Referring to political activism at the grassroots level, Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Saturday said delegitimising the political processes was unlikely to solve the country's problems and could eventually lead to chaos.
Delivering the sixth lecture organised to commemorate the birth centenary of former President R. Venkataraman at India International Centre here, Mr. Ansari said political activism has sought to utilise Gandhian approaches, both in tactical and strategic terms, in some instances.
“These socio-political movements co-exist alongside mainstream politics represented by political parties and related electoral dynamics at the national, State and local government levels. Their causes vary from environment, farmers' issues, land acquisition problems, disputes regarding natural resources and mining activities and public policy goals such as improving public service delivery and combating corruption.”
The Vice-President said instead of focusing on solving socio-political problems through established constitutional processes, the search for solutions was increasingly moving towards quasi-legal, perhaps extra-legal arenas.
“Seeking to erode the careful in-built balance between executive, legislature and judiciary as contained in the Constitution, either through under-reach of one or over-reach of another, could lead to chaos,” he cautioned.
Noting that Sir Venkataraman had an extraordinary career in public life as an eminent lawyer, trade union leader, parliamentarian and statesman, Mr. Ansari said the former's journey from Rajamadam village (Tamil Nadu) to Rashtrapati Bhavan was an example of dedication, perseverance and concern for public interest.
Former West Bengal Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi said the former President was upright without being sanctimonious, loyal without being servile, rewarding without being biased. “He was not flawless, but he always acknowledged whenever there was any lapse of judgement and sought to rectify it.”
Rajasthan Governor Shivraj Patil said the former President knew how law is interpreted, made and implemented. “He was a wise follower of old and new philosophies. His approach was not one-sided and partial. It was all inclusive and holistic.”