New Delhi: On the eve of the 66th Republic Day, President Pranab Mukherjee addressed the nation on Sunday and termed '2014 as a significant year' while '2015 as a year of hope'.
Hailing the people of India for the results of last year's General Elections, Mukherjee said, “After three decades the people have voted to power a single party for a stable government, free from compulsions of coalition politics. Our national ambition is to raise the quality of life of Indians by quantum leaps.”
In his customary address to the nation, Mukherjee said, "Vote was for clean, efficient, effective, gender-sensitive, transparent and citizen-friendly governance. The outcome of elections has given mandate to elected government to fulfill commitment to people."
While talking about this year, Prez said, "2015 is year of hope, key economic indicators provide for much optimism."
The aspect of women's security also found mention in the President's speech today as Mukherjee said, “Only a nation that respects and empowers its women can become a global power.”
“It pains me to see that Mother India is not respected by her own children when it comes to the safety of women,” he added.
Mukherjee further said, “Atrocities of rape, murders, harassment on roads, kidnapping and dowry deaths have made women fearful in their own homes.”
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, he said: “Religion is a force for unity; we cannot make it a cause of conflict."
Mukherjee briefly objected to government enacting laws without discussion, saying that it impacts the law-making role of Parliament and breaches the trust reposed in it by the people.
“This is neither good for the democracy nor for the policies relating to those laws."
Recently the President had raised strong objections to a string of ordinances - executive orders - passed by the union cabinet, including the one on the land acquisition act.
While acknowledging that the constitution provided for promulgation of ordinance in extraordinary situation, Mukherjee had said this route cannot and should not be taken for normal legislation.
In his address, the President also stressed on the importance of the parliamentary process in making laws saying there can be no governance without a functioning legislature.
“The legislature reflects the will of the people. It is the platform where progressive legislation using civilized dialogue must create delivery mechanisms for realizing the aspirations of the people. It calls for reconciling the differences amongst stakeholders and building a consensus for the law to be enacted,” he said in his address that was aired in Doordarshan, the national broadcaster.
Commenting on terrorism, the President said “violence is seeping across our borders”.
“While peace, non-violence and good neighbourly intentions should remain the fundamentals of our foreign policy, we cannot afford to be complacent about adversaries who will stop at nothing to disrupt our progress towards a prosperous and equitable India,” he added.
India has the strength, confidence and determination to defeat architects of this war against its people, he said.
“Repeated violations of the ceasefire along the Line of Control and terrorist attacks must get an integrated response through incisive diplomacy and impregnable security mechanisms. The world must join India in fighting the menace of terrorism,” he said.
(With Agency inputs)