New Delhi: With election speeches in the air, President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday urged people to vote in a stable government to ensure economic development even as he warned Pakistan that the government’s ‘patience has limits’ India and that it will take all “necessary measures” to protect its security.
In his second Independence Day speech after becoming head of state in July 2012, Mukherjee said corruption was draining the nation’s resources. He lashed out at politicians who he said had turned legislatures into “fighting arenas.”
The President also had a word on protecting nature and caring for the environment, saying the recent flood disaster in Uttarakhand was nothing but a ‘wake-up call’ and ‘it’s time to wake up”. Mukherjee said that before addressing the people again on August 15, 2014, India would have had another general election.
“This great celebration of democracy is an opportunity for us to elect a stable government that will ensure security and economic development.
Quoting from the Bhagvad Gita, Mukherjee said that the future of Indian democracy rests on the right decision made by the people.
“Let’s not waste this extraordinary opportunity. We must work for a general renewal of our values and our institutions.
“We have to realize that rights go hand in hand with responsibilities,” he added.
On the latest flare-up with Pakistan, particularly in reference to the recent killing of Indian soldiers, he said: “Despite India’s constant efforts to establish friendly relations with its neighbours, there have been tensions in the border and repeated violations of the ceasefire on the Line of Control, resulting in tragic loss of life.
Mukherjee was referring to the killings of the five soldiers by Pakistani troops who snuck into Jammu and Kashmir last week.
Without naming Pakistan, the president said: “Our commitment to peace is unwavering, but even our patience has limits. All necessary measures to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity of the nation will be taken.
Mukherjee warned people against disturbing the delicate balance between man and nature which could spell disaster.
“In our drive for development, we must be careful not to upset the balance between man and nature. The consequences of such an imbalance can be disastrous,” he said, referring to flash floods in Uttarkhand that killed thousands.