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Inequity poses threat to democracy in South Asia: Meira Kumar

PTI | Last Updated: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 01:10

Male: Large-scale inequalities and deprivations pose continuous threat to the very survival of democracy in South Asia, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar said here on Sunday as she called on lawmakers to protect and promote the interests of the disadvantaged and marginalised.

She said India is facing one of the major challenges to achieve an inclusive development and several institutions have been conceived in this regard. These institutions have been relentlessly crusading for the marginalised groups.

Kumar said the countries of the South Asia region face the daunting task of uplifting people`s standard of living where large-scale inequalities and deprivations pose threat to the very survival of democracy.

She was speaking on the theme of `Strengthening Democracy in the South Asia Region through Institutional Development` at the Seventh Conference of SAARC Speakers and Parliamentarians here.

The Lok Sabha Speaker stressed on the need to take people into confidence while drafting legislation to strengthen the credibility of institutions.
"It needs to be understood that parliaments can frame any number of progressive legislations but unless the people believe in the necessity of these laws, they will remain confined to the rule books," Kumar said.

She said parliaments enjoy a position of pre-eminence in a democratic polity, but they not only have to legislate but also mould opinions about the necessity of laws, according to a press release issued by Lok Sabha Secretariat.

Observing that the Parliaments have to prove their trustworthiness by evocatively taking up popular issues, she said "delays, apathy and corruption erode the credibility of institutions causing disillusionment and unrest".

Maldives` newly elected President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom yesterday inaugurated the conference and said the role of parliaments, especially in young democracies and small states, extend far beyond constitutional and legislative enactment and amendment.

First Published: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 01:10

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