Our democracy history very ancient: Speaker Birla

New Delhi Sharing experiences and engaging in dialogue are the strengths of Indian democracy, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Friday and noted that it has been further fortified by increased involvement of women and inclusion of the last person in society.

Addressing about 500 elected women representatives from rural and urban local bodies at the Central Hall of Parliament, Birla underscored the importance of democratic practices, tracing them since the Chola dynasty.

They also participated in three sessions on legal framework, gender sensitive governance and GIS rural planning.

“Sharing our experiences, discussing and engaging in dialogue are the strengths of our democracy, and that is why India’s democracy is also historic. Our democracy is not just post-independence, its history is very ancient and its heritage is rich,” he said.

Birla said that democracy has always been ingrained in Indian thoughts, effectiveness and culture.

“The decisions and resolutions in the assembly and committees were made with consensus, and although disagreements arose, discussions and dialogues ultimately led to conclusions,” the Lok Sabha speaker said.

Birla said that “as we celebrate the 75-year journey of independence, we have fortified democracy, ensuring active participation, increased involvement of women and the inclusion of the last person in society”.

He expressed pride in India’s democracy, noting the country’s global leadership in the democratic realm. National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Rekha Sharma highlighted women’s role in politics.

She challenged traditional gender roles, saying, “If I am not a mother, wife or sister, does that mean I am not a woman? Can’t I work with equal strength? My identity should be based on my name, not my relationship as a wife or mother.”

Sharma urged women to realise their individual identities and emphasised the need for more women in politics.

The NCW chairperson also highlighted the challenges women face, noting that many didn’t attend the event due to their husbands’ absence.

She advocated for increased women’s representation in politics, suggesting that the 33 per cent reservation in Parliament would be a step towards achieving gender parity.