Agitations not in national interest: PM

September 17th, 2008 - 9:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Sep 17 (IANS) Expressing “serious concern” over the destruction of public property during agitations, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Wednesday this called for “serious introspection”.”I would like to point to the growing concerns and perception among the people at large about the dilution of the writ of the state,” he said while addressing the Governor’s Conference here.

“It is a matter of serious concern that dissent and agitations, over any kind of issues, have been increasingly finding expression in mindless destruction of public property, attacks on police posts, and other government establishments.

“I am constrained, and feel sad, to observe that all this is not in the national interest and will hurt our progress,” the prime minister added.

In this context, he noted that in colonial times, “public property was a symbol of colonial power. Today it belongs to the taxpayer, to the same people who in a state of motivated frenzy, egged on by partisan interests, seek to destroy it.

“This is a matter of the utmost concern and calls for the most serious introspection at the national level,” Manmohan Singh contended.

Noting that increasingly, “these types of outbursts” are “found to be centred on identity-based issues”, the prime minister said: “At a time when the world looks upon India as a rising power, the Indian state can not be allowed to become so diminished that it cannot even protect public property.”

He also announced that a meeting of the National Integration Council had been called next during which, “I hope, we will be able to frankly and sincerely discuss some of these issues and reach a national consensus”.

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