Debate on crisis of governance in country is on: Ansari


Chandigarh : Vice President M. Hamid Ansari Friday said the public domain is witnessing a debate on the crisis of governance in the country in recent years and the focus of this debate is on the ethical dimension of it.

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“The palpable public disenchantment with it (governance) has directed the focus of the debate on the ethical dimension of the framework of governance. This too is reflected in the report of the second Administrative Reforms Commission, which begins with a candid acknowledgement that governance is the weak link in our quest for prosperity and equity,” Ansari said.

He was addressing a select gathering of academicians and intellectuals while delivering the ‘Dr.V.N. Tewari Memorial lecture’ on ‘Private Ethics and Public Morality’ at Panjab University here.

A professor, known intellectual at Panjab University here and former Rajya Sabha member, V.N. Tewari was killed by terrorists here during early 1980s as terrorism was taking roots in Punjab. His son Manish Tewari is the member of the Lok Sabha from Ludhiana in Punjab and national spokesman of the Congress party.

Talking about various problems confronting the country, Ansari said: “The governments accord primacy to national security, dispensation of justice, maintenance of law and order, social and economic development and ensuring public welfare. Ethical percepts are rarely mentioned in specific terms.”

Questioning the norms for ethics and morality for private and public behaviour, Ansari said: “A healthy spirit of optimism about the ability of public service to serve public interest is an essential element of public morality. Public service without an optimistic outlook could degenerate into cynicism, manipulation or blatant pursuit of self interest.”

Concluding his speech, Ansari identified the five elements of public morality, namely the spirit of optimism, the courage of conviction, the pursuit and dispensation of impartial justice, upholding the rule of law and a sense of empathy and compassion for the suffering humanity.

Ansari, who is also the chancellor of Panjab University, lauded the contribution made by V.N. Tewari in the field of literature and in bringing the parliamentary reforms in the country.