Unparliamentary conduct, undesirable words in political discourse erode people's faith in democracy: LS Speaker Birla
Gangtok: Unparliamentary behaviour and the use of undesirable words in political discourse erode people's faith in both democracy and democratic institutions, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Friday.
Birla said Parliament is for discussion and debate, not disruption, and "lawmakers should be mindful of the fact that people are watching them".
Suggesting politicians to maintain "restrain and dignity" in their behaviour both inside and outside Parliament, Birla said the entire country looks up to public representatives for their conduct.
He was speaking at the valedictory session of the 19th Zone III Conference of Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) India Region here.
Responding to a question on remarks made by Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Birla said "undesirable" words in political discourse "erode people's faith" in democracy and democratic institutions.
"Incidents of unparliamentary behaviour and the use of undesirable words in political discourse erode people's faith in both democracy and democratic institutions," the Lok Sabha speaker said.
Khera apparently fumbled on the prime minister's father's name during a press conference. He had referred to the prime minister as "Narendra Gautamdas Modi" while criticising the government over the row involving the business conglomerate headed by Gautam Adani.
Modi's full name is Narendra Damodardas Modi, with the middle name Damodardas standing for his father's name.
Speaker Birla stressed that probity is an essential ingredient of public life as it has a deep impact on public opinion. What politicians say and what they do become an example, he said, adding it is a huge responsibility on people's representatives.
Talking about disruptions in Parliament, Birla said it is not good for democracy and emphasised that the legislative bodies are for discussion and debate.
"Parliament is for debate and discussion, not for disruption as it is not good for democracy. People don't want to see disruption in the legislature and they expect their lawmakers to raise their issues. Lawmakers should be mindful of the fact that people are watching them," he said.
On the issue of drug abuse, one of the themes of the conference, Birla called for a strong mechanism to check the smuggling of drugs from across the border and exhorted lawmakers to carry out campaigns among the public.
He said if there is a need, stringent laws can be enacted for checking drug abuse and cyber bullying, another theme of the conference.
Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman Harivansh said that for legislators, the first and foremost duty is to protect public trust.
Sikkim Governor Lakshman Prasad Acharya, chief guest at the valedictory session of the conference, said that in order to make Parliament and state legislatures more accessible to citizens, "people's representatives need to inculcate the core value of love and compassion towards the citizens first".