As is the tradition, President of India Pranab Mukherjee addressed the nation on the eve of Independence Day eve. He focused on the constitution amendment to GST bill, intolerance and attacks on weaker sections of India society, sanctity of the constitution, India’s development and foreign policy among other things.
Considered as reflective of the current state of affairs and voice of government, President speech holds great significance. Pranab Mukherjee said, “One unique feature that has held India together is our respect for each other’s cultures, values and beliefs. The very essence of plurality lies in cherishing our heterogeneity and valuing our diversity.”
At a time when the country is grappling with the hot-cold vibes with its neighbor Pakistan, President’s words kind of set the course. He said – “We are in the process of forging new relationships based on shared values and mutual benefit with all countries, especially our immediate and extended neighbourhood. There will be no stepping back on our ‘neighbourhood first policy’. Close bonds of history, culture, civilization and geography provide the people of South Asia with an extraordinary opportunity to carve out a common destiny and to march together towards prosperity. This opportunity must be seized without delay.”
He also spoke about how GST bill was all about democracy winning, on inclusion of weaker sections in development and above all upholding the sanctity of constitution. “The Constitution has clearly defined the duties and responsibilities of every organ of the state. It has established the ancient Indian ethos of “Maryada” as far as Authorities and Institutions of State power are concerned. The spirit of the Constitution has to be upheld by adherence to this “Maryada” by the functionaries in the discharge of their duties,” he said.