Stressing that violence has no place in the Constitution, President Ram Nath Kovind called for addressing the issue of political violence in Kerala.
“There remains the paradox of political violence in Kerala, especially in some regions of the state. This is unfortunate and does little justice to the glorious traditions of the state and its people. It is important for all political groups and all enlightened citizens to do their utmost to curb the development of such tendencies. Debate, dissent and disagreement are perfectly acceptable and should be welcomed in our polity,” he said while inaugurating the ‘Festival of Democracy’ in Thiruvananthapuram to mark the conclusion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala legislative assembly.
Pointing out that politics, public life and the quality of democracy are a reflection of the essential ethos of a society, the president said “as such the Kerala assembly and its debates and discussions, the humanistic values that it has historically advocated and legislated on, are a mirror to the traditions of this state.”
In his address, Governer P Sathasivam said that no democracy in the world was truly perfect and so it was only natural that every democracy corrects and improves upon itself. “When we dissent and voice our concerns, we are addressing the failings of our democracy, only to strengthen it further,” he said.
“Like the Parliament, the Legislature too is akin to a university, where each member has to be like a student, diligent in preparation and presentation. To highlight issues that concern the people, Members have to prepare by studying documents in depth and by gathering information through constant interactions. A society which is very conscious of the issues it confronts, holds very high expectations about the Legislators. The task of each Legislator is to rise up to these expectations through systematic work, especially in matters of development,” he said.
Pointing out that legislature has a well defined process, which cannot be undermined in the name of democratic activity, Sathasivam said Iegislators have an obligation to set high standards of conduct for future members, who may be watching their actions on television. It is here that the idea of working towards a more sustainable, creative and vibrant parliamentary process gains great relevance.
Chief Minister Pirarayi Vijayan raised the problems of the era of ‘post truth politics’. He said that we have to examine how our democracy is being affected by tendencies which seek to subdue facts by misusing emotions.
He also stressed the fact that the Indian democracy sustains itself on the foundation of secularism. In the Indian context, without secularism, there is no democracy. And, without democracy, there is no freedom, he said.
Vijayan said that Kerala is the only state in the country which has made a budget allocation for Scheduled Castes & Scheduled Tribes higher than their proportionate normative share.