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Meira’s poser on Indian democracy

Staff Reporter
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How long will it take for the country to become the best functioning one, she asks

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar receives a memento from West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the ceremony of Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Assembly in Kolkata on Wednesday.— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish.
Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar receives a memento from West Bengal Assembly Speaker Biman Banerjee and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the ceremony of Platinum Jubilee celebrations of the Assembly in Kolkata on Wednesday.— Photo: Sushanta Patronobish.

Observing that the marginalised and the deprived have kept their promise in the democratic system of the country, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar asked here on Wednesday: “How long will it take for the country to graduate from being the largest functioning democracy to being the best functioning democracy”.

 Addressing the West Bengal Assembly on “Challenges before Parliamentary Democracy”, Ms. Kumar touched on various issues like role of legislature, increasing the number of women legislators, the caste system and corruption.

 On the empowerment of women, Ms. Kumar said that more women should have a role in crucial decision-making processes and pointed out that the 73{+r}{+d}and 74{+t}{+h}Constitutional amendments were aimed at politically empowering the women in our country.

  “Fifteen State Assemblies have increased their (women) reservation to 50 per cent,” she said.

 “It’s time for women to realise their full potential at all levels, their safety must be ensured at home, in workplace and on the move. At present their condition in society is holding back our democracy,” she said.

 Expressing concern that the caste system has crept into our polity, Ms. Kumar said “democracy and caste system cannot coexist”.

“One is based on equality and other on discrimination (so) one must vanquish the other”.

  Stating that a majority of population in the country are the youth she said that the “Facebook and Twitter generation” has become “restless and impatient with the speed with which the system moves”.

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