New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Saturday said the country should not ignore contrary opinions and
shy away from a constructive debate of different points of
"If we are to think big and if we are to think boldly
about the challenges and opportunities before us, we cannot do
so by ignoring contrary opinions," he said releasing a book
"Keeping the Faith", authored by former Lok Sabha Speaker
Somnath Chatterjee here.
He said the country must have a way to resolve
creative tensions in the development process and move ahead.
Chatterjee in the book had launched a vitriolic attack
against CPI(M) leader Prakash Karat saying that "disastrous"
policies and "misguided" actions of the current leadership had
resulted in the major debacle for the party in the 2009
Observing that Chatterjee`s finest hour in his long and
distinguished political career was as the Speaker of Lok
Sabha, Singh said that Chatterjee has "risen above his party
and his ideology to do what he believes is right".
The Prime Minister said that the country has shown the
capacity and resilience to overcome trials and tribulations
and even rise above them. "We have withstood serious
challenges on the economic and security front and even emerged
stronger afterwards", he said.
The heat of debate in Parliament was often matched by
the warmth of personal relationships among leaders cutting
across party lines which was a real strength of Indian
democracy, Singh said adding many a time he turned to
Chatterjee to benefit from his various experience, political
acumen and sage counsel.