Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 07: The growing level of political intolerance in Kerala and resultant murders was cause for serious concern, President Ram Nath Kovind said on Monday.
At a seminar organised in connection with the conclusion of the year-long Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Kerala Assembly in Thiruvananthapuram, President added that all parties and enlightened citizens should do their best to check this.
There was an urgent need for all, including political parties to deliberate the matter seriously.
The President said the State has had a tradition of tolerating all ideologies and religions. “The history of debate, mutual dignity and respect for each other's point of view has been the hallmark of Kerala society,” he said. This had led to Keralites being in the forefront of the country's thought process.
"Nevertheless there remains the paradox of political violence in Kerala, especially in some regions of the State. This is unfortunate and does little justice to the glorious traditions of the state and its people.
"Debate, dissent and disagreement are perfectly acceptable and should be welcomed in our polity. But violence has no place in our Constitution," he said.
Incidentally, hours before, the State witnessed the murder of a Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) member, allegedly by RSS activists in the northern district of Kasargod.
The President said: “A person may believe in one faith or the other, or he or she may not believe in any faith at all. That is not important. What is important is the culture of educated and informed debate and of mutual accommodation that has been part of Kerala's DNA continues to be preserved," he said.
He was all praise for the 'Kerala model' of development with its land reforms and progress on panchayati raj, literacy and healthcare fronts.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan in his address said Indian democracy was founded on secularism. There was the need to look at why democracy was being affected by such tendencies especially with “the widespread use of social media, falsehoods aimed at fostering hatred and enmity are being propagated at will" he added.
Governor P Sathasivam, Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala and Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan addressed the gathering.
Separately, a priest of Chirakkal Bhagavathy Temple in Thrissur, Jayaraman, was arrested earlier in the day for issuing a death threat to the President who is to take part in the centenary celebrations of St Thomas College in the town on Tuesday.
The priest is said to have rung up the Thrissur police control room and issued the threat.