India is the world's most vibrant democracy and its image cannot be allowed to be tainted or tarnished by anyone, Vice-President Jagdeep Dhankhar said on May 3.
Some people are trying to tarnish India's democratic image outside the country by spreading a false narrative that people do not enjoy their rights, Mr. Dhankhar said while addressing the 21st convocation of the Dibrugarh University in Dibrugarh.
''When all is going well, why should some decry our democracy, talk outside as well as inside the country that we do not have democratic values? I dare say with confidence and without fear of contradictions, India is the most vibrant functional democracy on the planet on this date,'' he said without naming anyone.
He urged the students that they must find a way out so that such ''pernicious and sinister narratives are nipped in the bud''.
He appealed to students, youth, intelligentsia and media to act as ''ambassadors of the country. Believe in nationalism and run down this narrative''.
This is a narrative with no factual basis and ''we cannot support those who inside and outside the country, tarnish and taint our growth trajectory and democratic values''.
Mr. Dhankhar did not take any name, but there were allegations that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi criticised the country in London recently.
The Vice-President also said that the Parliament is a "place for dialogue, discussion and debate" and not a place for disruption and disturbances.
Mr. Dhankhar said that such false narratives are emanating from a few universities outside the country, including in the United States, where some Indian students and faculty criticise their own country.
''You will find a few politicians who will trot around the globe and criticise their country but this is not India's culture. Our former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee when in Opposition was selected by then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao to represent the country. This is our culture and we have to believe in our motherland and subscribe to the sublimity of our nationalism,'' he said.
Parliament is a place for dialogue, deliberation, discussion and debate and not a place for disruption and disturbances, the Vice-President said.
He asked, ''How can we weaponise disruption and disturbances as a political tool? How can we allow this hallowed theatre to be polluted?'' It is time that an ecosystem is created so that Parliamentarians respond positively to the spirit and essence of the Constitution, Mr. Dhankhar said.
He said that India has emerged as the fastest-growing economy in the world and is now a favoured destination for investments.
''We are now the fifth largest global economy and what is indeed a matter of pride is that we overtook our erstwhile colonial masters. We hope to become the third largest economy of the world by the turn of the current decade,'' he said.
The Vice-President said that the year 2014 was a watershed in India's political history with the nation being respected over the world.
''There has been a new mantra of governance which is ‘less government and more governance' coupled with visionary planning and execution,'' Mr. Dhankhar added.
During earlier regimes, the corridors of power were infested with power brokers but ''these are a matter of the past with the corridors fully sanitised. There is no leakage of funds with direct transfer of benefits for whom it is meant'', he said.