President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday urged Karnataka lawmakers to add decency to debate, dissent and decide in the legislature, which “is the temple of democracy” to make democracy a reality.
“We are aware of the three D’s of the legislature, a place to debate, dissent and decide. If we add fourth D — decency, only then does the fifth D – democracy, become a reality,” Kovind told the lawmakers at a joint session of the state legislature to mark the diamond jubilee of Vidhana Soudha building.
“It is not just the 60th birthday of this building that we are marking. This is also the diamond jubilee of the debates and discussions in the two houses that have passed legislation and policies for the betterment of Karnataka,” he said.
Reiterating that the two chambers are the “sacred temples of democracy”, he said: “We must raise the level of political and policy discourse.”
Noting that the spirit of debate and discussion, of inquiry and service was not limited to Vidhana Soudha or to political life, the President said this was in the soil of the state.
“Karnataka has been known for spiritualism as much as science, for its farmers as much as its technologists. Its contribution to the intellectual and cultural – and ultimately democratic – heritage of our country has been enormous,” he said in his address on his first visit to the city after assuming office.
“Two of our finest army chiefs – Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa and General K.S. Thimmayya – were sons of Karnataka,” he said.
Recalling the contributions of Karnataka’s former rulers, politicians and scientists in the growth of the state and the country on the whole, the President also referred to Tipu Sultan, leading to loud applause from a majority of the legislators.
“Tipu Sultan died a historic death fighting the British. He was also a pioneer in the development of Mysore rockets (iron-cast rockets for military use),” he said.
The President said the assembly and the council did not only represent the Kannadigas but also their ideals, energy, optimism and dynamism.
“Karnataka’s dreams are not for Karnataka alone, they are dreams for all of India. Karnataka is an engine of Indian economy,” he said, also terming the state a “mini-India” that draws youth from all over the country without losing its cultural and linguistic identity.
After a meet and greet with the state legislators post the joint session, the President also took part in a photo session with them.