New Delhi: India Wednesday told Pakistan that "patience has limits" and all "necessary steps" will be taken to ensure internal security and protect territorial integrity.
Without mentioning Pakistan by name, President Pranab Mukherjee said despite India`s consistent efforts to build friendly relations with neighbours, there have been tensions on the border and repeated violations of the ceasefire on the Line of Control, leading to tragic loss of lives.
"Our commitment to peace is unfailing but even our patience has limits. All steps necessary to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity of the nation will be taken," he said addressing the nation on the eve of 67th Independence Day.
He applauded the courage and heroism of the security and armed forces who maintain eternal vigilance and paid homage to those who have made the supreme sacrifice of the most precious gift of life in the service of the motherland.
Mukherjee said in the recent past there have been grave challenges to the security, internal as well as external.
"The barbaric face of Maoist violence in Chhattisgarh led to a loss of many innocent lives," he said.
The President said, "institutions are a mirror of national character. Today we see widespread cynicism and disillusionment with the governance and functioning of institutions in our country.
"Our legislatures look more like combat arenas, rather than fora that legislate. Corruption has become a major challenge. The precious resources of the nation are being wasted through indolence and indifference. It is sapping the dynamism of our society. We need to correct this regression."
Noting that the Constitution provides a delicate balance of power between various institutions of the state, Mukherjee said this balance has to be maintained.
"We need a Parliament that debates, discusses and decides. We need a judiciary that gives justice without delays. We need leadership that is committed to the nation and those values that made us a great civilization.
"We need a state that inspires confidence among people in its ability to surmount challenges before us. We need a media and citizens who, even as they claim their rights, are equally committed to their responsibilities," he said.
Referring to Mahatma Gandhi`s promise of self-rule based on tolerance and self-restraint and the promise of freedom from want and deprivation, Mukherjee said, "for nearly seven decades now we have been masters of our destiny. This is then the moment to ask if we are heading in the right direction?"
He said Gandhiji`s vision cannot be turned into reality if the very values that were compulsory to his cause sincerity of effort, honesty of purpose and sacrifice for the larger good were spurned.
Mukherjee said India`s founding fathers created the first oasis in the desert of a colonised world nourished by democracy.
"Democracy is much more than the right to vote every five years; its essence is the aspirations of the masses; its spirit must influence the responsibilities of the leaders and duties of the citizens every day," he said.
The President said democracy breathes through a vibrant Parliament, an independent judiciary, a responsible media, a vigilant civil society, and a bureaucracy committed to integrity and hard work. It survives through accountability, not profligacy.
"And yet we have allowed unbridled personal enrichment, self-indulgence, intolerance, discourtesy in behavior and disrespect for authority to erode our work culture. The biggest impact of the decay in the moral fibre of our society is on the hopes and aspirations of the young and the poor.
"Mahatma Gandhi had advised us to avoid, and I quote, `politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice`.
"We have to pay heed to his advice as we work towards building a modern democracy. The ideals of patriotism, compassion, tolerance, self-restraint, honesty, discipline and respect for women have to be converted into a living force," he said.