THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday expressed regret over political violence in Kerala which he said did little justice to the glorious traditions of the state and its people.
“It is important for all political groups and enlightened citizens to do their utmost to curb the development of such tendencies,” the President said after inaugurating the ‘Festival of Democracy’, a series of programmes to mark the conclusion of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Assembly.
“Violence has no place in our Constitution and it would be appropriate if we could give some thought to this… The people of Kerala, and the citizens of India, deserve that we do serious thinking on the issue,” he said.
The political violence which plagues certain regions of Kerala was unfortunate, he added.
The programmes, attended by the Governor P Sathasivam, Chief Minister Pinnarayi Vijayan and a host of MLAs from several states, includes a series of national level seminars aimed at strengthening the values of democracy.
In his inaugural address, the President commended the Speaker for taking the initiative for this event comprising six seminars on key themes including the relevance and wider applicability of the Kerala developmental model.
These, he pointed out, were extremely meaningful themes and a celebration of these ideas was entirely in keeping with Kerala’s rich intellectual legacy. The diamond jubilee celebration was a befitting tribute to stalwarts like E.M.S. Nampoothiripaad, E K Nayanar and K. Karunakaran amongst others who helped shape the Assembly to its present identity, he said.
Focussing on the “Kerala Model”, which has achieved a lot in literacy, healthcare and social sectors, the President said it was now time for the youth of Kerala to derive greater benefits from the model.
Earlier, presiding over the function, Governor Sathasivan said people often lamented the fall in the standards of democratic institutions and more importantly in the growing disregard for procedure and convention in such bodies.
“It may be true that newer issues need to be confronted through novel modes of protest and dissent. But such protests cannot ignore the basic dignity of the democratic institution nor can they hamper the constitutional rights of the members, no matter whether they rule or sit in the opposition,” he said. Chief Minister Vijayan said the present LDF Government in Kerala had been making path breaking interventions.
He underlined that though the central government had dropped the Plan process, the Special Component Plan (SCP) and the Tribal Sub Plan (TSP), Kerala had retained the Plan process as well as the SCP and the TSP.
These were essential in ensuring that there was just allocation of resources for the disadvantaged sections, he said.
“While vested interests try to weaken our democracy through orchestrated campaigns, it is the duty of all of us who have assumed office having sworn allegiance to the Indian Constitution to protect democracy and strengthen secularism,” he said.