Condemning the attack on Aam Aadmi Party headquarters at Kaushambi in Ghaziabad, Lok Satta Party president and MLA Jayaprakash Narayan today said "there is no place for hooliganism or violence in a democracy." "Open, honest and informal public discourse is the essence of democratic functioning. One may not like the views expressed by others. But that does not give one the licence to indulge in verbal or physical violence. The only democratic option lies in countering others with facts and logic," he said in a statement.
Quoting French philosopher Voltaire as having said: 'I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it', Narayan said one should keep in mind such sage advice.
"The attack on the AAP office exemplifies how low we have fallen in democratic ethos and practises. The lust for power should not blind one to the need for civility in public discourse. A vast, diverse and ancient country can be held together only through love, patience, understanding and painstaking reconciliation of conflicting views," he said.
Narayan said that we may not agree with AAP leader Prashant Bhushan's views on Jammu and Kashmir. However, we have to respect his opinion and debate its merits in a civilised manner.
"That is only way we can protect and preserve the unity, integrity and social fabric of the country," he added.
Narayan, a bureaucrat-turned-politician, had launched Lok Satta several years ago to fight for clean and corruption-free politics.
He is scheduled to meet Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP leaders in Delhi on Saturday next to explore the possibility of working together.