News Karnataka
Wednesday, December 07 2022

President Mukherjee: “Independence was a moment of historic exhilaration, tinged with blood”

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New Delhi: President of India Pranab Mukherjee in his customary address to the nation on the eve of the 69th Independence Day on Friday spoke about several pressing issues of the country ranging from the Parliament session washout to the terrorist attacks that the country saw recently. In his speech, President Mukherjee also highlighted the need for tolerance in a diverse nation like ours.
The President recalling the birth of modern India, said “was a moment of historic exhilaration, but also tinged with the blood of unimaginable suffering along the length and breadth of our country”

He praised the heros of the country’s freedom struggle for their sagacity and maturity their contribution tot the “constitution that launched India’s march towards greatness”. He said that the “most precious gift of this document was democracy, which reshaped our ancient values into a modern context and institutionalized multiple freedoms. It turned liberty into a living opportunity for the oppressed and impoverished, offered equality and positive discrimination to the many millions, who had suffered social injustice, and instituted a gender revolution that has made our country an example of progress. We abolished archaic customs and laws, and ensured change for women through education and jobs. Our institutions are the infrastructure of this idealism”

He expressed concern for the preservation of these ideals. “Our institutions of democracy are under stress. The Parliament has been converted into an arena of combat rather than debate”. He stressed that the correctives must come from within.

His remarks on the economy indicated hope and promise of a better tomorrow. “Our economy promises much hope for the future. The new chapters of the ‘India Story’ are waiting to be written. ‘Economic reforms’ is a work-in-progress. Our performance over the last decade has been commendable; and it is most heartening that after a dip, we have recovered to 7.3% growth in 2014-15. But the benefits of growth must reach the poorest of the poor much before they land in the bank accounts of the richest of the rich”.

He also touched upon the symbiotic relationship between man and nature, which he said, “has to be preserved”.

President Mukerjee called for the nourishment of diversity through tolerance and patience. He said that India’s democracy is creative because it is plural. “India is a complex country of 1.3 billion people, 122 languages, 1600 dialects and 7 religions. Its strength lies in its unique capacity to blend apparent contradictions into positive affirmations”.

He added, “For both government and people the rule of law is sacrosanct, but society is also protected by something greater than law: humanity. Mahatma Gandhi said and I quote: “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”

He pleaded for goodwill, peace, friendship and cooperation in the subcontinent commending the long pending resolution of the land dispute with Bangladesh. But he warned against “deliberate acts of provocation and a deteriorating security environment”. India is a target of vicious terrorist groups operating from across the borders, he said and warned that “Infiltration into our territory and attempts to create mayhem will be dealt with a strong hand”.

In conclusion he said, “India has blossomed into a vibrant democracy. The roots are deep but the leaves are beginning to wilt. It is time for renewal”.

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