New Delhi: Text of the maiden speech of Shri M.Venkaiah Naidu as Chairman of Rajya Sabha to the House after sworn in as the Vice-President of India on August 11, 2017.
Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, Respected Leader of the House Shri ArunJaitely, Respected Leader of the Opposition Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad, Hon’ble Deputy Chairman Sri PJ Kurien, Hon’ble Ministers and distinguished Members of the august House!
When I first entered this august house as a Member in 1998, I never had even the faintest of the idea that one day I would have the honour of presiding over as its Chairperson. This is the beauty and majesty of our Parliamentary democracy and its strength as well. It can lift a commoner like me to such an exalted position and offer opportunities to discharge onerous responsibilities that go with this position.
I am truly humbled by the honour bestowed on me by the Honourable Members of Parliament by electing me as the Vice-President of India, by the virtue of which I have been charged with the responsibility of Chairperson of Rajya Sabha.
I am grateful to all the concerned for reposing faith and confidence in me and entrusting such responsibility to me. At the outset, I would like to assure all of you that it shall be my endeavor to live up to your expectations.
Before I elaborate on my thoughts as the Chairperson of this august House, I would like to briefly reflect on the origin and the role of this federal chamber of Parliament of India. With its roots in the Monteague-Chemlsford Report of 1918, the Council of States first came into being in 1921 further to the Government of India Act, 1919, as a second chamber of the then legislature with a restricted franchise.
Subsequently, there were extensive debates on the need for this House in the Constituent Assembly. It was considered that a single directly elected House would be inadequate to meet the challenges before free India. Accordingly, ‘Council of States’ was created as a federal chamber i.e House elected by elected members. An element of dignity and prestige was accorded to this chamber by making the Vice-President of India the Ex-Officio Chairman of the House.
The learned members of the Constituent Assembly envisaged this chamber as a ‘House of reflective and evaluative reasoning’. Late Shri N.GopalaswamyAyyangar termed it as a ‘House which can rein in passions of the moment’. Late Shri Loknath Mishra described it as a ‘sobering House, a reviewing House, a House standing for quality and the members will exercise their right to be heard on the merit of what they say, for their sobriety and knowledge of special problems.”