President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said peaceful co - existence of contrary opinions was a must in a thriving democracy.
Inaugurating the bi - centenary celebrations of Bengali newspapers at the Press Club here, the President said: "There will be lot of opinions, the peaceful co - existence of which is a must in a spirit of co - operation in a democracy. "
The President recalled that the country's first newspaper Bengal Gazette was published from Kolkata in 1780.
Since then, 38 newspapers in the country were published till 1870, of which 19 were from Bengal only.
In this connection, the President dwelt on the glorious past of the evolution of Bengali newspapers.
Referring to the advent of technology in communication, he mentioned the growing importance of social media in the country.
On the occasion, West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi released a commemorative volume on the two hundred years of Bengali newspapers, brought at by the Kolkata Press Club.
The first copy was handed over to the President.