NEW DELHI, May 13 � Concern over repeated disruptions that have raised questions over the efficacy of Parliament�s functioning today marked the 60th anniversary of its first sitting in free India with leaders pressing for �sincere� introspection to restore the dignity of the institution, reports PTI.
Cutting across party lines, leaders asserted that supremacy of Parliament must be preserved, holding that laws are made by it and not mobs, apparently a reference to civil society campaign against Parliamentarians while pressing for setting up of Lokpal.
The leaders took pride in the fact that India has managed to hold on to democracy and was a shining example in the world despite many pressing problems like acute poverty, sustained terrorism and hiccups for democracy in the neighbourhood.
However, a faint reference was made to the brief period of Emergency of 1970s, which was corrected constitutionally soon after.
At the end of the day-long debate, both the Houses passed unanimous resolutions to �uphold and maintain the dignity, sanctity and supremacy of Parliament� and to �make it an effective instrument of change� while strengthening democratic values and principles.
The members in both the Houses also resolved to enhance the accountability of the government towards the people through the oversight of Parliament.
There were some cynical voices which referred to
similar resolutions passed on the occasion of 50th anniversary of India�s independence when a vow was taken not to resort to disruptions.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who set the tone for introspection as he flagged concerns in the Rajya Sabha over �repeated disruptions� and �unwillingness� for discussions, pressed for �substantive and sincere� introspection.
Winding up a day-long discussion in the Lok Sabha marking the 60th year of the first sitting of Parliament, he said public disenchantment is bound to rise if parties fail to collectively resolve to restore prestige of the institution.
�The daily routine of disruptions, adjournments and shouting in the House are leading many outside to question the efficacy of this institution and its place in public affairs,� the Prime Minister said.
Appealing to members to �write a new chapter and restore to it the sense of dignity and decorum� of Parliament, he said every MP should lead by example to restore the prestige of this institution.
President Pratibha Patil said the Indian democracy �cannot be allowed to falter� at a time when democracies of the world are operating in the complex situations including fractured mandates and explosion of the media.
Finance Minister and Leader of the Lok Sabha Pranab Mukherjee echoed concerns over disruption in the Lower House when he lamented that a handful of members throttle �silent majority� and called for a mechanism that will eliminate disruptions.
�On many occasions, this House has been tumultuous, tempers ran high, but disruption was the least this House has adopted. Because when we disrupt the House then it serves no purpose. We cannot hear. We cannot speak,� he said.