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PARLIAMENTARY REPORT


INDIA


PARLIAMENT COMMEMORATES THE 60TH


FIRST SITTING


A special sitting of the Parliament of India was held on 13 May 2012 to mark the 60th anniversary of its first sitting from 13 May 1952. On this occasion, both Houses of Parliament had very fruitful discussions on the theme ‘Sixty Years of Journey of the Parliament of India’. Addressing the sitting the Speaker of Lok Sabha, Smt. Meira Kumar said the discussion would add a memorable chapter in the history of Indian Parliament. She believed it was the unwavering belief of the anonymous common Indians in the system that was the key to the survival, sustenance and success of Indian democracy. The journey of 60 years had been successful because of them and it was they who decided the direction of Indian democracy. She reiterated that the Parliament of India epitomized the sovereign will of the citizens and was the supreme custodian of their fundamental rights and interests. Paying homage to the


Founding Fathers of the Constitution, she said the Lok Sabha had stood the test of time and had made determined efforts in articulating and addressing the varied demands of the vast population. The first sitting of Parliament marked the beginning of an epoch of a new era of democracy. It was an unparalleled development in the long history of the country when hitherto marginalized people had an equal voice in managing the affairs of the country. The rich and the poor, the powerful and the hapless,


210 | The Parliamentarian | 2012: Issue Three


ANNIVERSARY OF ITS Smt. Meira Kumar, MP


all were given the right to vote. The Parliament had been a silent witness to the wave of revolution that changed things for good. With profound gratitude Smt. Kumar acknowledged the invaluable contributions made by past Speakers in evolving the rules and procedures for conducting the business of the House. She was happy to note that countries where democracy was in its infancy and also those where it was deep rooted wished to learn from India’s experiences. Despite ideological


differences among members and their obligation to follow the party directions and try to live up to the expectations of their voters, she said that national interest should always be paramount. The manner in which the House had shown solidarity in the wars of 1962, 1965 and 1971 was an exemplary aspect of Indian democracy. The Parliament of India


enacted far reaching and revolutionary legislations for establishing an egalitarian and


progressive Indian society. It had enacted nearly 3400 legislations and amended the constitution 97 times that included the landmark 73rd and 74th amendment Acts passed by the Tenth Lok Sabha. Making a mention of the increase in the number of women Parliamentarians from 21 in the First Lok Sabha to 60 in the Fifteenth, Smt Kumar said there was an earnest desire that the number might increase further. Efforts were also being made that all segments of society with their diverse socio-economic identities, ethos and genius, differences of ideas, interests, approaches and objectives received representation in the Parliament. She said the caste system needed to be rooted out as it did not go together with democracy. The Leader of the Lok Sabha


and Minister of Finance, Shri Pranab Mukherjee, said the discussion would provide an opportunity to reflect on the


Shri Pranab Mukherjee, MP


situation 60 years ago and what had been achieved. The year 1952


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