Former President of India, Pranab Mukherjee on Friday expressed concern over the rising intolerance and violation of human rights.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the national conference titled ‘Toward Peace, Harmony and Happiness; Transition to Transformation’, Mukherjee said: “The land which gave the world the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and the civilizational ethos of tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness, is now in news for rising levels of intolerance, manifestations of rage and infringement of human rights.”
“Our Constitution provides a delicate balance of power between various institutions of the state. This balance has to be maintained,” he added.
Moreover, he stated: “There is widespread cynicism and disillusionment with the governance and functioning of these institutions. To restore this credibility, the correctives have to come from within. Institutions are a mirror of national character. To save our democracy, these institutions must win back the trust of the people, without delay.”
“Peace and harmony prevails when a nation celebrates pluralism, practices tolerance and promotes goodwill among diverse communities and when we purge the toxin of hatred, envy, jealousy and aggression from our everyday lives,” he stated further.
“We need a state that inspires confidence among people in its ability to surmount challenges before us. We need a media and citizens who, even as they claim their rights, are equally committed to their responsibilities.”
“People are happier in countries where personal freedom is guaranteed and democracy is secured. Regardless of their economic condition, citizens are happy in a climate of peace.”
Paying tributes to Guru Nanak Dev on his 549th birth anniversary, Mukherjee added that given the times we are living in, it is important to recall his message of “peace and oneness”.
In the last 70 years, the former president said, the country has established a successful parliamentary democracy, an independent judiciary and strong institutions such as the Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Information Commission that sustain and support our democratic structure.
Referring to the Parliament, Executive and the Judiciary, Mukherjee said in recent past these institutions have come under “severe stress” and their credibility is being questioned.
The two-day national conference was organized by Pranab Mukherjee Foundation along with the Centre for Research for Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID).
Source: The News International