Our pluralistic culture and tolerance are being put to test by vested interests: President Mukherjee on Republic Day eve

The President appealed to make happiness and well-being of our people as the touchstones of public policy. He said that Democracy has conferred rights on each one of us; but along with these rights, come responsibilities.

Our pluralistic culture and tolerance are being put to test by vested interests: President Mukherjee on Republic Day eve

President Pranab Mukherjee on the eve of 68th Republic day extended warm greetings to the citizens in India and abroad.

He said that pluralistic culture of the country and tolerance are still being put to test by vested interests. "We have to work harder to keep at bay dark forces of terrorism; these forces have to be dealt with firmly and decisively,” the President added.

The President appealed to make happiness and well-being of our people as the touchstones of public policy. He said that Democracy has conferred rights on each one of us; but along with these rights, come responsibilities.


He said that our economy is yet to grow at over 10% for an extended period of time to make a significant dent on poverty.

“Gandhiji’s mission to wipe every tear from every eye still remains unfulfilled. The time is also ripe for a constructive debate on electoral reforms. A healthy democracy calls for conformity to the values of tolerance, patience and respect for others,” Mukherjee said.

He said three generations of citizens born in independent India, do not carry the baggage of colonial past. “These generations have had privilege of acquiring education, pursuing opportunities & chasing dreams in a free nation,” President said.

President Mukherjee said that the faith and commitment of people gave life to our Constitution and reminded that our founding fathers, wisely and carefully, steered the new nation past its troubles of being a poor economy with huge regional imbalances and a vast citizenry deprived of even basic necessities.

Highlighting the achievements of our democratic system he said, “
It goes to the credit of the strong institutions of democracy built by our founders that for the last six and a half decades, Indian democracy has been an oasis of stability in the region troubled by unrest. From a population of 360 million in 1951, we are now a 1.3 billion strong nation. Even then, our per capita income has shown a ten-fold increase, poverty ratio has declined by two-thirds, average life expectancy has more than doubled, and literacy rate has shown a four-fold increase.”


He said that as our Republic enters her sixty-eighth year, we must acknowledge that our systems are not perfect. “The imperfections have to be recognized and rectified. The settled complacencies have to be questioned,” President said.

Here is the President's full speech