Pranab in Chennai, attends IAF event amid tight security

Pranab in Chennai, attends IAF event amid tight security

President Pranab Mukherjee today awarded the Standard and Colours to 125  helicopter squadron and Mechanical Training Institute (MTI), at a colourful event at IAF station at Tambaram in Chennai.

Chennai is in tight security cover due to the president’s visit. On Thursday night, he was welcomed at the city airport by Tamil Nadu governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao, chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and other top dignitaries.

Pranab on Thursday said that “there must be space for legitimate criticism and dissent.”

“Those in universities must engage in reasoned discussion and debate rather than propagate a culture of unrest. It is tragic to see them caught in the vortex of violence and disquiet,” the President said while delivering the 6th KS Rajamony Memorial Lecture on the topic “India@70” on Thursday in Kochi, Kerala.

Mukherjee asserted that freedom of speech and expression is guaranteed to every Indian by the Constitution. “There must be space for legitimate criticism and dissent,” he said.

“India has been since ancient times a bastion of free thought, speech and expression. Our society has always been characterized by the open contestation of diverse schools of thought and debate or discussion. Freedom of speech and expression is one of the most important fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution,” he said

The president talked about the importance of reasoned discussion and debate in universities in India, the country’s growth rate and the importance of discussions in the Parliament and state legislatures.

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