Democracy little noisy, engaging issues pays dividends: President Pranab Mukherjee


Indian democracy is “little noisy” but it always pays rich dividends if the country engages with issues confronting it, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Friday.

The President said there was a need to nurture diversity of Indian pluralistic society where people of different sections live under one flag and one Constitution, a view echoed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said people should be proud of this diversity and respect everyone’s contribution.

The two leaders were speaking after the release of a book Citizen and Society’, written by Vice-President Hamid Ansari, at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The President emphasised that without effective engagements, democracy can’t be protected.

“Democracy is always noisy. Perhaps our democracy is little more noisy. But it always pays if we engage ourselves with the issues. It has always paid rich dividend,” he said, after releasing the book.

Citing India’s diversity with 128 crore people, 1,800 dialects, more than 6.5 lakh villages, all three major ethnicities, Mongoloids, Caucasians and Dravidians, he said yet they live under one system, one flag, one Constitution and this marvel of Indian democracy is to be nurtured.

“It cannot be preserved, protected and advanced automatically,” Mukherjee said.

Speaking at the function, the Prime Minister said in India there is a unit called family between citizen and society, which has been our biggest strength.

Underlining that India should be proud to be a country of so many dialects and languages, and so many different faiths, living in harmony, Modi said, “All citizens have made a contribution to make this happen.”

He said the country has power to show way to the society which is moving through difficulties and challenges.

“Its terminology may not be global or come under constitutional definition, but its tradition and rule should be ‘sarvajan hityaye, sarvajan sukhaye’ (welfare, happiness of people),” he said.

Author of the book, the Vice President said an open society needs more debates.

“There is no pretense of certitude. An open society like us needs more debates, greater elbow room for unorthodox views. A plural society like us needs to develop a mindset to move beyond intolerance to acceptance of diversity,” Ansari said.

The book is collection of Ansari’s lectures on diverse themes.

Other dignitaries present on the occasion included former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Union Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.