The Indian democracy may seem like it is in chaos, but dissent and noise are essential to an effective democracy, senior advocate Fali Nariman said on Thursday. He added that the increasingly popular idea that executive power must be concentrated with a single person for India to be united was not one he agreed with.
“For an effective democracy to function there must be dissent,” said Nariman while speaking before President Pranab Mukherjee , Chief Justice of India TS Thakur, and several other members of the judiciary -- sitting and retired -- at a function held on Thursday in the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
“There is an increasing impression that only if executive power is centralised on one person, from this there will be change, unity. I disagree,” said Nariman. He added that “any other system (of governance)” besides democracy “necessarily leads to arrogance, autocracy and dictatorship.”
The senior advocate was speaking at the launch of a book -- Statement of Indian Law -- a two-volume study of all the Constitutional Bench judgments since 1950 authored by Supreme Court advocate Govind Goel.
Though he was speaking on the book, Nariman said he wanted to “openly express” his “mortal fear” before the distinguished gathering.
Regarding Goel’s book, Nariman said it was a great resource for lawyers and judicial officers alike, but pointed out that many matters involving constitutional issues are often decided by single or double benches of judges and that “often leads to confusion and delay.”