Democracy not only just a constitutional structure, but a spirt: PM Modi

New Delhi: Vice President of India and Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu; Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi and Lok Sabha Speaker, Shri Om Birla jointly launched Sansad TV in Parliament House Complex, today.

Union Ministers, Chairpersons of Parliamentary Committees; Deputy Chairman, Rajya Sabha, Shri Harivansh; Members of Parliament and other dignitaries also graced the occasion.

Calling for fast tracking of development to build a resurgent and resilient India, Vice – President of India and Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, stressed on the need for dialogue among stakeholders and bringing an end to disruptions in the legislatures. Shri Naidu emphasized the need for strengthening parliamentary democracy, enabling equitable development and empowering every citizen to be an agent of positive transformation and the critical role of media in fulfilling this agenda.

Calling for meaningful debates echoing people’s aspirations in the legislatures, Shri Naidu said; “The loud disruptive noise should not drown the voice of people. The debates should amplify concerns, clarify doubts and deepen shared understanding. Debates in the legislatures throw up solutions to the problems. But disruptions only dissipate our collective energies and delay the task of building a new India.” Referring to the role of media in parliamentary democracy, the Vice – President observed that the phenomenal expansion of television, social and digital media has thrown up the challenge of ‘fake news’ and ‘sensationalism’ and separating ‘truth’ from ‘falsehood’ has become difficult. Elaborating on the need for vital connection between parliamentary democracy and an aware and enlightened citizenry, Shri Naidu urged the media to function as Means of Empowerment for Development through Informed Actions by the citizens.

Addressing the event, the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, lauded the transformation of the channel associated with the Parliament in accordance with rapidly changing times, especially when the 21st century is bringing revolution through dialogue and communication. The Prime Minister termed the launch of Sansad TV a new chapter in the story of Indian democracy as, in the form of Sansad TV, the country is getting a medium of communication and dialogue which will become a new voice of the nation’s democracy and people’s representative. The Prime Minister also greeted Doordarshan for completing 62 years of its existence. He also greeted all the engineers on the occasion of Engineer’s day.

Noting that today is also International Day of Democracy, the Prime Minister remarked that when it comes to Democracy, India’s responsibility is more as India is the mother of democracy. Democracy for India is not just a system, it is an idea. Democracy in India is not just a constitutional structure, but it is a spirit. Democracy in India is not just a collection of streams of constitutions, it is our life stream, he said.

The Prime Minister highlighted the role of the media in the context of 75 years of independence. Talking about the centrality of content, the Prime Minister said while it is said that ‘content is king, in his experience “Content is Connect.” He explained that, when one has better content, people automatically engage with it. As much as this applies to the media, it is equally applicable to our parliamentary system as there is not only politics in Parliament, there is also policy. He emphasized that common people should feel the connect with the proceedings of the Parliament. He asked the new channel to work in that direction.

The Prime Minister said when the Parliament is in session, debates are held on diverse subjects, so there is so much for the youth to learn. Members of Parliament also get inspiration for better conduct, better debate inside the Parliament when the country watches them. He also stressed the need to focus on duties of the citizens and said that the media is an effective medium for this awareness.

Referring to “Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav” being celebrated across the nation to commemorate 75 years of independence, Shri Birla said that it is fitting that Sansad TV is being launched on the International Day of Democracy at such an important milestone of our national journey. Shri Birla hoped that the merger of the erstwhile Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha TV channels would see better use of resources and that it would work more effectively to establish a dialogue between Parliament and the public.

Shri Birla observed that Sansad TV would be at the forefront in creating awareness among citizens about the role of public representatives and the functioning of our democratic institutions; from Gram Panchayats to Parliament. He hoped that Sansad TV, in its new avatar, would provide accurate and real time information on political developments, socio-economic changes and other policy matters. Further, through this channel, people from all over the world would be able access information about the Parliament, parliamentary committees and other democratic institutions and the positive and inspirational work done by people’s representatives will also be brought to light, he said. He added that the new channel would highlight the lives of people living in remote areas and bring positive change in the lives of other people.

Shri Birla further said that through this channel, efforts would be made to ensure that the youth of the nation are aware of the functioning of our Parliamentary democracy, its constitution, and of citizens’ duties and rights.