The Vice President of India, Shri M Venkaiah Naidu has called for an enlightened and constructive debate on issues such as CAA, NRC and NPR and urged the people to study in-depth and fully understand the background before reacting to any issue.
Inaugurating the Birth Centenary Celebrations of the late Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh, Dr. M. Channa Reddy in Hyderabad, the Vice President said that violence and democracy do not go together and cautioned the people to not get carried away in this age of fake news.
As regards CAA, NRC and NPR, the people of the country should have an enlightened, meaningful and constructive discussion and not jump to hasty conclusions. Ours is a mature democracy and there is no place for violence in it, the Vice President stressed.
Stating that dissent or disagreement has to be expressed in a constructive, democratic and peaceful manner, he recalled that Mahatma Gandhi had eschewed violence in all its forms even in the face of most daunting challenges. “While protesting against the British rule, he remained civil even to his adversary. He called off Non Cooperation Movement after Chauri Chaura incident which had turned violent”, he pointed out.
The Vice President stressed the need for maintaining the dignity of Parliament and Legislatures and raising the standards of the debates. He said that personal attacks should not be made, while policies could be criticized.
Referring to the governance system, the Vice President called for reforming it constantly in tune with people’s aspirations. He emphasized that transparency, accountability and people-centric policies were essential to provide good governance.
He said that eliminating corruption, decentralizing administration, cutting down red tape, promoting online interface between government departments and the public and promptly addressing the grievances were important features of a responsive administration.
Paying rich tributes to Dr. Channa Reddy, he said the late Chief Minister was a grass-roots politician and a mass leader, who relentlessly strove to uplift the conditions of the common people. The fact that he had occupied so many high offices is a testimony to his administrative acumen and leadership qualities, he added.
The Vice President said that Dr. Reddy’s tenure as Chief Minister was marked by many developmental initiatives as he steered the State on the path to industrialization. He toned up the administration by cutting on red tape and simplifying procedures.
Recalling that agriculture was close to Dr. Reddy’s heart, the Vice President said that he had accorded the highest priority to improving the lot of the farmers.
He also stated that the late Chief Minister was a relentless champion of social justice and had introduced reservations for BCs in government jobs and education in 1980. As a firm believer in strengthening democratic foundations, he reduced the voting age for local bodies from 21 years to 18 years, the Vice President added.
The Vice President also conferred Dr. M. Channa Reddy National Award for Sustainable Development posthumously on eminent irrigation expert Late Shri T Hanumantha Rao. The award is in recognition of his revolutionary innovation of Four Water Concept (FWC) for watershed development.
Shri Bandaru Dattatreya, Honorable Governor of Himachal Pradesh, Dr. K. Rosaiah, honorable former Governor of Tamil Nadu and others were present on the occasion.
The following is the full text of the speech:
I am pleased to be here to inaugurate the Centenary Celebrations of Dr. Marri Channa Reddy Garu, who had served the nation with distinction in various capacities. He was a visionary in the true sense and was gifted with remarkable administrative acumen.
Perhaps, he was one of the few leaders, who had served as Governor of four States, Chief Minister on two occasions and as a Union Minister. The fact that he had occupied so many high offices is a testimony to his administrative acumen and leadership qualities.
Indeed, Dr. Reddy was a grass-roots politician and a mass leader, who relentlessly strove to uplift the conditions of the common people. He was quick to grasp people’s problems and understand their aspirations. As a result, he used to give shape to policies that addressed their concerns.
Hailing from a farmer’s family, agriculture was close to his heart. He accorded the highest priority to improving the lot of the farmers and focused on agriculture in view of the primacy it deserves in our society.
He always had his finger on the pulse of the people and the fact that he served as Chief Minister of the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh on two occasions in 1978 and 1989 showed how popular he was. A powerful orator in Telugu, Urdu, Hindi and English and a people’s man to the end, Dr. Reddy struck a special chord with the people of united Andhra Pradesh.
Dr. Channa Reddy began his journey in the service of the country in his early twenties after giving up his medical practice and plunging into the freedom struggle. To this day, he is remembered for his powerful writings in the Telugu weekly, “Hyderabad” which he ran from Vijayawada during the struggle against the Nizam’s rule in erstwhile Hyderabad.
At the age of 31, he became the youngest member of the Provisional Parliament in 1950. He was inducted as a minister in the Cabinet of Shri Boorgula Ramakrishna Rao.
His tenure as Chief Minister of the erstwhile united Andhra Pradesh was marked by many developmental initiatives as he steered the State on the path to industrialization, even as he ensured that the state’s development was not at the cost of agriculture. He toned up the administration by cutting on red tape and simplifying procedures.
He also took steps to improve land administration and set up Land Development Councils.
He was a relentless champion of social justice and had introduced reservations for BCs in government jobs and education in 1980. As a firm believer in strengthening democratic foundations, he reduced the voting age for local bodies from 21 years to 18 years.
For the benefit of farmers, he introduced a scheme to provide subsidies on fertilizers and seeds. He reduced interest on agricultural credit and accorded top priority for creating irrigation facilities.
He exempted land revenue for small farmers having holdings of 2.5 acres wet and 5 acres dry land and conferred right of land to about 75,000 people by distributing 1.33 lakh acres.
In a bid to address the problem of unemployed youth, the Society for Employment Promotion and Training in Twin Cities (SETWIN) was established when Dr. Reddy was the Chief Minister.
During his second stint as Chief Minister, Remote Area Development programme was launched in some of the naxalite-affected backward districts to wean away youth from the influence of the radicals. He will be always remembered for implementing the World Bank-assisted Cyclone Emergency Reconstruction Project and for taking up modernization of irrigation structures in Krishna and Godavari delta regions.
As Union Minister for Steel, he introduced reforms to improve steel production and brought about decontrol of distribution of steel and coal.
As a young MLA, I used to vehemently criticize his government’s decisions in the Assembly. One of his great qualities was that he never held anything against even his most bitter critic. Always a keen listener, he used to reply to every point raised by me or other opposition members.
I had the opportunity to interact with him on several occasions and what struck me was his concern to address the people’s problems. I also found him to be a man of strong convictions and principles.
Dr. Reddy was known as a firebrand leader and had championed the cause of a separate Telangana State in the late sixties. It led the government to provide key safeguards, mainly in terms employment and education, to the people of Telangana.
Dear sisters and brothers,
As we recall the excellent administrative qualities of Dr. Channa Reddy and pay tributes to him, we need to understand the importance of constantly reforming our governance system in tune with the needs and aspirations of the people. Transparency, accountability and people-centric policies are essential to provide good governance.
Eliminating corruption, decentralizing administration, cutting down red tape, promoting online interface between government departments and the public and promptly addressing the grievances are important features of a responsive administration.
Before concluding, let me stress the need for an enlightened debate on any issue before reacting to it. In this age of fake news, one should be all the more cautious before reacting. As a matter-of-fact, one should first understand and study the issue in-depth, know its background and try to know what will be its impact. We need to focus on the issue rather than diverting from the main issue.
As regards CAA, NRC and NPC, the people of the country should have an enlightened, meaningful and constructive discussion and not jump to hasty conclusions either way.
We are an independent country and a mature democracy. It should be remembered that violence and democracy will not go together. Any dissent or disagreement has to be expressed in a constructive, democratic and peaceful manner. Apprehensions need to be answered and addressed by the government at every level.
Please remember that the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi eschewed violence in all its forms even in the face of most daunting challenges. His methods of protest were scrupulously non-violent. While protesting against the British rule, he remained civil even to his adversary. He called off Non Cooperation Movement after Chauri Chaura incident which had turned violent.
Gandhi Ji continues to inspire the humanity with his eternal values, powerful ideas and thoughtful actions based on truth and non-violence. As we are observing the 150th Jayanthi of Gandhi Ji, it is all the more important for us to remember that his views and the message of his life are eternal.
Finally, let me thank the organizers for inviting me to inaugurate the centenary celebrations of Dr. Channa Reddy Garu. He was a great son of this soil and left an indelible mark on the Indian political scene.