Attacks on Dalits must stop: President Mukherjee

President Pranab Mukherjee.

In his address to the nation on the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day, President Pranab Mukherjee chose to speak about the recent attacks on Dalits and other minorities.

The President called for firm action against the perpetrators of such attacks against the weaker sections of society.

Coming down heavily on forces of intolerance, Mukherjee cautioned against “unmindful pursuit” of a divisive political agenda and polarising debates by groups and individuals, saying they lead to institutional “travesty” and constitutional “subversion”.

The President also made it clear that democracy was not just about exercising choice to elect government periodically.

President Pranab Mukherjee.

President Pranab Mukherjee.

In his fifth address to the nation since assuming office, the President asked authorities and Institutions of State Power to adhere to the “Maryada”(dignity) in discharge of their duties as established in this ancient Indian ethos.

“In these four years, I also saw with, some disquiet, forces of divisiveness and intolerance trying to raise their ugly head. Attacks on weaker sections that militate against our national ethos are aberrations that need to be dealt with firmly,” he said.

The President said the collective wisdom of our society and our polity gave him the confidence that such forces will remain marginalised and India’s remarkable growth story will continue uninterrupted.

“The great tree of liberty requires constant nourishment through the institutions of democracy. Disruptions, obstructionism and unmindful pursuit of a divisive political agenda by groups and individuals lead to nothing but institutional travesty and Constitutional subversion. Polarising debates only deepen the fault lines in public discourse,” he said.

Mukherjee said the Constitution has clearly defined the duties and responsibilities of every organ of the state.

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