New Delhi: Terming parliament as the "light pillar" of democracy, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar on Sunday said the two houses of parliament were custodians of the country's interests.
Speaking at a function in the central hall of parliament to mark the 60th anniversary of the first meeting of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Meira Kumar paid her respects to the people of the country whose participation in successive elections has given roots to democracy. She also paid respects to the framers of constitution.
The speaker said the concept of democracy is believed to have originated in ancient India but the system then was not based on universal franchise. "A new era of people's power began on May 13, 1952 (the first day Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha met)."
Meira Kumar said 15 general elections have been held so far, and nearly 80 crore people were eligible to exercise their franchise in the 2009 Lok Sabha polls.
She said doubts about success of democracy in India have been dispelled. "India is looked upon with respect and surprise. Parliament is the light pillar democracy."
Earlier, speaking in the Lok Sabha, Meira Kumar congratulated people on the occasion saying they deserved the real credit for success of democracy owing to their enthusiastic participation in elections.
She said millions of people toil hard for their living and participate in the democratic process. "I bow to people of the country," she said.
She also recalled the contributions of Lok Sabha speakers before her.