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Meira praises Indian MPs at New York lecture

By Suman Mozumdar
November 16, 2009 12:35 IST
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Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar paid tribute to the members of the lower house of the Parliament at a lecture in New York, saying they are "very well-behaved" and were always keen to help finish the business of the house.

In response to a question at the Indian Consulate in New York over the weekend where she delivered the 'Distinguished Lecture', a third in the series that was launched last month by New York Consul General Prabhu Dayal, Kumar said the current Lok Sabha was "very orderly".

Though sometimes the members of the house do "get influenced by the events prevalent in the country", especially in case of a coalition government, she said.

"So, it does happen sometimes (when the chamber becomes acrimonious), but my experience so far, since I have taken over, is that the members of various parties are very well-behaved," Kumar said.

"I am very appreciative of that. Yes, sometimes there are agitations, (as) India is the largest democracy and each member represents more than a million people. It is a big democracy and there are pressures on them, and sometimes they (the members of the parliament) get agitated," she said.

Delivering the lecture on 'Parliamentary Diplomacy', Kumar said in the global context today parliamentary democracy was a very important instrument of "inclusive dialogue and comprehensive engagement".

"Over the years, the world has realised the futility of war as a means of diplomacy, and now there is a much greater degree of awareness that diplomacy can bring peace, amity and understanding and in this exercise, parliamentary diplomacy is poised to play an important role," she said.

Kumar, who is here to address the preparatory meeting for the Inter-Parliamentary Union conference that will be held in New Delhi next year, said at the bilateral level, the exchange of parliamentary delegation was an important medium to facilitate parliamentary diplomacy.

"I may say that in times to come, the inter-dependence of the world will impel parliamentary diplomacy to play a critical role in supplementing and complementing the efforts of the executive in the foreign policy arena," Kumar said.

Image: Lok Speaker Meira Kumar at the Indian Consulate in New York | Photograph: Jay Mandal

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Suman Mozumdar in New York