Movements like Anna’s give democracy new dimensions: Pranab

President says Left-wing extremism a 'serious threat' to the country’s peace and security.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:December 20, 2013 5:28 am

President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said social movements as witnessed during the recent Anna Hazare-led agitation cannot be brushed aside and have opened new dimensions of democratic structure.

Mukherjee,speaking at the annual Intelligence Bureau (IB) endowment lecture,referred to the conventional thought of democracy which meant periodical elections and review of performance of the Government,which has changed now.

His observation comes a day after the Parliament passed the landmark Lokpal Bill. While underlining the importance of IB’s input on critical infrastructure for government,he said,“…Ten years ago,nobody could think of the social activists,non-governmental organisations… they will not only demand that a particular piece of legislation is to be enacted to protect the interest of the people as they perceive but they insist that you have to adopt this model,this structure. We shall have to agree and if we cannot… keep it under carpet…These are the types of challenges which we are facing today.”

Referring to Anna Hazare’s movement,Mukherjee said when it was at its peak more than two years ago,Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had asked him to head Group of Ministers to negotiate with the anti-corruption campaigner.

He said he was even asked during a visit in Vietnam as to how he would respond to that movement. Maintaining that he was responding as a student of politics,he said,“It is opening new dimensions of our democratic structure which we shall have to address.”

Earlier,he said,it was thought that democracy meant people would choose their elected representatives who will make legislations for them and administer for them.

At the end of that stipulated period,“we shall have an account from them how have we been successful or not”,he said.

The President in his half-hour speech observed that terrorism has assumed a much larger proportion than it was thought with advancement of science and a revolution in information technology.

In his extempore speech,he said India was the only country pointing out at another danger immediately after the post-cold war era in the form of international cross border terrorism. “… from India,we were pointing out that another danger is looming large. It is in the form of international cross border terrorism which is going to be the single largest contributory factor to disturb the peace and tranquility in the world order,” he said.

Mukherjee said the world did not heed and perhaps it was thought that it’s a problem between India and its neighbours. “But it’s not. The short point which I am trying to drive at is that it’s a serious challenge and in our case alone with the terrorism indulged by state or non-state actors,coming and

originating from the geographical border beyond our control,” he added.

He also termed Left-wing extremism as a “serious threat” to the country’s peace and security and called upon security forces to effectively counter the challenge.

Without naming Pakistan,Mukherjee said, “We have to fight terrorism that receives support from outside our country. Both state and non-state actors inimical to the nation are continuously engaged to destabilise India.”

On misuse of social media,he said it is now a weapon terrorists across the world and anti-nationals are employing with greater sophistication.

“This also has to be combated adopting superior tactics and technology,” he said.

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