Dibrugarh (Assam), May 3 : Criticising Congress leader Rahul Gandhi without mentioning his name, Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday wondered “why some of us decry our democracy within and outside the country”, while describing India as “the mother of democracy and the world’s most vibrant democracy”.
The Vice President said this during his speech while attending the convocation of the Dibrugarh University located on the outskirts of this upper Assam town.
Dhankar’s jibe was apparently aimed at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who had said in a Cambridge university lecture that India’s democracy is under threat.
Calling Parliament “the temple of our democracy”, the Vice President emphasised that it is a platform where issues of public interest are debated, deliberated, discussed and decided, but prolonged disruptions, he added, undermine the esteem and confidence which people repose in their representative institutions.
Therefore, he called for generating an ecosystem so that “the parliamentarians respond positively to the spirit and essence of the founders of our Constitution”.
He underlined that freedom of expression has not been subjected to any enforced silence in India.
Dhankhar also said that education is the most effective and transformative mechanism to bring about equity, equality and progress in society.
“Nothing can change societal conditions more than people getting educated,” he commented.
The Vice President urged the students to be “agents of change” and work to bring about positive changes in society.
“You are the makers and the warriors of Bharat in 2047 when the nation will celebrate the centenary of its Independence,” he told them.
Dhankar said: “Have a dream, but do not be just a dreamer, be a doer.”
Terming the eight northeastern states the “Ashta Laxmis” of India, the Vice President said without their growth and contribution, India’s growth would remain incomplete.
He also commended Dibrugarh University for its work towards preserving the linguistic diversity and literary traditions of the region.
“Preserving our languages is very important as they have evolved over thousands of years,” he said.
The Vice President praised NCERT and the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) for highlighting the contribution of unsung heroes of the northeast “in our history and freedom struggle”.
Dhankhar also said that the northeast is emerging as the land of opportunities.
Mentioning various projects such as Bogibeel rain-cum-road bridge, 375 road projects, the rise in the airports and the setting up of 190 new educational institutions in the northeastern region, he highlighted that new avenues and vistas are now available to youth to unleash their energy.
The Vice President expressed confidence that by the end of the decade, India will be the world’s third largest economy.
The Vice President conferred D.Sc. and D.Litt degrees (Honoris Causa) to eminent personalities of Assam. He also planted a sapling tree on the university campus.
Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria, Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, Union Minister Rameswar Teli and other dignitaries were present.