Chandigarh: Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Wednesday that a dangerous and false binary was emerging in the country’s political discourse which could be a danger to the democratic system.
Addressing the first Prof. S.B. Rangnekar Memorial lecture at his alma mater Panjab University here, the Congress leader said that it was time to ask ourselves if we were losing patience with democracy 70 years after getting independence.
“We need to ask ourselves whether we are losing patience with democracy and turning to more authoritarian alternatives that may well yield superior short-term results but in the long term will end up destroying our country and all the achievements of the last 70 years,” he said while addressing students and faculty.
“Governance is complex. It is messy. It is slow. Its benefits are long term. It requires great patience. Above all, democracy is a system in which people without privilege have a decisive voice in governance. If this is lost, democracy becomes meaningless,” he added.
According to the report published in NDTV, he said that atrocities against minorities and Dalits are increasing in the country. He also said that if these types of incidents are not checked, it could affect democracy in the country. He further asked people to reject divisive policies and politics.
Talking about freedom, Mr. Manmohan Singh told that freedom is, freedom to question, express views. He also told that country’s freedom did not only mean freedom of country’s government rather it is freedom of every Indian, NDTV reported.
Regarding the present day scenario in the country, Manmohan Singh said: “A dangerous and false binary is now surfacing in Indian political discourse, which must be firmly rejected. It is that we have to choose between freedom and development. It is not a new binary.
“Dr. Ambedkar once worried that the day may come when people may prefer government for the people to government by and of the people. He saw that as a great danger.
“On this 70th anniversary, we must ensure that we do not fall into the trap of choosing government for the people over government by and of the people,” he said.
With inputs from IANS