President Pratibha Patil on Monday cautioned Members of Parliament not to voice their dissensions in Parliament at the cost of serious debate and legislations. She maintained that they should keep abreast of new developments in technology and information explosion while making laws.
In her farewell speech to Parliamentarians, Patil pointed out that varied political thinking is a part of any legislature and more so in a country as large and diverse as India. Though this adds to the "vibrancy" of our democratic institutions, she said it also poses a challenge as a multiplicity of expectations has to be met.
"Naturally, there will be arguments in the process of the search for answers, but it should never happen that in the din we lose our way forward. At the end of the day, the worth, value and respect of a legislature, is judged by its output in terms of serious debate and legislations," she said.
Patil's tenure had seen the washout of the whole winter session of Parliament in 2010 -- when the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance insisted on formation of a Joint Parliamentary Committee to probe the 2G Spectrum scam. Disruptions and walkouts have become more frequent in recent months.
The outgoing President also pointed out that in the last two decades there have been changes "such as information explosion, technological innovations, increasing economic prosperity, growing materialism, and in its midst the danger of losing values".
Patil said governments and legislatures need to seriously reflect on these fundamental changes.
"If unnoticed, our systems and institutions could be out-of-size and out-of-time. Therefore, deep thought should be given by honorable members to how our institutions, our administrative practices, legislatures and legal processes, can fulfill these growing demands and responsibilities effectively," Patil said.
Patil also emphasised on the need for electoral reforms and said that there should be constructive thinking on social issues, followed by positive action.
The outgoing president, whose term comes to end on July 25, said the Parliament must be a "robust body" to be able to "do the right at all costs" as underlined by Mahatma Gandhi.
"I am confident that our Parliamentarians will deliver on this. Indeed, the functioning of the Parliament of the world's largest democracy must meet exacting standards, to set an example for the rest of the world," Patil said.
She praised her successor Pranab Mukherjee and wished him the very best.
"A veteran Parliamentarian, he has a formidable reputation based on his insightful mind and sharp memory. He has vast experience of the functioning of government as well. He brings to the office of the President, sagacity, experience and a deep understanding of national and international issues," Patil said.
She described him as a statesman who has many achievements to his credit in the last four decades of his public life.