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...time when there was rising public anger and strong disenchantment with politics and institutions.

“The context in which the idea of the Centre has emerged is the sharp sense of a breakdown of the basic consensus on governance and also an increasing polarisation of the national discourse. We think the Centre should help strengthen the foundational liberal principles that have made this country great,” Dr. Parthasarathy said.

Acknowledging the contribution of newspapers like The Hindu to India’s struggle for freedom and the strengthening of democracy, President Mukherjee said there was need for a research centre where there could be dialogue and discussion and where the challenges that India confronts can be analysed in an objective manner from different perspectives. “ The Hindu Centre could be the most appropriate forum for such discussions.”

Sunil Khilnani, Member of the Advisory Board of the Centre, said the famously “argumentative Indian has today become the cynical Indian, cynical about politicians, policy, public life and even about the constitutional order itself.”

The Centre, he said, will “support with full intellectual freedom investigations into our changing society and politics, and from its home in the south it will place its findings in the public sphere, for scrutiny and debate, and to improve our public policy choices and outcomes”.

In his vote of thanks, N. Ravi, Director, KSL, said the Centre can contribute to the political discourse and explore solutions to some of the long-standing problems. “It will help turn the power of ideas into the utility of practice,” he added.