FOR OUTSTANDING PARLIAMENTARIAN, 1998
AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING
SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY, M.P
THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF INDIA
S. JAIPAL REDDY has had a long and distinguished
career in public affairs and as an outstanding representative
of the people. He has been a member of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative
Assembly for four terms and a member of Parliament almost continuously
since 1984. A man of profound sensitivity and courage of convictions,
Shri Reddy has never missed an opportunity to articulate the genuine
hopes and aspirations of the masses, particularly the agriculturists
and the weaker sections of the society.
Ever since he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984, SHRI
S. JAIPAL REDDY has made a meaningful contribution
towards strengthening our parliamentary system. He has an abiding
faith in the efficacy of parliamentary democracy which, for him,
is an instrument of social and economic change. He has brought
to bear upon his parliamentary career his keen interest and abundant
experience in a wide range of fields and scholarly pursuits. Encompassing
all these is his deep commitment for the socio-economic transformation
of Indian society through the elimination of inequality, injustice
and impoverishment. He has also endeavored ceaselessly to invest
politics with lofty principles ennobling standards.
A forceful orator and an articulate champion of healthy
parliamentary traditions, SHRI S. JAIPAL
REDDY's compelling and convincing expositions on diverse
subjects have enriched and enlivened the proceedings of Parliament
and through his informed, expert and active participation, he has
upheld and advanced the public interest on varied issues on many occasions.
He has been a staunch votary of a national vision unencumbered by
any narrow sectional, regional or sectarian interests. His thorough
understanding of rules and procedure of parliament and his innate
respect for the dignity of the supreme institution of the land are
indeed worthy of emulation. His speeches in the Houses of Parliament
are characterised not only by the depth of subject knowledge and incisive
intellect, but are also laced with dignified humor. For some years
past, SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY has
been widely acknowledged as one of the tallest and strongest pillars
of our Parliament. Be it as a Leader of the Opposition or as a member
of Treasury Benches, his has been a presence held in high esteem by
fellow parliamentarians. It is but natural that he is listened to
with rapt attention and utmost respect even by his political opponents.
Given his national stature, parliamentary experience
and notable contributions to parliamentary proceedings and public
life, it is only appropriate that the Parliamentary Group should bestow
the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award, 1998 on SHRI
S. JAIPAL REDDY.
Indian Parliamentary Group,
December 17, 1999
Agrahayana 26, 1921 (Saka)
AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING PARLIAMENTARIAN, 1998. PRESENTED
BY THE VICE-PRESIDENT OF INDIA CITATION.
SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY has had
a long and distinguished career in public affairs and as an outstanding
representative of the people. He has been a member of the Andhra
Pradesh Legislative Assembly for four terms and a Member of Parliament
almost continuously since 1984. A man of profound sensitivity and
courage of convictions, Shri Reddy has never missed an opportunity
to articulate the genuine hopes and aspirations of the masses,
particularly the agriculturists and the weaker sections of the
Ever since he was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1984, SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY
has made a meaningful contribution towards strengthening our parliamentary
system. He has an abiding faith in the efficacy of parliamentary democracy
which, for him, is an instrument of social and economic change. He has
brought to bear upon his parliamentary career his keen interest and abundant
experience in a wide range of fields and scholarly pursuits. Encompassing
all these is his deep commitment for the socio-economic transformation
of Indian society through the elimination of inequality, injustice and
impoverishment. He has also endeavored ceaselessly to invest politics with
lofty principles ennobling standards.
A forceful orator and an articulate champion of healthy parliamentary traditions,
SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY’S compelling and convincing expositions on diverse
subjects have enriched and enlivened the proceedings of Parliament and
through his informed, expert and active participation, he has upheld and
advanced the public interest on varied issues on many occasions. He has
been a staunch votary of a national vision unencumbered by any narrow sectional,
regional or sectarian interests. His thorough understanding of rules and
procedure of parliament and his innate respect for the dignity of the supreme
institution of the land are indeed worthy of emulation. His speeches in
the Houses of Parliament are characterised not only by the depth of subject
knowledge and incisive intellect, but are also laced with dignified humor.
For some years past, SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY has been widely acknowledged
as one of the tallest and strongest pillars of our Parliament. Be it as
a Leader of the Opposition or as a member of Treasury Benches, his has
been a presence held in high esteem by fellow parliamentarians. It is but
natural that he is listened to with rapt attention and utmost respect even
by his political opponents.
Given his national stature, parliamentary experience and notable contributions
to parliamentary proceedings and public life, it is only appropriate that
the Parliamentary Group should bestow the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award,
1998 on SHRI S. JAIPAL REDDY.
Indian Parliamentary Group, Parliament House, New Delhi.
PM'S SPEECH AT CONFERMENT OF OUTSTANDING PARLIAMENTARIAN
Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee has
said that both Government and opposition should work together to
make our Parliamentary democracy a success. The Prime Minister
stressed the need to maintain dignity and decorum in the Parliament
despite heated debate and divergent views. He was speaking after
the conferment of the Outstanding Parliamentarian award to Shri
Pranab Mukherjee and Shri Jaipal Reddy.
Praising Shri Mukherjee and Shri Reddy for their contribution,
the Prime Minister said that they raised the level of debates in
which they participated.
Following is the text of the Prime Minister's
speech on the occasion :
"We have gathered to confer outstanding Parliamentarian
of the Year Award to Shri Pranab Mukherjee and Shri Jaipal Reddy,
both of whom richly deserve this distinction.
To recognise and honour the talent in both Houses of Parliament
irrespective of party affiliations, shows the vibrancy of our Parliamentary
system and reflects our commitment to democracy.
This is all the more so at a time when democratic structure and
Parliamentary system are facing crisis in some countries.
Friends, Parliament is the corner-stone of our Republic that will
complete 50 years next month. What makes it more relevant is that
it affords a platform for both Government and Opposition to debate
national issues. Parliament can also be a powerful instrument to
forge consensus and cooperation.
I have always held that governance, especially in a country as
large and diverse as ours is more than a question of Parliamentary
arithmetic. Effective governance is possible when Government and
Opposition work together to make Parliamentary democracy a success.
Our Parliament has a tradition of informed, if at times, heated
debate. It is this debate that often helps Government to rectify
and refine its policies. But, no matter how heated the debate nor
how divergent the views of Government and Opposition, dignity and
decorum need to be maintained. Otherwise, Parliament cannot fulfil
Shri Mukherjee and Shri Reddy are two Parliamentarians who have
sat on both Treasury and Opposition benches.
Irrespective of which bench they have sat on they
have participated in debate in their own inimitable style.
Shri Mukherjee is professorial; Shri Reddy never at a loss for
wit and humour. Both, however, come well-informed. Both can, on
occasion use barbs with deadly effect. But rare is the occasion
when they have not raised the level of Parliamentary debate in
which they have participated.
Their reasoned arguments have helped Members get a better understanding
of the issues involved. Government, too, stands to gain from their
I have known Shri Mukherjee for many years. His vast experience
in Government gives him an advantage, which, I must say, he puts
to good use now that he is in Opposition.
With nearly three decades of Parliamentary experience to his credit,
Shri Mukherjee enriches the Rajya Sabha with his presence. He justly
deserves to be honoured with Outstanding Parliamentarian of the
Year Award for 1997.
Shri Jaipal Reddy is one of our younger colleagues having made
his Parliamentary debut in 1984. It is indeed a fitting tribute
to his skills as Parliamentarian, that, in this relatively short
span of 15 years, he has been selected for this award for 1998.
Both in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Shri Reddy has demonstrated
his ability to debate diverse issues with clarity, passion and
wit. His robust interventions are ample evidence of the robust
health of our Parliament. I warmly congratulate him on being conferred
I commend the Indian Parliamentarians Group for instituting this
award. It is both a recognition of talent and inspiration for others.
Above all it is a tribute to our Parliamentary democracy.
Convocation Address by Sri S Jaipal Reddy at Kakatiya University
His Excellency Sushil Kumar Shinde, Chancellor
of the University, Prof. V. Gopal Reddy, Vice-Chancellor, Members
of the Executive Council, Faculty, Students, graduating students,
distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I feel deeply touched
and greatly honoured by this rare opportunity of delivering the XVII
Convocation Address of Kakatiya University. Let me, therefore, express
my profound sense of gratitude to the authorities of Kakatiya University
for this affectionate gesture. My sense of gratification is all the
greater because I am doing this in Warangal, which is not only celebrated
for the historical legacy of Kakatiya empire but also for the heroic
contribution it made to the freedom struggle and for having been
the cradle of many a progressive movement. As a student activist
and a political worker, I have been associated intimately with the
educational institutions and political movements of the region of
Warangal. I am, therefore, overwhelmed by valued and crowded memories
on this occasion.
Since my twenties, I have been delivering extempore lectures to my contemporaries
in colleges, peers in politics, mavens in media and academia with unabashed
intellectual superciliousness. My good luck is that I have got away with
my braggadocio for more than four decades. However, the fact of the matter
is that I have not been either a polymathic savant or a super-specialist.
I have only been a practicing politician with enough hunger for such general
knowledge as to stand me in good stead either as a parliamentarian or as
a political commentator. But Kakatiya University has taken my reputation
at its face value and chosen to assign this onerous task to me. On this occasion,
I am required to desist from my own wonted impromptu articulation and stick
to a written address. It is a tall order, as I am more comfortable with speaking
rather than with reading. However, I have no doubt that writing is the best
form of exposition. Francis Bacon rightly observed that “Reading maketh
a full man; conference a ready man and writing an exact man”.
It shall be my endeavour to share with you some of my tentative insights
on “intellectual confusions of our time” in the course of this
presentation. Both as an activist and analyst, I have been extraordinarily
struck not only by the titanic political collisions but also by the traumatic
philosophical confusions of the time we are passing through. It might be
argued that this has been true of every important epoch in history. It is
the extreme degree of this feature, which clearly distinguishes our era from
that of any other. As G.W. Hegel pointed out that difference of degree beyond
a point would make for difference in quality as well. Our times, therefore,
are both quantitatively and qualitatively different.
We are living in an age of unprecedented prosperity. What is more, we are
torn by apocalyptic conflicts. On top of everything, we are confronted with
bewildering intellectual confusion spawned by extreme divergence in ideologies.
There is, therefore, an imperative necessity to rise above the immediate
clash of ideological concepts and develop a larger historical perspective
in order to make sense out of current chaos and to see the way forward.
It is generally admitted that we are living in a modern age. There is, however,
no consensus on what elements constitute the modern age and what factors
had led to its birth. Modern age is a product of the vast developments that
the two great Revolutions sparked off. The French Revolution, which occurred
in the late eighteenth century, destabilized the age-old institutions and
ideas and paved the way for new political and social experiments and radical
modes of thinking. At about the same time, the Industrial Revolution unleashed
new forms of energy such as steam-engine and new technologies such as telegraph.
These two great Revolutions reinforced each other and produced a paradigm
shift both in thought-processes and production techniques. Although the radical
changes wrought by the two Revolutions were there for naked eye to see, it
is interesting to see that right in the nineteenth century, the rulers and
diplomats went about the usual way as though nothing had happened. It is
said of Bourbons, the dynasty at the time of French Revolution, that “they
learn nothing and forget nothing”. It was not only true of the French
rulers indulging in pomp and pageantry, but it could also be said to be true
of all the advisors to rulers. This only goes to prove that the implications
of great changes can be discerned only by perceptive minds and not by pro-establishment
As we are dealing with the two great Revolutions, it might be asked as to
whether they were merely co-incidental or the culmination of historical developments.
I am among those who believe that the ground for the two Revolutions was
prepared through a number of important developments in such varied fields
as religion, philosophy, literature, arts and science. To understand the
point, the colossal impact produced by the Reformation and Renaissance, scientific
discoveries of Copernicus, Galileo and Newton, new theories produced by John
Locke and Hegel, Voltaire and Rousseau need to be recalled. I have briefly
referred to the intellectual foundations laid over three centuries for the
two great Revolutions. Even a rapid survey of these intellectual foundations
is a vast topic in itself. For reasons of space and time, I am not embarking
on that exploration here. I will, therefore, now revert to the consequences
of the two Revolutions. Of the two, the impact of the Industrial Revolution
is better recognised than that of the French Revolution. Even in respect
of the Industrial Revolution, its earth-shattering effects are grossly underestimated.
It was a huge deluge that transformed every aspect of human society that
had existed before. The Industrial Revolution, which started with the spinning
jinny and steam engine, gathered momentum with the telegraph and culminated
in the splitting of atom and spread of internet. The invention of Internet
is identified with the ongoing information revolution, which in turn is regarded
as fundamental a development as the Industrial Revolution by some thinkers
like Alvin Toffler. Whether the Internet is as important as the steam engine
is an academic controversy that still remains to be settled. It has at least
served to highlight the dramatic impact of modern technology.
While there is recognition of technological effects on our lifestyle, there
is no corresponding appreciation of the changes that have taken place in
the patterns of thought. The modernity of current schools of thought is so
obscured as to be considered synonymous with seamless extension of ancient
ideas. The modern age has not only witnessed vast increase in our economic
standards and destructive potential of the weaponry but also immense generation
of new popular ideologies.
Let me allude to 10 such schools of thought, which are fundamentally modern
and have little or no resemblance to their alleged ancient approximations.
They are: (1) Nationalism (2) Democracy (3) Capitalism (4) Communism (5)
Socialism (6) Secularism (7) Humanism (8) Anarchism (9) Feminism (10) Welfare
The aforesaid list is comprehensive, though not exhaustive.
Contrary to popular perception, nationalism is a notion of recent origin.
Before the advent of the nation-state, the primary allegiance of most people
was to their immediate locality or religious group or dynastic ruler. In
Europe, nationalist sentiments came to be based on language in the context
of bloody and protracted confrontation between Protestantism and Roman Catholicism.
It also received fillip through resistance to alien domination, for e.g.
it grew with resistance to Napoleon in Germany and with resistance to Austria
in Italy. Mao, even while leading the communist revolution, embodied the
nationalist sentiment of Chinese against Japanese imperialism. Mahatma Gandhi
not only led the biggest mass movement for national freedom in history but
also inspired anti-colonial struggles all over the world. As Netaji Subhash
Chandra Bose knew that nationalism is a new creed, he described Mahatma Gandhi
as the Father of the Nation, even while differing from him regarding the
techniques of struggle. Nationalism, as a liberating force, is a welcome
modern idea. But, nationalism, to retain its positive character, needs to
be constantly salvaged from incestuous linkage to language, race or religion.
Although the westerners would like to believe that democracy flourished in
ancient Greece and Rome, it needs to be emphatically noted that slaves were
excluded and citizenry mostly belonged to small cities. Socrates and Plato,
who are among the greatest philosophers of all times, were implacably opposed
to democracy, as they thought it had led to the defeat of their beloved city-state,
Athens, in war against Sparta. We also want to believe that democratic regimes
prevailed in parts of ancient India though they were confined only to village
Panchayats. The House of Commons in Britain is regarded as the mother of
all Parliaments. Democracy, even in Britain, does not have a long tradition,
as only men with property and rank had the suffrage in the 19 Century. Even
when large-scale democratic reforms were introduced in Britain in the last
quarter of 19 Century, the principle conceded was only that of universal
adult male franchise. Women in Britain had to wait for the right to vote
until the 1920s. The record of other countries in Western Europe is even
worse. It is abundantly clear that the Industrial Revolution and the consequent
economic growth facilitated the spread of democracy. In India, the founding
fathers had the vision and the courage to let democracy precede development
and indeed to accelerate development. It is a unique experiment with more
than a modest measure of success. As the exciting story of Indian democracy
deserves a detailed exposition, I do not intend to deal with it any further.
Capitalism is often confused with mercantilism. In fact, capitalism succeeded
mercantilism. Capitalist system could not have sustained itself without the
factory system, which itself was a by-product of industrial development.
Capitalism could not have survived as a system until our times even with
all its modifications, if the snowballing technology had not constantly increased
the surplus to such a degree as to let the fruits of progress be widely diffused.
That is the reason why such a vast social security net can be seen in the
developed world. Capitalism has managed to survive more through the bountiful
blessings of technology rather than through dynamics of market. Even Karl
Marx looked upon capitalism as a necessary prelude to socialism.
Communism was propounded by Marx in collaboration with Angels to put an end
to economic inequities and growing monopolies, which were compounded by capitalist
exploitation. It advocates community ownership of all property and distribution
of means according to the necessity of persons. Marx was acutely alive to
the absolute novelty of his idea. He never confused his post-industrial communism
with tribal communitarianism. He in fact thought that all socialist thought
before he wrote his ‘Communist Manifesto’ in 1848 was merely
utopian and the era of thought of scientific socialism began only in 1848.
Anarchism, like communism, is entirely a product of the 19 century philosophy.
It holds all forms of government authority to be unnecessary and undesirable
and envisages a society based on voluntary cooperation. P.J. Proudhan, Mikhail
Bakunin and others propounded the anarchist philosophy in their own respective
ways but all of them had raging doctrinal disputes with Marx. Even Marx was
not immune to it, as is evident from his prediction that the State would
eventually wither away. In our own country, Vinoba Bhave preached a certain
variety of philosophical anarchism.
Socialism, be it utopian, scientific or Fabian, is a post-capitalist concept.
It is aimed at achieving distributive equity in society. It is contra distinct
from communism, in so far as it is implacably opposed to proletarian dictatorship
and strongly attached to democracy both as a means and as an end. However,
socialism does recognise class as a vital category. In the context of our
society, caste is largely synonymous with class.
Secularism as a concept was developed in the historical context of huge confrontation
against the medieval papacy. This led to separation of state from the church
in Europe. This principle has been adopted in all parts of the world, as
every religion has a tendency of promoting totalitarian belief-systems. As
the institutions of popular democracy have got strengthened, secularism has
received enormous impetus. As a consequence, democracy and secularism has
become Siamese twins.
Humanism is animated by an individualistic and critical spirit. Historically,
humanist philosophy was thrown up by the cumulative impact of two major movements,
Reformation and Renaissance. It lays emphasis on a human centered rather
than a God- centered universe. It would be absolutely incorrect to equate
modern humanism with charity or love in various religious traditions.
Feminism is a pure product of 20 Century. Women, after receiving their voting
right and enhancing their educational and economic status, began to assert
the right to absolute equality with men. It continues to have great resonance
and relevance because even in 21 Century most women are discriminated against.
The programme of reservation of 113 seats in legislatures of India still
remains a far cry. Even at the philosophical plane, many intellectuals continue
to harbour reservations about equality of women. The recent academic controversy
started by none other than the President of Harvard University about women
being genetically inferior in mathematics and sciences is a resounding demonstration
of continuing prejudice against women. Such formulations do not take into
account the dynamics of sociology of knowledge. It is difficult to convince
even academics that opportunity is a pre-requisite for the growth of talent.
Welfare State is again a complete product of the 20 Century. For the first
time in history such economic conditions have been created through technology
as to let the state provide welfare to all citizens. When John Kenneth Galbreth
wrote his ground breaking work in the 1950s, ‘The Affluent Society’,
it was a new revelation. Dr. Amartya Sen developed welfare economics in such
a way as to envisage a system of universal entitlements. This is a concept
which is still evolving. What is more, it has largely been confined to developed
countries. In India, a bold attempt is being made to accelerate economic
growth, even while strengthening the system of entitlements. It is to be
clarified that all ancient and medieval religious traditions have their systems
of welfare but they were primarily ethical postulates, as at that time there
was neither industrial prosperity nor popular democracy to back them up.
While as many as ten popular ideologies have received a brief treatment,
no reference has been made at all to such other powerful forces of modern
times as imperialism and fascism. I am aware of the fact that they have been
as powerful as any other. After all, imperialism was the plank behind the
First World War, while fascism was the cause of Second World War. I have
not dealt with them as they are pre-modern schools of thought. In fact, they
have been receiving impetus from reaction against modern egalitarian forces.
The popular ideologies I have dealt with are primarily modern and largely
positive. The areas of convergence among these ideologies are much larger
than those of divergence.
The paladins of modern ideologies refuse to recognise many commonalties that
bind them together. As a result, they unwittingly end up strengthening feudalism
and communalism, which are only indigenous cousins of imperialism and fascism.
Apart from passionate protagonists, who are bothered more about their doctrinal
niceties than about the larger picture, liberal intelligentsia gets confused
as the fundamental distinction between the modern and pre-modern philosophies
is not clearly made. In the pre-modern phase, the belief-system and production
techniques were similar, if not identical, both in the east and in the west.
The pre-modern west was as much steeped in poverty, superstition and tyranny
as the east. The term, ‘oriental despotism’, is a false western
construct. Who was more despotic in history than Nero, who played fiddle
while Rome was burning, or than Louis XIV who famously said “I am the
Our intellectual confusions are primarily the result of our inability to
distinguish between the modern and the pre-modern and to confuse the modern
west with the historical west. If these two fundamental intellectual distinctions
are driven home, many of our current confusions, will be eased. We will then
not only be able to partake of all the fruits of Industrial Revolution but
also relish the three great ideals of French Revolution — liberty,
equality and fraternity. These ideals are more realistic today then they
were in the eighteenth century. Let us proceed to fulfil these dreams. This
appeal of mine is specially directed towards the young graduates and post-graduates
who will receive their degrees today as they will be more open to new ideas
than people of older generations. Resistance to new ideas grows with age.
It has been rightly said that He who’s convinced against his will
Is of the same opinion still.
Before I conclude, let me warmly greet the graduating students and wish them
a glorious future. I also once again thank the authorities of the University
for this honour and wish the University a great reputation.