GUWAHATI, May 26 - Chief Justice of India (CJI) Ranjan Gogoi today said that dissent and debate in the country were under threat due to reckless individualism and that it was time the overwhelming silent majority stood up and spoke in one voice so that nation-building continued.
Addressing the open session after formally inaugurating the Cotton College Alumni House at the Cotton University campus here, CJI Gogoi said that dissent and debate, which were two cornerstones of democracy, had been under threat and the situation was proving to be disturbing for the institutions on which democracy stood.
�Such individualism presupposes that the concerned individual is the guardian of the world�s conscience. Such individualism also propounds that whatever the individual thinks is the only way to redeem and protect an institution,� he said.
The CJI added that the phenomenon was more visible in the present age of social media and information highway, and hence technologically driven, too, such as fake news.
�...fake news seeks to mask its oblique objectives. Such unbridled and reckless individualism also seeks to operate in darkness and under camouflage. It is important for us to be vigilant. It is time for the overwhelming silent majority to stand up and speak in one voice so that these institutions and nation-building continue uninterrupted,� he observed.
Pointing out that lots of injustices were taking place in the country, CJI Gogoi said that even that should not be a cause for the young generation to get disheartened. �Do your own work, have faith in God, and you will reach your goal,� he said.
Terming Cotton College (now Cotton University) as an iconic institute, CJI Gogoi said that nomenclatures such as college or university would not do justice to it. �Cotton has become an institution. The growth of this institution has been iconic and is a matter of pride for us all,� he said.
Terming the Alumni House as a laudable initiative, he said that in the days ahead, it would provide necessary support to the alumni association in undertaking initiatives and projects on behalf of all the alumni of the institute. CJI Gogoi, who was also a Cottonian, gave an account of his experiences as a student in the college.
The meeting, which was presided over by Justice (retd) DN Choudhury, was also addressed, among others, by Justice Arup Kumar Goswami, Chief Justice-in-charge of Gauhati High Court; Prof Bhabesh Chandra Goswami, Vice Chancellor of Cotton University; and Dr Satyendra Kumar Choudhury, general secretary of the Cotton College Alumni Association.
A commemorative volume of the centenary celebrations of Cotton College (observed during 2001-02) titled Satabdir Pratibimba edited by Dr Satyendra Kumar Choudhury, Jagadish Dutta and Hiranya Kumar Barman was released at the function.
CJI Gogoi also donated Rs 1 lakh to the alumni association to expedite its initiatives.
Earlier, the day began with an interactive programme among the alumni from the different past batches of the college. This was inaugurated by 98-year-old Cottonian Dr Bhumidhar Choudhury. It was followed by a felicitation event for the octogenarian Cottonians.
A souvenir titled Swarnil Jatra (The Golden Journey), edited by Manjit Singh and Dipanka Hazarika, and a book Adhunik Bharatar Mantradrasta Swami Vivekananda by Gauri Shankar Chakravarty were released on the occasion.
A 33-member new committee of the alumni association, with Dr Satyendra Kumar Choudhury and Jagadish Dutta as president and general secretary respectively for a tenure of three years, was also formed in the open session.
Later in the evening, a cultural programme marked the conclusion of the event.