New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee today addressed the nation ahead of the Republic Day tomorrow, and made a strong pitch against the evils of terrorism and the harm it has inflicted upon India and the entire world.
In a tough worded message to the nation, Preident Mukherjee said that there was no notion such as ‘good terrorism or bad terrorism' and that it was only ‘evil'. Terming terror as a war inspired by ‘insane objectives, motivated by bottomless depths of hatred, instigated by puppeteers'; the President said that terrorism was a cancer that “must be operated out with a firm scalpel”.
The President also took note of the rising instances of terror emanating from Pakistan's soil, saying that terrorists sought to undermine order by rejecting the very basis of strategic stability, which are recognised borders.
“If outlaws are able to unravel borders, then we are heading towards an age of chaos,” he said.
In an apparent reference to Pakistan and the peace process initiated by India with the neighbour, the President said, “Dialogue is the civilized way to bridge disagreement; ideally, should be a continual engagement. We cannot discuss peace under a shower of bullets.”
Here are the highlights of the President's Address to the Nation on the eve of the 67th Republic Day:
* The President paid tributes to brave soldiers who made supreme sacrifice of their lives in defending India's territorial integrity.
* January 26, 1950, saw the culmination of heroic struggle of an extraordinary generation of leaders: President Mukherjee
* “Delay not, delay not, a new age dawns. With feet of glory, you shall cut out your own path. Move ahead, the roll of drums announce your triumphal march”: President Mukherjee quoting Tagore
* The generational change has happened; youth have moved centre-stage to take charge: President Mukherjee
* Through an open-minded approach to the wider spectrum of ideas, our academic institutions must become world-class. It must breed a culture of deep thought and create an environment of contemplation and inner peace. It must instil a spirit of reverence towards women that will guide social conduct of an individual throughout his life: President
* Education, with its enlightening effect, leads to human progress and prosperity, the President said.
* Love for one's motherland is the basis of all progress. Permanence of such changes can be ensured only if people own these changes: President Mukherjee
* Innovative solutions of urban planning, use of clean energy etc call for active participation of all stakeholders
* Climate change and pollution: Multiple strategies and action at various levels is necessary to address pollution. Climate change has acquired real meaning with 2015 turning out to be the warmest year on record. Each of us has the right to lead a healthy, happy and productive life in India. This right has been breached, especially in our cities, where pollution has reached alarming levels
* We must invest in mutual prosperity; our example can be its own message to a world in anxious need of amity. Human beings are best defined by a humane spirit; not their worst instincts: President Mukherjee
* On Terrorism: There is unprecedented turbulence across vast regions, with alarming increase in regional instabilities. The scourge of terrorism has reshaped war into its most barbaric manifestation. No corner can now consider itself safe from this savage monster. Terrorism is inspired by insane objectives, motivated by bottomless depths of hatred, instigated by puppeteers. They have invested heavily in havoc through the mass murder of innocents. This is war beyond any doctrine, a cancer which must be operated out with a firm scalpel.
* On Indo-Pak relations: There is no good or bad terrorism; it is pure evil. Nations will never agree on everything; but the challenge today is existential. Terrorists seek to undermine order by rejecting the very basis of strategic stability, which are recognized borders. If outlaws are able to unravel borders, then we are heading towards an age of chaos.
* There will be disputes among nations; the closer we are to a neighbour the higher the propensity for disputes. Dialogue is the civilized way to bridge disagreement; ideally, should be a continual engagement. We cannot discuss peace under a shower of bullets. We must resolve complex edges of our geo-political inheritance with neighbours through peaceful dialogue. We on our subcontinent have a historic opportunity to become a beacon to the world at a time of great danger.
* Delays in decision-making and implementation can only harm the process of development.
* For revitalizing the forces of growth, we need reforms and progressive legislation. A spirit of accommodation, cooperation and consensus-building should be the preferred mode of decision-making. It is bounden duty of the law makers to ensure that such legislation is enacted after due discussion and debate.
On Intolerance: We must guard ourselves against the forces of violence, intolerance and unreason. When grim instances of violence hit at established values which are at core of our nationhood, it is time to take note. Our finest inheritance, institutions of democracy, ensure to all citizens justice, equality, & gender & economic equity. Let us applaud what our democracy has achieved. Let us continue to complain; demand; rebel; this is a virtue of democracy. There will be, amongst us, occasional doubters & baiters.
* On Economy: This year, with an estimated growth rate of 7.3 percent, India is poised to become the fastest growing large economy. India is building and implementing strategies to solve these problems. Year 2015 has been a year of challenges; during this year, the global economy remained subdued. Unusual weather conditions impacted our agricultural production. While large parts of India were affected by severe drought, other areas reeled under devastating floods.
* On drought: In 2015, we were also denied the bounty of nature. India's economy also had to face the blowback. In such troubled environment, no one nation could be an oasis of growth.
* India a rising power: India today is a rising power, a country fast emerging as a global leader in science, technology, innovation & start-ups. The enduring democratic institutions they established have given us the gift of continuity on the path of progress. They pulled together India's amazing diversity to build national unity, which has brought us so far.