“I join other leaders in recognizing and honouring three of our senior and distinguished Parliamentarians with the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award. Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsiji, Shri Mohan Singhji and Dr. Murli Manohar Joshiji, all richly deserve this honour. I have often heard with interest and attention each of them making thoughtful interventions in major debates in the House.
In conferring these Outstanding Parliamentarian Awards, we are reaffirming the importance of the best traditions of Parliament and indeed of parliamentary democracy.
The effective functioning of Parliament is certainly dependent on the norms, conventions and rules that govern proceedings. But it is the calibre of the Members who breathe life and vitality into this institution. Outstanding Parliamentarians through their speeches and interventions make Parliament a forum not just to reflect public opinion but also to mould it. There is no doubt that in today’s age of information overload, Parliament has to raise the standard and quality of its debates and discussions. We need many more Parliamentarians like those we honour today.
It is important to keep in mind that the duty of a parliamentarian is to raise the voice of the people and to seek answers from the government of the day, on matters of public interest. Disruptions and walkouts may make good headlines but it is a good parliamentarian, who has done his homework, who can take the Government to task.
Shri Priya Ranjan Dasmunsiji could not be with us today, but I fondly recall the energy and enthusiasm with which he discharged his duties as the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs. He can reach out to members from all political parties and his ability to build consensus and find a way forward despite strong differences helped to prevent many disruptions. Shri Dasmunsi is a grass-roots politician with a keen understanding of public sentiment and interest, which he would articulate fearlessly in debates. In honouring him today, we recognize a multi-faceted politician and parliamentarian whose presence in the House was felt by one and all.
Shri Mohan Singhji has had a long and distinguished legislative career both as a Member of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly as well as Member of both Houses of Parliament. He is a strong advocate of issues that affect the common man and his sober and balanced interventions are heard with attention in the House. Mohan Singhji is a politician of the old school and I am happy that we are honouring a parliamentarian who has always tried to uphold the highest traditions of the House.
Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi is one of our very experienced parliamentarians, who has served in both Houses with great distinction. I have always found Dr. Joshi’s interventions to be thoughtful and incisive, even when I have disagreed with his views. He is a man of wide ranging interests and has been an active member of many important Standing Committees. He is currently the Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee. Dr. Joshi is a man of steadfast principles and his speeches reflect his scholarly approach to understanding the issues of the day.
The three awardees belong to three different parties and this itself reflects the important role played by members from all parties whether from the Treasury benches or the Opposition benches. I do hope that young Parliamentarians learn from the example set by these three very distinguished and senior Members who have shown that argument and debate can be conducted effectively without raising one’s voice.
With these few words, I once again compliment the awardees of the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for the years 2007, 2008 and 2009.”