By Nishnat Ketu
New Delhi [India], January 11 (ANI): Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla on Monday said that faith of people in democracy has continued to increase and urged the youth to work ceaselessly towards taking India on the path of prosperity and progress.
Addressing the participants at the inaugural session of finals of National Youth Parliament 2021 in the central hall of parliament, he said India's democracy has continuously thrived and strengthened itself in the last seven decades.
"The strength of Indian democracy can be seen from the fact that the transfer of power has always occurred smoothly and as per our democratic traditions," he said.
Birla's remarks came days after outgoing US President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol Building and violent protests broke out in Washington.
The Speaker said Indian youth were at the forefront of the struggle for freedom and the work now was required to build a New India.
"The youth today must work ceaselessly towards taking India to the path of prosperity and progress. For the nation to prosper, it is imperative for the youth to make a significant contribution, which is their responsibility as well as duty," he said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will virtually address the young participants and interact with them on Tuesday.
The Speaker expressed confidence that the Indian youth would be at the forefront of innovations in the coming years through their technical knowledge and skills.
He said the Constitution had been made keeping the people at its Centre.
He referred to the historic importance of the building where the Constitution was adopted and said it would be a matter of pride for youth to join "the temple of democracy in this festival of democracy".
"When you return to your places, take the resolution and message of empowerment of democracy and nation from here. Today it is your duty and duty to serve the nation. It should always be on our mind whether we remain or not, the country will live and there will be democracy in the country," he said
Birla hoped that the Youth Parliament would go a long way in strengthening the spirit of democracy.
"In a democracy, we share our thoughts and experiences, debate and discuss and then reach a conclusion after extensive discussion. This is the strength of the democratic system that gives everyone the right to express their views," he said.
The Speaker paid tributes to Lal Bahadur Shastri on his death anniversary and said the former Prime Minister embodied simplicity and steely resolve and gave the slogan of 'Jai Jawan Jai Kisan'.
He said just like Lal Bahadur Shastri laid the foundation of self-sufficiency in the area of food security for India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi "is working tirelessly towards the making of Atmanirbhar Bharat".
The Speaker also interacted with young leaders who will be competing in the finals of National Youth Parliament 2021 and encouraged them to do well.
He asked Lok Sabha Secretariat to inform the young participants about the functioning of Parliament so that they could develop a better vision of the democratic functioning.
Speaking on the occasion, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said that it is indeed a historic moment that youth of the country were participating in the National Youth Parliament in the temple of Indian democracy.
Noting that Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary on January 12 is observed as National Youth Day, Rijiju said that new initiatives have been taken this year to involve the youth in fulfilling the vision of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat'.
He noted that youth across India have participated enthusiastically in this year's National Youth Parliament and said the event provides them with a platform to share their social and economic ideas and internalize democratic values.
A Lok Sabha release said the festival saw the participation of a large number of youth from all over the country and 84 candidates are participating in the final event after winning at district and state levels.
The jury for the finals comprises MPs Roopa Ganguly and Parvesh Sahib Singh and journalist and writer Prafulla Ketkar. (ANI)