New Delhi: Flagging concerns over "repeated disruptions" and "unwillingness" for discussions, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday appealed to members to restore dignity and decorum in the Rajya Sabha.
Initiating the debate in the House on the completion of 60 years of the first sitting of Parliament, at the same time he said the history of the functioning of the House over the last 60 years proves that the trust reposed in it by the founding fathers of the Constitution has been substantially fulfilled.
"That is not to say that we should not reflect with concern on the repeated disruptions of proceedings and a regrettable unwillingness, on occasion, to engage in informed discussion," the Prime Minister noted.
He hoped that on this momentous occasion of the completion of 60 years of the functioning of the House members "can write a new chapter and restore to it the sense of dignity and decorum that is expected of a House of Elders."
Expressing disagreement with the general impression that Rajya Sabha cannot make or unmake governments and, therefore, it is a superfluous body, the Prime Minister said there are functions, which a revising chamber can fulfil fruitfully.
Quoting philosopher-statesman S Radhakrishnan, he said, "Parliament is not only a legislative but a deliberative body. So far as its deliberative functions are concerned, it will be open to us to make very valuable contributions, and it will depend on our work whether we justify this two-chamber system, which is now an integral part of our Constitution.
"So it is a test to which we are submitted. We are for the first time starting under the Parliamentary system, with a second chamber in the Centre and we should try to do everything in our power to justify to the public of this country that a second chamber is essential to prevent hasty legislation," Singh said.