Shankar Dayal Sharma

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I am here to defend the right of a member to express his views.

Shankar Dayal Sharma (August 19, 1918December 26, 1999) was the List of Presidents of India|ninth President of India]], serving from 1992 to 1997. Prior to his presidency, he had been the eighth Vice President of India. The International Bar Association presented him with the 'Living Legends of Law Award of Recognition' for his outstanding contribution to the legal profession internationally and for commitment to the rule of law.

Quotes[edit]

  • The democratic outlook is strengthened by such awareness of experience accumulated through history in different parts of the world.
At a Tamrapatra award distribution ceremony - India received the light of Christianity as early as 52 AD when St. Thomas the apostle preached the gospel in Kerala. This was centuries before Christianity reached Europe.
  • Independent of the relative intrinsic merits of the w:By-lawordinances proposed, promulgating these ordinances would appear to be inappropriate and contrary to the canons of constitutional propriety in view of circumstances existing at this particular juncture.
    • In: Shubhankar Dam Presidential Legislation in India: The Law and Practice of Ordinances, Cambridge University Press, 16 December 2013, p. 218
    • When ordinances were proposed to be introduced with the approval of the President on issues of shortening the poll campaign from three weeks to two weeks, and providing for reservation for Dalit Christians.
  • [We are] the two great nations of broad-mindedness and wisdom that had pioneered human civilization. We will surely bring a cooperative and constructive partnership into the 21st century.

Commissions and Omissions by Indian Presidents and Their Conflicts with the Prime Ministers Under the Constitution: 1977-2001[edit]

With Hardayal_Singh Datta - Holders of public offices should set salutary example of rectitude and of high standards of personal conduct and accountability.

In: Janak Raj Jai Commissions and Omissions by Indian Presidents and Their Conflicts with the Prime Ministers Under the Constitution: 1977-2001, Daya Books, 2001

  • I am here to defend the right of a member to express his views.
    • When his ruling was protested by a member of the Parliament in the Raja Sabha and when he even threatened that he would resign from the post of Chairman, Rajya Sabha and Vice President of India, which eventually ended when the Congress party apologized to him on the floor of the house.
    • In: P.202.
  • Our constitution, in essence, represents our national philosophy. The Constitution voices the social, economic and political covenant entered into by and for ourselves as equal citizens of our Republic.
    • His broadcast to the nation on the eve of the Republic day on 25 January 1996, in: p. 244.
  • The message of India to our neighbourhood and to the rest of the world has been and will be peace, friendship and cooperation. Our commitment from time immemorial has been:
    May All secure happiness
    May all enjoy good health
    May all experiences goodness around them
    Let none be in pain or sorrow.
    • In: P.247
  • We must recognize that human development today is poised at the cross roads. The choices we make and the paths we seek to follow will determine how humanity will exist in the generations to come...Children, their welfare and development, are a subject unique in significance and compelling urgency. Representing as they do our lives relived, we need to devote to them the utmost attention.
    • In: p. 254.
  • There is a predicament of ‘the girl child’. From Life expectancy to literary rates, from school enrollment ratios, from employment to inheritance, there is hardly any society in the world where women are treated at par with men. This wrong and unfortunate discrimination is extended to the girl child.
    • In: P.255.
  • Holders of public offices should set salutary example of rectitude and of high standards of personal conduct and accountability.
    • In: P.233.
  • Communalism begets communalism. Ultimately, none gain; all lose, when communal thinking holds sway over us.
    • In: P.236.

Address By Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma President Of India On The Occasion Of The 50th Anniversary Of The First Sitting Of The Constituent Assembly[edit]

Constituent Assembly - When our Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 our statesmen and visionaries had said that the Constitution is as good or bad as people who are entrusted to administer it, wish it to be.

Dr. Shanker Dayal in: Address By Dr. Shanker Dayal Sharma President Of India On The Occasion Of The 50th Anniversary Of The First Sitting Of The Constituent Assembly. Parliament House,9 December 1996

  • The demand for a Constituent Assembly was intrinsically linked to our larger goal of Freedom and Independence. The resolution for Purna Swaraj in 1929 had aroused great nationalist fervour and galvanized the people to take part with renewed vigour in the Freedom Movement. The clear and unambiguous articulation of this deep-rooted longing of the people of India to be in control of their own destiny contained within itself the idea of a democratic Constitution which would provide a framework for the governance of independent India by the Indian people. Clearly, such a Constitution could only be drawn up by the elected representatives of the people of India. It was from this unassailable logic that the demand for a Constituent Assembly was articulated by Panditji. The proposal was accepted by the Indian National Congress in 1934, whereafter it became a significant part of the nationalist agenda for Independent India.
    • Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has compelled me to study, among other things, the implications of a Constituent Assembly. When he first introduced it in the Congress resolutions, I reconciled myself to it because of my belief in his superior knowledge of the technicalities of democracy. But I was not free from skepticism. Hard facts have, however, made me a convert and, for that reason perhaps, more enthusiastic than Jawaharlal himself.
  • It was to take seven more years before the Constituent Assembly became a reality. This was a period which saw dramatic developments not merely in India but throughout the world. In India, our Freedom Struggle was at its peak in 1942 during the historic Quit India Movement. Internationally, there was a fundamental transformation in the geo-political situation after the Second World War. The world was in a state of flux when our peaceful and non-violent struggle attained success. It was a struggle led by women and men of character, leaders who had braved the trials and tribulations of colonial rule and had undergone tremendous suffering and hardship.
  • Already, in the decades before Independence our people were giving thought to their vision of an Independent India. Pandit Motilal Nehru drafted the well-known Nehru Report on the Constitution of free India. The Karachi Session of the Indian National Congress held in March, 1931 adopted the famous Resolution moved by Mahatma Gandhi which contained our charter on Fundamental Rights. It is against this historical backdrop of a long and arduous struggle and the crystallization of our vision of a sovereign, democratic nation that the first session of the Constituent Assembly was held in 1946, when, as Panditji said, we embarked on `the high adventure of giving shape, in the printed and written word, to a nation's dream and aspiration.
  • There was a sense of mission in the members of the Constituent Assembly to draft a Constitution which would preserve the pluralism and essential oneness, and the unity and integrity of India. Our Constitution ensures that India remains a secular State. People belonging to different religious denominations who are all part of our vibrant pluralistic society, are guaranteed the freedom to practice their own religions. I might add that these Rights under our Constitution are available even to those who are not citizens of India.
  • Our Constitution is not merely a political document which provides the framework and institutions for democratic governance - our Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. It provides a framework for the economic and social emancipation of society and particularly, the poor, the underprivileged and the downtrodden. As Granville Austine has said, "the core of the commitment to the social revolution lies in Parts III and IV, in the Fundamental Rights and in the Directive Principles of State Policy. These are the conscience of the Constitution." It is of profound import that the Fundamental Rights are enforceable by Courts of Law. Article 32 of the Constitution guarantees the implementation of these Rights. This is a very crucial safeguard against excesses by executive authority and casts a very heavy responsibility on our Judiciary, a vital pillar of our democratic polity, to ensure that fundamental human freedoms are guaranteed.
  • When our Constitution was adopted on 26th November, 1949 our statesmen and visionaries had said that the Constitution is as good or bad as people who are entrusted to administer it, wish it to be.
  • Our Constitution has given us the framework for a strong nation, a Union of States; a nation of harmony between the Union and States and between the various institutions of our democratic polity. We can claim to have achieved significant success in the diverse and inter-connected spheres of democratic governance, our Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. The philosophy of the Constitution nurtures a polity where the precepts and practices of democracy can become second nature to the people. Through the elections to eleven Lok Sabhas, the people of India have repeatedly displayed their determination to fulfil their duties as responsible citizens of the Republic.
  • We must all comprehend the importance of unity, the true significance of canons of propriety and the value of having the freedom to voice different viewpoints which, indeed, are the hallmarks of any pluralistic society. As our sages of yore said, our aims are common, our endeavours common, and there are diverse ways to reach our goals.

About Shankar Dayal Sharma[edit]

With B.D.Goenka - He was one of most qualified person academically; he was a freedom fighter; a thinker, philosopher, a politician, and above all a jurist of great eminence

Shankar Dayal Sharma, 81, Former President of India[edit]

Eric Pace in: Shankar Dayal Sharma, 81, Former President of India, The New York Times, 3 January 2000

  • A longtime member of the Congress Party, he was its president for a time. He had a doctorate in law from Cambridge. He was elected, with support from Congress and leftist groups, as ninth president of India, that role is largely ceremonial, though its powers include discretion in choosing a prime minister if no party has a parliamentary majority.
  • In 1996, when that situation arose, he was at the center of a maelstrom over forming government. He was faced with what constitutional experts said then was one of the most challenging moments in the history of independent India.
  • He went on to win praise for giving the prime ministership to Atal Bihari Vajpayee, president of the main Hindu nationalist party, who had not been prime minister but who portrayed himself as a conciliator.
  • He was sometimes highly emotional. In 1990, while he was vice president and was presiding over the upper house of Parliament at time of turmoil, he broke into tears and left the hall, saying that he could not be a party to the murder of democracy.

Commissions and Omissions by Indian Presidents and Their Conflicts with the Prime Ministers Under the Constitution: 1977-2001[edit]

Janak Raj Jai in: Commissions and Omissions by Indian Presidents and Their Conflicts with the Prime Ministers Under the Constitution: 1977-2001, Daya Books, 2001

  • As a constitutional expert, and a jurist he got unequivocal recognition from the Congress and non-Congress parties. They believed that the letter and spirit of the Constitution was safe in his hands...He was a spiritualist to the core.
    • In: P.201.
  • Not only that he was a spiritualist, a moralist, an educationist]], but he was a good administrator too. He had been elected as Vice President of India and in this capacity as chairman of the Rajya Sabha he created history by taking hard stand against an MP who embarrassed him.
    • In: P.202.
  • Having been distressed by the performance of the hung Lok Sabhas and the instability caused by the coalition governments during his tenure, when three Prime Ministers changed their hands, he took an unprecedented stand by calling the conference of Governors as also leaders of some political parties to discuss this serious problem facing the nation which had weakened the democratic structure of the country. This action earned him a lot of controversy from different quarters. It was even doubted that he was doing so to earn a second term as President of India.
    • In: P.257.
  • He was a distinguished academician, [[astute politician, and an upholder of constitutional propriety – He was following his cherished motto of constitutional propriety in inviting BJP leader. A. B. Vajpayee to form the government after the 1996 general elections. But his government lasted for only 13 days.
    • In Indian Express, in December 1999, p. 234.
  • A Freedom fighter, administrator, and a statesman, attained the status of an internationally acclaimed intellectual in the fields of international relations, rule of law, philosophy, and comparative study of religions.
  • President with a mind of his own, was a politician of high values, a distinguished parliamentarian, and a great scholar. His brilliant academic and political career was a saga of dedication and abiding commitment to the pursuit of higher learning and public service.
  • Called Indira “Trojan horse” during the 1969 split (of Congress party), he became cartoonists darling in 1970s when he over-played the anti-US card.
    • In: p. 233.
  • His stewardship of the upper house proved his merit for presidentship. His ruling in the Rajya Sabha, blending humour and firmness established him as a champion of Parliamentary dignity and traditions.
    • In: P.233.

External links[edit]

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