Former president Pranab Mukherjee (C) gestures as Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora (L) and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa (R) look on, during the first 'Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture series' | PTI
Former president Pranab Mukherjee (C) gestures as Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora (L) and Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa (R) look on, during the first 'Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture series' | PTI
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New Delhi: “Democracy thrives on listening, deliberating, discussing, arguing and even dissent,” said former president Pranab Mukherjee at the inaugural Sukumar Sen Memorial Lecture, hosted by the Election Commission of India in Delhi Thursday.

Mukherjee, in his speech, highlighted the importance of institutions in our national evolution. He added that “free, fair, popular and credible elections are a cornerstone, indeed the life blood of democracy”.

A printed version of his full speech, made available after the lecture, also included the lines, “I believe the present wave of largely peaceful protests that have gripped the country shall once again enable the further deepening of our democratic roots.” According to a PTI report, Mukherjee didn’t speak these lines at the event.

The memorial lecture is a tribute to India’s first chief election commissioner, Sukumar Sen, who served on the post from 21 March 1950 to 19 December 1958.

Read the full text of Pranab Mukherjee’s speech here:

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