New Delhi, Aug. 14 (ANI): On the eve of 64th Independence Day, President Pratibha Devisingh Patil appealed to Maoists to give up the violent path and come to the negotiating table to work out a solution.
"The proponents of extreme ideologies and the followers of Left Wing Extremism must abandon their path of violence. I call on them to join national efforts for growth and development," said President Patil in her public address on the eve of Independence Day.
Stating that terrorism poses the biggest threat to global peace, President Patil gave a call to all nations that to defeat this menace of terrorism they should come together and ensure that terrorists do not get sanctuaries and financial assistance.
Maintaining that protracted development efforts will be required in the Naxal-affected areas, the President expressed hope that "everybody, including the civil society, will come forward and move the left wing extremists in this direction."
The President said nation-building demands the ability to work diligently and patiently, where the reward is the growth of the nation rather than personal promotion and it requires unity of purpose and the ability to focus on issues which unite.
"It requires a spirit of conciliation. This is possible when dialogue is chosen as the channel for communication. By listening to each other, respecting each other's viewpoint and understanding one another, we can address issues before us," she said.
Describing terrorism to be the biggest threat to global peace, stability and security, President Patil said peace was essential, if prosperity was to be achieved and to defeat terror, all nations of the world must work collectively. "...so that terrorists have no sanctuaries, no training grounds, no access to financial resources, no infrastructural support, and no defenders of their ideology."
She said that powers have been given to those in government for formulating policies and for implementation on the field and it should always be remembered that this power must be used in a responsible manner.
President said that "zero tolerance towards corruption" and "working with the highest standards of public service will definitely result in efficient governance systems and will have a multiplier effect on development and growth."
Pointing out the decline in social consciousness and wealk family bonds, the President said: "Strong family bonds are weakening. Social consciousness is on the decline. Some social evils persist. This must change. Today is the best opportunity when ground-breaking achievements along with a moral and ethical renaissance can take place."
She said the nation was at a historic phase when the world is shifting course and it is impacting the country's economy, polity, trade, commerce, education and pace of life.
"In this era of transformation, India definitely cannot lag behind. Our entire effort must be to ensure that there is overall development in which all people prosper," Patil said.
The President said that on the economic front, the country is ranked as the world's fourth largest economy based on purchasing power parity and is one of the fastest growing.
"The resilience of our economy was evident during the global financial crisis which we weathered, better than many other countries. The future holds great potential and promise. However, many issues demand attention and the way we address them is important," said Patil.
The President also said that empowerment through education is important.
She said that it opens many doors of opportunity and the Right to Education Act has made free and compulsory primary education for children a fundamental right.
"It is important that secondary education is also universalised, as we seek to increase enrolment levels in higher education. This will provide the 'brain power' for the nation," said President Patil.
Drawing attention towards the growing significance of modern technology on general life in the country, the President said: "We have seen the impact of mobile telephone connectivity even in our villages. Innovation and invention were always given weightage as agents of change but perhaps never as high as now. The categorisation of nations as rich and poor, developed and developing may well be overtaken by a new definition of those nations that innovate rapidly, as opposed to those which do so on a lower scale."
"To be in the forefront of cutting edge technologies, research and development in all fields must be encouraged and pursued in the country," she added.
Ms. Patil said the country's agriculture requires a fresh perspective, with new and radical ideas to steer it towards a second Green Revolution, so that agriculture production, productivity and profitability are increased. (ANI)