Rosalia Steffi Longjam’s Speech for Election in India
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76 years back, at the stroke of the midnight hour India awoke to her freedom. However we have miles to go and miles to go before all the dreams of our founding fathers translate to reality. Today we stand at the threshold of the 21st century and as Indians we all have an awesome responsibility to fulfill – in part a backlog of efforts yet to be applied. India can and indeed become a global giant. Who amongst us would not want to see that? Therefore I am here today before you all, to seek your support to be elected as a Member of Parliament from South Delhi constituency in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections and be a channel to energize collective efforts to fulfill those unattended aspirations and tasks.
I start with thoughts from Mahatma Gandhi who said, and I quote, “politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice”, (unquote)- these are to be avoided. Today’s India appears to have lost sight of the wisdom echoed in these words of the Mahatma. Therefore all my efforts and purposes will be built on the foundation of four core values that I believe will make all other things happen in India – sincerity of effort, honesty of purpose, sacrifice for the larger good and integrity of action. It is my solemn promise therefore, that if elected as your public representative, each and every of my words and deeds will emerge from the wombs of these four core values. And with these four core values, I will work and walk hand and hand with you all to strengthen in India – the ideals of patriotism, compassion, tolerance, self-restraint, honesty, discipline and respect for all.
But first the actions of a leader and public representative must be rooted in reality. So my attention turns towards our key Institutions of Democracy – Parliament, Judiciary and the Media that are a mirror of national character. Today our Parliament looks more like combat arenas. The precious resources of the nation are being wasted through mindless actions of our MPs. We need to correct this anomaly and ensure that we cast our vote judiciously. Hence I appeal to all of you to make sure you elect a representative like me. We need a Parliament that debates, discusses and decides. We also need a judiciary that gives justice without delays.
The media who, even as they do their job of exposing the truth, must do so with a balance of purpose and avoid indulging in unnecessary sensationalization and hype. So I shall do my utmost to ensure that these pillars of democracy-the Legislature, The Judiciary and the Media become Institutions of emulation globally. The other fourth Institution of Democracy-the Executive needs to work with more vigour. So I shall exhort my colleagues- other elected representatives to ensure that Senior Civil Servants and other babus are compulsorily retried from Government Service if they are found non performing and irresponsive to the needs of the citizens.
None of our Educational Institutes- AIIMS and IITs rank amongst the top 100 in the world. We cannot aspire to be a world class power without a single world class university. Once upon a time in ancient days India was the epicentre of knowledge. Takshashila, Nalanda and Vikramashila, comprised the ancient university system that drew scholars from all over the world. We must seek to regain that space. But to do so we must strengthen the roots of education from the basic framework upwards that begins in the vast network of schools. So I shall propose to have both carrot and stick in place. Good school teacher and schools –both public and private shall be given high incentives for performance and strong disincentives for lags.
Our fight against eliminating inequity in the distribution of wealth and the elimination of poverty is far from over. For these we all have to take active responsibilities to see that important initiatives like the right to employment, education, food and information bear fruit. We need to keep vigilant eye to see that corruption is rooted out and delivery mechanisms to make these programmes work are robust. For this a key step is informing the recipients and making them aware of their rights. I propose to hold massive rallies and padyatras with all of you, through the nook and corner of this country to make all our fellow citizens aware of what they can get from the Government.
We need to take India forward and make it advance economically. But development needs to go side by side with keeping carful balance of the equation with environment and ecology. India is a repository of precious environmental heritage and gifts from nature. It there is disharmony between growth and environment the consequences can be disastrous as we recently saw in Uttarakhand. So my endeavour will be always to keep this latest nature’s wake-up call in mind while I exhort all of you to walk the talk with me. And so as you elected representative it will be my sincere endeavour to ensure that all proposals for big projects – roads, hydel, power and steel pass quickly through the fine knife of environmental scrutiny before they are let go.
Democracy has given us an opportunity to re-create another golden age. Here one of the key steps will be to maintain prudence in public expenditure and eliminate corruption which is one of the greatest hindrance to the growth of India. For this I will set examples myself by using public means of transport, reducing expenses, shunning stay in huge bungalows and I shall strive to be honest and over board in all my actions. The journey ahead calls for wisdom, courage and determination. I assure all of you I shall not fail you in this journey.
I seek your support and valuable vote to get elected. Jai Hind!
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