New laws not the only solution: Venkaiah Naidu

Ruchika Goswamy
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Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu at an event at Symbiosis International University in Pune on Sunday. (Express photo by Ashish Kale)

VICE President M Venkaiah Naidu on Sunday said bringing new laws to bring down the number of rapes and sexual assaults in the country was not the solution. “What is required is not a bill but the political will and administrative skill to kill the social evils of the society. Change in the mindset of the people is the need of the hour... we should go back to our roots and culture,” Naidu said.

He added: “Though I am not against bringing any new law, but I think they are no solution to the problem. We brought a bill after Nirbhaya. What happened? Was the problem solved?” Naidu asked.

Stating that one needs to stop looking from the prism of gender, regional, religious or political prisms, he said, “Today, values are going down in every field. Be it politics, public life, administration, journalism, judiciary, there is a certain erosion that has taken place... We must arrest it and must go back to our values...What has happened in the recent days is really shameful and a challenge to all of us and we all must take a vow to see this sort of discrimination and atrocities are stopped forthwith.”

Naidu, who was addressing the 16th convocation ceremony of Symbiosis International University, Pune, said: “I am always happy to be among the youngsters because they are the future of the country. I see the enthusiasm and feel more assured about the country’s future.”

Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and Cabinet minister Chhagan Bhujbal were also present on the occasion as the chief dignitaries.

Stressing on the importance of the knowledge of one’s history and culture, Naidu said, “I am of the firm opinion that our history should be told to our children. They should draw inspiration from the history, from the sacrifices made and the lives of the people. Unfortunately, due to the colonial rule, our history is not properly written and included in the syllabus as we followed the Macaulay’s education system.”

The Vice-President said that strategising the education system as a way of living and innovation could bring about a change. Accountability of teachers, financial support, quality and affordability of education were some other key points that Naidu touched upon during his address to the graduating students.

“Knowledge is very much available in this country. It has to be recognised, it has to be promoted and propagated. Culture and history should be part of our education system. History should be remembered and new history should be created. We need to preserve, promote and propagate our culture and traditions,” he said.

Education, he said, must teach us the way of life. “Education is not merely for employment. Education is for enhancement of knowledge, for enlightenment, for empowerment and lastly for employment. But we take the last one as the first one,” he said.

Referring to the increased consciousness across the globe on climate change, he said, “One needs to love and live with nature... We have neglected nature to such an extent that it is showing its fury on us resulting in climate change, increasing floods and droughts, cyclones.”

He said the fourth industrial revolution was just “knocking the doors” and “you (students) need to brace yourselves”.