Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Saturday said India is the strongest democracy in the world and there is no need to take lessons from Pakistan, China or Burma. Referring to the 2015 “Award Wapsi” protests, the chief minister said no one would be able to express themselves had there been any restrictions on the freedom of speech in the country.
Speaking at the inaugural event of a new building of West Tripura District and Sessions Judge Court on Saturday, Deb said, “There were protests in which a group of people returned their awards. Award Wapsi started. There are other kinds of protests too. They keep saying there is no freedom of speech and blame the Prime Minister, Home Minister for the breakdown of law and order. If there was no law and order, how could they speak what they have spoken?”
In an oblique reference that the protesters were “foreign agents”, he said India is the strongest democracy in the world and there is no need to take any kind of lessons from countries like Pakistan, China or Burma on this.
The chief minister also said that the very fact that Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru, a “terrorist accused of the most dastardly act in the country”, was allowed a defence counsel during his trial at the Supreme Court proves that India is the most vibrant democracy in the world.
He added that no member of the judiciary or any other pillar of the Indian democracy would be influenced under his watch.
Deb’s comments came after observation from Justice Subhashish Talapatra of the High Court of Tripura that the Constitution of India warrants separation of the different institutions of democracy. Chief Justice of the High Court of Tripura Sanjoy Karol said that a collaborative effort of all the institutions of democracy is needed for the overall development of the country.
The chief minister sought cooperation and support from the judiciary for building a ‘model state’ out of Tripura — one which would fulfill all the qualities of the best-performing state in the country.