Dissent important in democracy, should not degenerate into violence: Kerala Governor

Dissent and differences of opinion are essential ingredients of democratic functioning but they should not degenerate into violence, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said on Friday on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day celebrations here.
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan
Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan

Thiruvananthapuram | Dissent and differences of opinion are essential ingredients of democratic functioning but they should not degenerate into violence, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said on Friday on the occasion of the 75th Republic Day celebrations here.

Khan, leading the Republic Day celebrations at the Central Stadium in the state capital, said that society should not allow group rivalries or internal struggles for power to affect governance as it would set a bad example for the future generations.

The Governor further said that education was the chief means by which a society is transformed and it is the only effective method to purge the mind of old prejudices.

"The future depends on what we are in our thoughts and actions. For this, we need institutions of higher education which are truly autonomous and free from any outside interference that leads the youth to engage in activities which pollute the academic environment," he said at the event also attended by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.

Khan also referred to the various accomplishments and laurels achieved by Kerala in various sectors, including startups, health and tourism, and said that it was obligatory for the people of such a highly accomplished state to nurture a healthier democracy that encourages constructive public discourse in a spirit of mutual respect and deeper understanding.

"Dissent and differences of opinion are essential ingredients of democratic functioning. But dissent degenerating into violence, be it physical or verbal, is a betrayal of democracy and symbol of human failure.

"As a society, we should not allow group rivalries or internal struggles for power to affect governance, thereby setting a bad example for the youth." Khan said.

He said that the need of the hour was to foster in society a culture of greater civility, empathy, and dialogue that "reposes faith in the power of argument and not in the argument of power."

After unfurling the national flag and inspecting the parade, the Governor received the salute from the various police and armed forces contingents who vigorously marched past the podium.

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