To sustain democracy, we should honour plurality instead of 'othering': CJI NV Ramana

Citizens must connect with our Constitution because it is our ultimate safeguard and that is why propagation of constitutional culture is required, he said.
CJI NV Ramana
CJI NV Ramana

Chief Justice of India (CJI) NV Ramana on Friday batted for the propagation of constitutional culture among students and laypersons and stated that subjects on basic ideas of Constitution and governance should be taught at all institutions irrespective of the stream of learning.

Citizens must connect with our Constitution because it is our ultimate safeguard and that is why propagation of constitutional culture is required, he said.

"It is high time for all institutions, to introduce a subject on the basic ideas about constitution and governance, irrespective of the stream of learning. The ideas of the constitution need to be simplified for everyone’s understanding and empowerment. A participatory democracy thrives when its citizens are able to make informed choices. The ultimate goal of our education should be to enable us to make informed choices," the CJI stated.

He was delivering the convocation address at the 82nd convocation of Osmania University in Hyderabad.

At the event, the university also conferred on CJI Ramana the Doctor of Laws (Honoris Causa) degree in the presence of Telangana Governor Dr Tamilisai Soundarajan.

"Our students must be aware about the basic laws and principles that govern the land. The citizens must connect with our constitution because it is our ultimate safeguard," the CJI said.

He further said that key to the sustenance of our democracy is honouring our plurality.

"Instead of fostering the feeling of “othering”, our education should lead us where we can nurture diversity. Speaking of diversity, we should not lose sight of the big picture in the globalised world," he added.

On the importance of the degree he was presented, CJI Ramana said he was deeply grateful and considered it a personal obligation to do his best for the society.

On other recipients of the honorary degree, the CJI said,

"I am afraid, I may not fit in the league of the luminaries such as Rabindranath Tagore, C Raj Gopala Chary, Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr S. Radhakrishnan, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar and 42 others, who are recipients of the prestigious Honoris Causa from this historic university."

CJI Ramana in his address stressed the purpose of education, stating that is should not stop merely at providing skills towards employment.

"It is expected to combine perception and patience, emotion and intellect, substance and morals. Critical thinking is essential for the growth of every individual, society, and the nation. True education is what nurtures true impulses and independent thinking. Instead of being prisoners of status quo, we need youth to dive deep and bring transformation from within."

Chief Justice of the Telangana High Court, Justice Ujjal Bhuyan and Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundarajan and were also present at the event.

Read more about the speech here.

[Read full speech here]

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