Monsoon session exhibited stable, progressive democracy: Pranab Mukherjee
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New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee told the nation on the eve of the 70th Independence Day that the recently concluded Parliament session had exhibited a stable and progressive democracy in full play after the ruling party and the opposition came together in pursuit of an agenda for the development, unity, integrity and security of the nation.
Emphasizing the democratic values of justice, liberty, equality and fraternity, Mukherjee said on Sunday that the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for the introduction of the goods and services tax (GST) amid non-partisan deliberations was reason to celebrate democratic maturity.
“In the past four years, I have seen with some satisfaction a stable and progressive democracy in full play with peaceful transfer of power from one party to another, from one government to another, and from one generation to another. Notwithstanding the different hues of political thought, I have seen the ruling party and the opposition coming together in pursuit of national agenda of development, unity, integrity and security of the nation. In the just-concluded session of Parliament, the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for the introduction of GST amidst non-partisan and quality parliamentary deliberations is reason enough to celebrate our democratic maturity,” Mukherjee said in his address to the nation.
But, Mukherjee said, the past four years had also seen rising forces of divisiveness and intolerance. Attacks on weaker sections were “aberrations” that ran against the national ethos and needed to be dealt with “firmly”.
“In these four years, I also saw with, some disquiet, forces of divisiveness and intolerance trying to raise their ugly head. Attacks on weaker sections that militate against our national ethos are aberrations that need to be dealt with firmly. The collective wisdom of our society and our polity gives me the confidence that such forces will remain marginalized and India’s remarkable growth story will continue uninterrupted,” the President said.
“The safety and security that we provide to our women and children determines the well-being of the state and society. Every incident of violence against a woman or a child inflicts a wound on the soul of the civilization. We cannot call ourselves a civilized society if we fail in this duty,” Mukherjee said in his fifth speech as the President.
Mukherjee said democracy is more than a periodic exercise of choices to elect the governments. He said the Constitution clearly defines the duties and responsibilities of every organ of the state and the ancient Indian ethos of maryada (responsibility) as far as authorities and institutions of state power were concerned.
“Disruptions, obstructionism and un-mindful pursuit of a divisive political agenda by groups and individuals lead to nothing but institutional travesty and Constitutional subversion. Polarizing debates only deepen the fault lines in public discourse.”
Stressing the need to build smart cities, towns and villages, Mukherjee said that the development process should lead to the creation of happy places—a technology-driven but compassionate society.
“We must take destiny in our own hands to build the India of our dreams. Backed by strong political will, we have to create a future which will economically empower six hundred million youth, build a digital India, a start-up India, and a skilled India,” he said.