New Delhi: Cautioning
against losing sight of long-term goals while dealing with
short-term pressures, President Pratibha Patil Wednesday said the
most effective law was the conscience of citizens and hoped that
solutions will be found to matters of national importance in the
spirit of national interest.
In her address to the nation on the eve of the 63rd Republic Day,
the president said all countries were facing the impact of global
economic instability and there were questions about how growth and
resources will be shared in an equitable manner.
In an apparent reference to the contentious debate on the Lokpal
bill between the government, Team Anna and the opposition parties,
the president said the tree should not be brought down while
shaking it to remove the bad fruit, and process of dialogue in a
democracy should flow in a manner that "we are willing to listen
to each other."
Patil, who is the country's first woman president, said people
should build a strong, prosperous nation based on firm system of
In an address replete with references to country's civilsational
values, Patil said youth should be involved in nation building
"As we remove poverty, let us enrich our thoughts. As we remove
disease, let us all remove ill-will towards others," she said.
Patil began her fifth address as president by greeting the
citizens in all parts of the world and conveying her best wishes
to the armed forces and security personnel.
She said forces of globalisation had created an interlinked and
interdependent world and no country exists in isolation.
"All nations, developed and developing, are facing the impact of
global economic instability, as well as problems of unemployment
and inflation in varying degrees," she said .
"There is also a growing quest for materialism. There are worries
about the direction in which the human community is heading in
this age of globalisation, knowledge and technology," Patil said.
Patil stressed the need for scientific and technological outlook
among people and said India will continue to bring moral force on
the global stage.
"How should we proceed to build our nation and its people? I
believe that the answer lies in our age-old values, the ideals of
our freedom movement, the principles of our Constitution, as also
in our unity, a positive attitude and our aspiration to grow."
"We look at building our country, as one whose economy
demonstrates a robustness to grow, so that we can become a
Underlining India's growing global stature, Patil pitched for the
reform of global institutions to reflect contemporary realities.
She said the country's institutions may not be flawless but they
have coped with many challenges.
"While bringing about reforms and improving institutions, we have
to be cautious that while shaking the tree to remove the bad
fruit, we do not bring down the tree itself. There will be short
term pressures but in the process we must not lose sight of the
long term goals and must work together on our core national
agenda," the president said, apparently referring to the
contentious issues including the Lokpal bill.
The Lokpal bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but could not be
passed in the Rajya Sabha. Several key legislations of the
government are pending in Parliament.
"Those who believe in democracy must try to see whether there is
rationale in the other's point of view," she said.
Patil said there can be no place for violence in democracy and all
differences should be resolved through dialogue.
"Negativity and rejection cannot be the path for a vibrant country
that is moving to seek its destiny. Our work, our values and our
approach must be based on the vast capacity that India and its
Patil said solutions to matters of national importance in the
spirit of national interest will strengthen "roots of democracy
and the foundation of our nation".
The President said agencies involved in the delivery of services
should have a strong sense of duty and work in corruption-free
She said a shared future can be achieved by citizens displaying
unity and sense of responsibility.