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Pranab Mukherjee weighs in: Present wave of peaceful protests will help deepen India’s democratic roots

The former president's remarks assume significance as India witnesses nationwide protests against the CAA and the proposed NRC.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: January 23, 2020 10:19:34 pm
Democracy thrives on listening, arguing and even dissent: Pranab Mukherjee on CAA protests Pranab Mukherjee was delivering the first Sukumar Sen lecture instituted by the Election Commission of India. (Source: Twitter/@CitiznMukherjee)

Stating that Indian democracy has been tested time and again, former president Pranab Mukherjee Thursday underlined that “Democracy thrives on listening, arguing and even dissent”. He said that the “present wave” of largely peaceful protests that have “gripped” the country will once again help deepening India’s democratic roots, news agency PTI reported.

“Indian Democracy has been tested time and again. Consensus is the lifeblood of Democracy. Democracy thrives on listening, deliberating, discussing, arguing and even dissent. Enthusiastic participation of people in the electoral process is the key to healthy democracy,” Mukherjee said while delivering Sukumar Sen lecture instituted by the Election Commission of India.

His remarks assume significance as India witnesses nationwide protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

The last few months, he said, have witnessed people, particularly the youth come out on the streets in large numbers to voice their views on issues “which in their view are important”.

“Their assertion and belief in the Constitution of India is particularly heartening to see,” he added.

Lauding the Election Commission for “serving its purpose well”, Mukherjee asserted that any attempt at the denigration of the polling body would amount to “denigrating the electoral process”.

“People’s mandate is sacrosanct and its sanctity supreme. Onus of ensuring this lies with the ECI. They must do so and put any speculations to rest,” he said.

(with PTI inputs)

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