personal experiences.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Ideated by Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his deputy Manish Sisodia, the event, “Be a Teacher’ was a success. It garnered a huge response from the teachers and students present at the event.Sucheta Bhattacharya, a student who was part of the lecture, says she was ‘thrilled’ to attend the President’s lecture. “The experience was priceless and it was a proud moment to hear him in person. While talking about important political events in the country’s history, he also spoke about the hard work and struggle that went on to fetch him the position where he is today. It was very motivating,” Sucheta told dna. On his side, Mukherjee, 79, made it a point to ensure that his class doesn’t get too serious. “If anyone of you feel little bored, you are free to tell me Mukherjee you can stop it. I am no longer a president or a minister. I am just your Mukherjee sir. I will be happy if you call me Mukherjee sir,” he told the students, smiling. Addressing the teachers in the audience, he said, “Teaching as a profession must receive respect and recognition.”“Teachers mould the destiny of students and impart wisdom and learning to our future generations,” he said. His words stuck a chord with the teachers at the event, who said they were proud that their school was selected for the programme. “I was amazed at his enthusiasm with which he was talking to the students. He continuously stood for an hour as he passionately spoke about the political events in the history that shaped the country. I could see the contentment on his face after the lecture,” said Omlata Singh, principal of the school.“Every single student wanted to be part of the event, but we could select only 60, based on their academic records, discipline and good behavior,” Singh said, adding that the tireless efforts that went on organising the event was completely worth it. “Such programmes should be organised more frequently for the students,” said Poonam Chikara, who teaches English to the students of the school.
The UP governor Ram Naik finds himself in a dilemma after he recently wrote to the state government to take immediate and necessary steps to recover the stolen hens.
Is it part of the duties of the governor of a state to ensure the recovery of stolen livestock, like hens or goats? The answer might be a resounding no, but in UP, often jokingly referred to as “Ulta Pradesh” (topsy turvy state), anything seems to be possible.The UP governor Ram Naik finds himself on the horns of a ticklish dilemma after he recently wrote to the state government to take immediate and necessary steps to recover the stolen hens of one Farhanullah of Rampur. The distressed poultry farm owner had written to his excellency after the local authorities allegedly turn a deaf ear to his complaint.<!– Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Even as the Rampur police were in the midst of their explorations for the missing hens, the governor House here has now received a fresh complaint from one Moin of Rampur who has pleaded with the governor for the recovery of his missing goat. Moin has apparently been inspired enough by the governor’s large-heartedness in the missing chickens’ case so as to write directly to the constitutional head of the state.”The governor’s orders will surely be carried out,” Cabinet Minister Shivpal Singh Yadav told reporters when asked about the weird requests emanating from Rampur. “The state machinery is ever willing to fulfill the governor’s desire to do good in public interest,” he said.A senior official at the Raj Bhawan (Governor House) told dna: “The governor is a kind-hearted person and tries his best to help anyone and everyone who writes to him. There’s nothing wrong in that.”Some months ago, UP Minister Azam Khan’s missing buffalo had hit the headlines as virtually the entire Rampur police was pressed into the recovery operation. The buffalo was finally recovered some days ago.In similarly ridiculous cases elsewhere, over two dozen policemen were deployed at the chief minister’s residence in Patna to prevent outgoing CM Jeetan Ram Manjhi from picking mangoes. In Delhi, JD (U) MP Rajendra Prasad had recently complained of two jackfruit being stolen from the garden of his official residence.In Rajasthan, Health Minister Rajendra Rathore’s securitymen and local police had put in their best efforts to recover the minister’s favourite dog.