The success of parliamentary democracy rests on listening and respecting the views and opinions of the opposition, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla said on Monday. He was speaking at the inaugural function of the 10th Commonwealth Youth Parliament hosted at the Delhi Legislative Assembly.
"We should understand the founding principle of parliamentary democracy and what is its inspiration. Its founding principles are dialogue, debate and decision. We are working towards strengthening the system of democracy and collective thinking and discussion," he said at the event.
Dialogue, debate and decision making based on these are the soul of parliamentary democracy, he said. "The biggest thing is that all the stakeholders have a right to express their views and their viewpoints are also heard. Their viewpoint is also considered during the decision-making process which is a key quality of our democracy," he said.
There is a right to have disagreement in a democracy, he stressed. "One should listen and respect opposition’s views and the success of parliamentary democracy depends on this," he said.
Stressing on the involvement of youth in a democracy, he said when they get involved in the decision-making processes, the needs of the youth and their futuristic approach get a new dimension in the public domain.
"The problems of the modern world need out of box thinking to create innovative solutions. Recently, Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenage environmental activist campaigning on climate change, has gained international recognition.
"This kind of activism towards positive change can act as a catalyst for the world community to act on problems with greater public attention," he said.
He said internet technology has brought both positive and negative changes but stressed on using it in a positive direction. He called for collective thinking to find solutions to issues, including climate change. "In order to tackle issues, the world has to form a common agenda through dialogue, debate and discussion. This 3D is the soul of democracy," he said.
The event, attended by delegates from Commonwealth countries, was also addressed by Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Emilia Monjowa Lifaka, chairperson of the Executive Committee, Common Parliamentary Association (CPA).