Former Justices Invite Modi and Gandhi for Public Debate Amid 2024 Elections


Former Supreme Court Justice Madan Lokur, Delhi High Court Justice AP Shah, and veteran journalist N Ram have extended a bipartisan invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for a public debate midway through the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The proposal, outlined in a letter addressed to both leaders, aims to foster informed dialogue and strengthen democratic engagement in the world's largest democracy.

The letter underscores the significance of a non-partisan and non-commercial platform for public discourse, asserting that such a debate would not only educate citizens but also project India's democratic ethos on the global stage. Against the backdrop of rallies and public addresses, wherein key questions concerning constitutional democracy have been raised by both the BJP and the INC, the former judges and journalists emphasize the need for substantive responses to these crucial issues.

Concerns are voiced regarding the lack of meaningful responses from either side, particularly in an era characterized by digital misinformation and manipulation. The letter highlights the importance of ensuring that the electorate is well-informed about all aspects of the debate to make an informed choice at the polls. In this context, the invitation to Modi and Gandhi aims to facilitate a constructive exchange on key election issues, with the venue, duration, moderators, and format open for mutual agreement.

Justice Lokur, Justice Shah, and N Ram emphasize the democratic imperative of informed dialogue and urge both leaders to participate in the proposed debate or nominate representatives if unable to attend. By extending this invitation, they seek to enrich the electoral discourse and uphold the principles of transparency and accountability in India's democratic process.

Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer, MIT ADT University