“Consensus is an extension of the process of compromise”, stated
Mr V P Singh, Member of Parliament, Bharatiya Janata Party, at the CII AGM. Mr
Singh was speaking at a session on “Building Consensus, Building Nation”. He
further elucidated his views on the subject by eluding that in order to move
forward as a nation, the Indian politicians need to develop consensus in every
sphere of public life. He stressed that consensus need not be just between
different political parties, but also within a political party. He lamented the
fact that one party proposes a reform when in government and opposes the same
when in opposition. He ended his remarks by suggesting that the Indian
political class must learn from the reform approach of Mexico which overcame
crippling political polarization within the country and achieved broad
consensus in political decision making.
In his address, Mr D Raja, Member of Parliament (RS), Communist
Party of India (CPI) remarked that the Indian political elite needs to be clear
on the kind of nation that they would want to build. He stressed that India
needs to move forward as a democracy, not an autocracy. According to his views,
the Constitution of India has framed a clear road map for nation building which
the current political class needs to follow. He said that the framing of the
Constitution of India is the best example of a consensus building process which
our nation has witnessed.
In his address, Mr Dinesh Trivedi, Member of Parliament (LS), All
India Trinamool Congress said that “Consensus primarily depends on leadership”.
While invoking the example of the Mahabharata, Mr Trivedi remarked that the
Indian nation cannot move forward on the path of progress unless consensus is
developed in Parliament. He concluded by saying that while the Indian political
parties may fail to develop consensus in Parliament, but the Indian people have
a firm consensus when exercising their power to vote.
Reflecting similar sentiments, Mr Pavan Kumar Varma, Member of
Parliament (RS), Janta Dal (United) stated that Corporate India and the
Indian Political class need to build a broad consensus for eradicating social
ills such as illiteracy, malnutrition and poverty if India is to progress as a
nation. He said that consensus is not created in a void, but is contextual. He
warned that India cannot move forward on the path of prosperity and development
unless there is a broad consensus between India’s corporates and political
elite on the need to rid it of all social ills.
Mr Sachin Pilot, President, Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee
and Senior Leader, Indian National Congress started by stating that the last 25
years have seen several commonalities of views of the Indian political class on
several issues. He commended the Indian political elite for developing a broad
consensus over the years in several sectors of critical importance such as
Defence, Foreign Policy and Internal Security. He stated that the opposition in
Parliament is obligated to help the government in power in achieving important
national objectives. He further said that in a democracy, the government at the
center needs to reach out to the opposition in order to initiate the consensus
building process. The opposition, he eluded, should be commended for their role
in passing of bills in Parliament and not be labeled as obstructionist when
they don’t. He urged the government and the opposition to sit together,
deliberate and move forward on several issues of national importance through a
process of dialogue.
The session was chaired by Ms Shobana Kamineni, Executive Vice
Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals Enterprises Limited.
7 April 2015