Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said future generations will miss the experience of MPs retiring from the Rajya Sabha and urged them to pen down their vast knowledge for posterity. He also urged them to come again to the House. He made this emotional appeal while bidding farewell to 72 Elders representing 19 states retiring between March and July this year. He asked them to take the experience gained within the four walls of the House to four directions in the best interests of the country and to help inspire coming generations. Incidentally, it was one of the biggest numbers of MPs retiring at same time. Addressing Upper House, he emphasised that experience has more power than knowledge, and the MPs should take it forward in the service of the nation.
Sometimes experience has more power than knowledge, he said, noting that academic knowledge has its limits. “It comes in use in seminars but things gained through experience help find easy solutions to problems,” Modi said.
He also opined MPs may feel they have contributed a lot to the House but the House has also contributed to their lives. “We take back more from the House than we give.
We experience India’s diversity in its social structure in the house,” he said. Some prominent members to retire include A K Antony, Ambika Soni, P Chidambaram, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Suresh Prabhu, Praful Patel, Subramanian Swamy, Prasanna Acharya, Sanjay Raut, Naresh Gujral, Satish Chandra Mishra, M C Mary Kom, Swapan Dasgupta and Narendra Jadhav. Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu said legislators across the country should be driven by passion, performance and procedural integrity and desist from disrupting law making bodies.
Naidu called upon elected representatives to ensure that expectations and aspirations of people are incorporated in designing of laws and policies. He also expressed concern over House having lost over 35 per cent of functional time due to disruptions since 2017.
The retiring members, he said, have a total parliamentary experience of 181 terms including 143 terms in Rajya Sabha and 38 in Lok Sabha. For his part, Leader of Opposition Mallikarjun Kharge referred to Jawaharlal Nehru and said India’s first Prime Minister provided Rajya Sabha with power and integrity. Nehru made Rajya Sabha MPs members of various committees. Except, in case of Money bills, both Houses are equally powerful, Kharge added. Kharge emphasised that there can be differences of opinion but it is important that everyone works together.
As this is a permanent House, the journey continues, old members will retire and new ones will come, the Congress leader said. Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma, who too retired, said that he never trooped in Well of House during his entire tenure. Sharma also said he never used impolite words in his speeches and no word of his was ever expunged from records of House.