New Delhi, August 14 : On the eve of India's 61st Independence Day, President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil stressed on the need to work ceaselessly to advance our common destiny of a strong democratic India that is economically vibrant and modern, but yet rooted in its age old values of harmony, tolerance and mutual respect.
The President said that Friday is an occasion to recall that under the inspiring leadership of Mahatma Gandhi, our freedom struggle was fought and won on the noble principles of truth and non-violence, making it a unique movement in the history of nations.
As inheritors of such a great legacy, we must uphold these high values.
President Patil further added that at the time of independence, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru spoke about India as a rising star, the star of freedom in the East. He reminded us that freedom would bring responsibilities and burdens, and that we must face them in the spirit of a free and disciplined people.
Due to our efforts and perseverance, we have many achievements to our credit but there are several tasks that await completion and new challenges that need to be addressed. A nation's work never ends, she added.
The President said one should never forget that these are the values that make us emotionally strong and hold our country together. We may still have a long way to go to eradicate poverty, disease and illiteracy but other countries in the world respect India because of these values.
It is when we work unitedly that we will realize our full strength and potential.
She indirectly mentioned the Jammu and Kashmir land row issue and said there is no issue that does not lend itself to dialogue and reconciliation. The paths of peace and compromise can be complex and difficult, but pursue them we must. They alone will enable the nation to grow and prosper.