Addressing the nation on the eve of Independence Day, President Pranab Mukherjee said our democracy is built on the pillars of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity. He added that he is confident that collective wisdom and our polity will ensure that forces which attack weaker sections will remain marginalised.
“These forces pose a danger to entire comity of nations; world will have to fight them unconditionally & in one voice,” he said.
In his annual speech, the President says each incident of violence against a woman or a child inflicts a wound on the soul of civilisation. “We cannot call ourselves a civilised society if we fail in providing safety and security to our women and children,” he said.
Disruptions, obstructionism & unmindful pursuit of divisive political agenda lead to institutional travesty, Mukherjee said, adding that democracy is more than a periodic exercise of choices to elect the government.
Our Constitution is not only a political or legal document but also an emotional, cultural and social contract, he said, also including that polarising opinions deepen the fault lines in public discourse. “One unique feature that has held India together is our respect for each other’s cultures, values and beliefs,” Mukherjee said.
He also touched upon employment and empowering the six hundred million youth in the country. “We should promote scientific temper by questioning our beliefs which aren’t compatible with scientific way of thinking,” he added. “India will grow, only when all of India grows; the excluded ones have to be included in the development process.”
Speaking on foreign relations, the President said our foreign policy has shown considerable dynamism in recent times. “We are in the process of forging new relationships based on shared values and mutual benefit with all countries. India’s focus in foreign policy will remain on peaceful co-existence & harnessing tech & resources for eco development.”
“To quote the Upanishads: May god protect us; may god nourish us; may we work together with vigour and energy. May our studies be brilliant; may there be no hostility amongst us; may there be peace, peace, peace,” he concluded.