Legislatures look like combat arenas: President

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday expressed disappointment that legislatures looked more like "combat arenas" rather than fora that legislate and said the nation's institutions must be respected and the delicate balance between them maintained.

"Institutions are a mirror of national character. Today we see widespread cynicism and disillusionment with the governance and functioning of institutions in our country. Our legislatures look more like combat arenas, rather than fora that legislate," the president said in his Independence Day speech, referring to frequent disruptions in the workings of parliament and state legislatures, combative behaviour on the part of lawmakers, including instances of demonstrative violence, and failure to pass laws that are their primary function.

"Our constitution provides a delicate balance of power between various institutions of the state. This balance has to be maintained. We need a parliament that debates, discusses and decides. We need a judiciary that gives justice without delays," he said.

"We need leadership that is committed to the nation and those values that made us a great civilization. We need a state that inspires confidence among people in its ability to surmount challenges before us.

"We need a media and citizens who, even as they claim their rights, are equally committed to their responsibilities," he said.

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