Opposition most important element of democracy: Kovind

Opposition most important element of democracy, says President Ram Nath Kovind

The comment came in the backdrop of around 15 opposition parties boycotting the Constitution Day function in Parliament

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses a function to commemorate the ‘Samvidhan Divas’, at Parliament, in New Delhi, Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. Credit: PTI Photo

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday described the Opposition as the most important element of democracy, on a day when 14 opposition parties boycotted the Constitution Day function organised by Parliament.

Addressing the function in the Central Hall of Parliament, Kovind said it was natural for members of the ruling party and the Opposition to have differences of opinion, but it should not hinder the real purpose of public service.

“The Opposition is, in fact, the most important element of democracy. Without an effective Opposition, democracy becomes ineffective. It is expected that the government and the Opposition, despite their differences, continue to work together in the best interests of the citizens,” the President said at the function that was attended by Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and members of the Parliament.

Kovind said that all members of Parliament, whether from the ruling party or the Opposition, were defenders of the dignity of Parliament.

The President said that if the Members of Parliament look at their responsibility as an extension of the ideals of the freedom struggle, they would remain mindful of their duty towards strengthening the legacy of the framers of the Constitution.

The President said Indian democracy was undoubtedly one of the greatest achievements of human history considering the challenges the nation faced at the time of Independence.

“Some western scholars said that the system of adult suffrage was bound to fail in India. But this experiment has not only proved successful, but has gained in strength over the past decades. Even other democracies have learned a lot from Indian democracy,” Kovind said.

Also read: Congress skipped Constitution Day event in protest against authoritarian functioning of BJP govt: Sharma

Kovind said it is natural for members of the ruling party and the opposition to compete – but this competition should be about being better representatives and doing better things for the public good.

"Only then will it be considered healthy competition,” he said, adding that the competition in Parliament should not be confused with rivalry.

“We all believe that our Parliament is a 'Temple of Democracy'. Therefore, it becomes the responsibility of every parliamentarian to conduct themselves in this temple of democracy with the same spirit of reverence with which they do in their places of worship,” Kovind said.

Speaking about the release of the digital version of the debates, the calligraphed version of the Constitution and the updated version of the Constitution as well as the launch of online quiz on constitutional democracy, the president said in the Constituent Assembly debates we get glimpses of the greatness of human thought and consciousness channelled for nation-building.

With the digital version of the debates made available, people in the country as well as in the whole world, especially the younger generation, would get to know about the greatness and potential of India and would also get guidance for the future, he said.

Also read: Modi committed to welfare of all sections, says Shah on Constitution Day

In the calligraphed version of the Constitution, people would get to see the finest examples of the excellence of our art, culture and ideals contained in our history and legend. And with the updated version of the Constitution, citizens, especially students would get knowledge about the journey of our constitutional progress so far, he said.

The initiative to conduct an online quiz on the subject of constitutional democracy would be very effective in promoting constitutional values among our citizens, especially the younger generation, the statement said.

The president said that we have recently observed the year-long 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

“We are now celebrating the 75th anniversary of our Independence. It is a matter of happiness for all of us that people from all over the country are actively participating in various programs organised as part of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav',” he said.

It is evident from the enthusiasm of ordinary citizens that they carry within their hearts deep respect for those known and unknown freedom fighters whose sacrifices made it possible for us to breathe the air of freedom, Kovind said.

He urged all to rededicate themselves to follow those great national ideals in our daily lives.

Kovind said that by following these ideals, we would further enhance our stature on the world stage and would be equipped to face any challenge effectively.

(with inputs from PTI)

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