Coming down strongly on the decline in values that is adversely impacting governance,politics and functioning of institutions,President Pranab Mukherjee Wednesday underscored the need to correct regression and bring dynamism back in society.
Addressing the nation on the eve of 67th Independence Day,Mukherjee also gave out a strong message to Pakistan saying patience has limits and all necessary steps will be taken to ensure internal security and protect territorial integrity. Though he did not name Pakistan,he said there have been repeated violations of the ceasefire on the Line of Control despite Indias consistent efforts to build friendly relations with its neighbours.
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.
Noting the widespread cynicism and disillusionment with governance and functioning of institutions,President Mukherjee called next years elections an opportunity to elect a stable government that will ensure security and economic development.
Our legislature 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, he said.
Noting that the Constitution provides a balance of power between various institutions of the state,Mukherjee said the 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 civilisation. We need a state that inspires confidence among people in its ability to surmount challenges. We need a media and citizens who,even as they claim their rights,are equally committed to their responsibilities, he said.
Saying that democracy has given the country an opportunity to create another golden age,he said: Let us not squander this extraordinary opportunity. The journey ahead calls for wisdom,courage and determination. We must work on across-the-board revival of our values and institutions. We must realise that rights go with responsibilities. We must rediscover the virtue of self-scrutiny and self-restraint.
President Mukherjee underlined that democracy was much more than just a right to vote every five years. Its essence is the aspiration of the masses. Its spirit must influence the responsibilities of the leaders and duties of the citizens every day, he said.
Emphasising the need to empower local bodies with functions,functionaries and finances to improve their performance,he said peoples interest is served best when they participate in decision making at the level of panchayat and other forms of local government.