Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Dr Tharoor's Speech at Loksabha

"I rise to explain to you, the honourable members of this august House, my resignation from the Union Council of Ministers.

As a loyal public servant, I am conscious of the controversy over my involvement in the IPL issue was distracting Parliament from far more important business.

As I explained in my statement to the Lok Sabha on Friday, which I attempted to deliver to the Lok Sabha on Friday, and reiterated to the Prime Minister on Sunday, my conscience is clear, and I know that I have done nothing improper or unethical, let alone illegal.

Nonetheless, in view of the ongoing political controversy, I have no desire to be an embarrassment to the government, and I believe that my departure at this stage will allow the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues to focus on the great challenges facing our nation. Such a step is in the highest moral tradition of our democratic system, and in keeping with the standards that I'm sure we all wish to uphold in our nation's public life. I reckon the fact that this august House, of which the voters of Thiruvanthapuram have made me a proud member, has now moved on from the disruption we witnessed on Friday, to address the important issues which await consideration and to take the crucial decisions needed to promote the well being of the wonderful people of our great country.

Madam speaker, I am new to Indian politics, but I have a long record of public service unblemished by the slightest tint of financial irregularity. I am deeply wounded by the fanciful and malicious charges that have been made against me, and I have requested the Prime Minister to have these charges against me thoroughly investigated. I've led a life of personal integrity ...and it is important to me that my name is cleared.

Madam speaker. I returned to India after long years of international service, because I had always cherised the desire to make a difference in my own country. Growing up in India and then looking at it from abroad, I could see how much there is to be proud of in our land, and how much the Indian people deserve the best efforts of all who aspire to lead our great democracy.

I returned to India because I believe in an India of honesty and hard work, not of corruption and crookedness. I believe in an India of openness and straightforwardness, not of hypocrisy and double-dealing. I believe in an India where opportunities are available to all, and not just to a chosen few. I believe in an India of pluralism and diversity, not of religious bigotry and caste politics. I believe in an India that is secure in itself and confident of its place in the world, an India that is a proud example of tolerance, freedom and hope for the downtrodden. That India will only be built by the sincere efforts of all of us in this august House and outside it. This is the vision with which the voters of Thiruvantharapurm sent me to sit in your midst.

I am proud to represent the capital of Kerala, a state that in so many ways is a trailblazer for India's progress, though in other respects it seems to have been left behind in the race for 21st century development. The Keralite ethos, with its cultural unity and its religious diversity, its high educational standards and respect for democracy, its commitment to the empowerment of women, and the well-being of the poor, this ethos embodies the best of India.

Madam speaker, my heart swells with pride for India, and Keralite blood throbs in my veins. I should like to reiterate that it has been a great privilege for me to serve the Indian National Congress party, and the government of India. I shall always be grateful to the honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance and the leader of my party, Srimati Sonia Gandhi, for the opportunity they have given me to be of service to our country. They have been two of the finest of that select band of great men and women who've dedicated their lives to the service of the people of our nation.

I have great confidence that under their leadership, the country is in good hands, and the Indian people can look forward to increasing security and prosperity in a troubled world. I should like to reiterate that it has been a great privilege for me to serve my party and now, to have served the government.

Today Madam Speaker, marks a new beginning for me, and I am heartened by the love, friendship and loyalty I have received from countless numbers of well-wishers in Thiruvantharapuram, across my home state of Kerala, and throughout our great country.

I am grateful for their support and encouragement, and I am determined to continue to do my best for India, and for the ideals that brought me back here. Thank you Madam Speaker. "

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