Representatives from all political parties should strive to restore credibility in public life that has eroded over the years, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Wednesday.
Speaking on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement in Rajya Sabha, Jaitley, who is Leader of the House, noted that when in 1942, the leaders gave the call of Quit India, the entire nation stood up with them due to their credibility.
He rued that such credibility of public figures and institutions is no longer seen and needs to be restored.
“One big question today is that of credibility in public life. When in 1942 the Quit India call was given, the leaders had credibility. On their single call, the entire nation stood up.
“On this day, we, the representatives of all political parties, should resolve that in public life and in public institutions like tax, police, municipality etc, their credibility should be restored and the element of fear should go away,” he said.
Jaitley said that terrorism posed a big challenge to the nation’s integrity and the entire nation cutting across party lines should speak in one voice against it and should be united in the fight against terror.
Making a veiled reference to the Emergency, he said that many challenges came before the Indian democracy “especially in the decade of the 1970s”, but the democracy kept gaining strength with every challenge.
The Finance Minister observed that the judiciary and legislature, the two strong pillars of democracy, should avoid friction with each other.
“The sanctity of the sacred ‘Lakshman Rekha’ between the judiciary and legislature, which is sometimes seen blurring, should be maintained,” he said.
He said that India has made marked improvement economically after 1991, and people’s living standard has also improved, but the country has still “a long way to go”.
“A section of population is still below poverty line. We need resources to fight poverty, for defence, social infrastructure especially health and education and for improving rural living standards. We should resolve on this historic day to make this country strong, just and progressive,” he said.