Don`t take for granted hand of friendship: Prez Pranab to Pakistan
New Delhi: In his maiden Republic Day eve speech, President Pranab Mukherjee warned Pakistan not to take India`s friendship for granted, hailed the spirit of the Indian youth and said brutalizing women amounted to wounding "the soul of our civilization".
In a crisp speech laced with his trademark intellect, the president referred to the numerous doubts and problems plaguing the world`s largest democracy but predicted a bright future for India.
"On our 64th Republic Day, there may be some reason for concern but none for despair," said the veteran politician who became the head of state in July 2012.
"If India has changed more in six decades than six previous centuries, then I promise you that it will change more in the next 10 years than in the previous sixty," he said. "India`s enduring vitality is at work."
Without naming Pakistan, the president spoke of "serious atrocities" committed on Indian troops on the Jammu and Kashmir border -- an obvious reference to the brutal killing of two Indian soldiers by Pakistanis.
"Neighbours may have disagreements; tension can be a subtext of frontiers. But sponsorship of terrorism through non-state actors is a matter of deep concern to the entire nation.
"We believe in peace on the border and are always ready to offer a hand in the hope of friendship. But this hand should not be taken for granted."
Mukherjee spoke about the Dec 16 rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi, calling the 23-year-old a "symbol of all that new India strives to be".
Her death, he said, "has left our hearts empty and our minds in turmoil. We lost more than a valuable life; we lost a dream. If today young Indians feel outraged, can we blame our youth?"
The president said that while there was a law of the land, "there is also a higher law" when it came to women.
"The sanctity of a woman is a directive principle of that larger edifice called Indian civilization...
"Mother is our protection from evil and oppression, our symbol of life and prosperity," he said. "When we brutalize a woman, we wound the soul of our civilization."
The president said it was "time for the nation to reset its moral compass... We must look deep into our conscience and find out where we have faltered".
Mukherjee admitted that the Indian youth were today troubled by a range of existential doubts.
"Does the system offer due reward for merit? Have the powerful lost their Dharma in pursuit of greed? Has corruption overtaken morality in public life? Does our legislature reflect emerging India or does it need radical reforms?
"These doubts have to be set at rest. Elected representatives must win back the confidence of the people. The anxiety and restlessness of youth has to be channelised towards change with speed, dignity and order."
The former finance minister underlined that the fruits of economic growth should not become the monopoly of the privileged.
"As we move ahead on the path of economic reforms, we must remain alive to the persisting problems of market-dependent economies.
"Many rich nations are now trapped by a culture of entitlement without social obligations; we must avoid this trap."
Failure to do so could make Maoist violence "acquire far more dangerous dimensions", he warned.
He spoke of India`s many successes over the past six decades, the vision of India`s founding leaders and asked the civil society and the government to work together for the country`s betterment.
"India can double its growth rate by turning today`s disadvantaged into multiple engines of economic development," he said.
"Even the British," he said, "sensed that they were leaving a land which was very different from the one they had occupied... The spirit of India is written in stone."
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- Delhi's 2015 CBSE Class 12 topper M Gayatri talks to Zee Media
- One year of Modi govt: PM addresses mega rally in Mathura
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- CBSE Board 12th XII Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced today at 12 Noon