Hyderabad, Jul 3: Amid raging tensions between Telangana and Andhra Pradesh over different issues, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday asked both states to live together in peace, saying one can choose friends, not neighbours.
Observing that problems are bound to exist, particularly when the new entity is created out of the parent state, he, however, said good neighbourly relations is the only way forward.
Noting that Hyderabad is an important region in the entire country having made rapid progress in areas like Information Technology whose benefits have reached many parts, he said it is important that both states lived in harmony and contributed to nation's progress.
"Only I would like to suggest that we shall have to learn one lesson in our domestic relations and also in our international relations, that we can choose our friend. But we cannot choose our neighbours.
"Our neighbours are going to stay where they are. We may like it, we may not like it. But it is for us to decide, whether we should live with our neighbours in peace, harmony or in perpetual tension. Choice is ours," he said.
He also quoted Christ's one of the 10 commandments,'love your neighbour', to drive home the need for both states to live together in peace.
"Therefore, my appeal to all concerned would be, now it is the reality, Telangana has come to being. Telangana, Andhra and all other bordering states, work in close harmony. Because, we belong to India and in working with close harmony, we will ensure our sustainable development...," he said.
The initiatives like Clean India, Make in India and Digital India are aimed at achieving such sustainable development, he said.
"All these are absolutely necessary, for us to have our rightful place in the comity of nations," Mukherjee said. "...If we work in close cooperation and atmosphere of peace and tranquility, understanding and harmony, nothing can desist us, we can fulfil all the cherished goals," he said.
The President was speaking at an event where he received the first copy of the book, named 'Uniki' (existence), which is a compilation of the writings of Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao.
Mukherjee said not many leaders reflected on their experiences and thoughts in writing, which was not the case earlier, as he appreciated Rao for bringing out the book.
Recalling that many Congress Presidents in the past have penned their experiences, he said such books are a treasure for research now.
Rao had an illustrious parliamentary career and had also piloted a private member's bill that suggested stringent punishment for those practicing bigamy, the President said.
Citing the example of an effort against slavery in England, he said an individual member's bill can go a long way in addressing an issue.