No place for violence in society: President Patil

August 14th, 2008 - 8:58 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, Aug 14 (IANS) President Pratibha Patil Thursday made an oblique reference to the violent incidents in Jammu and Kashmir, appealing for calm and urging efforts towards reconciliation. “Whatever the problem, whatever the cause, whatever the reason, there is no place for violence in our society. There is no issue that does not lend itself to dialogue and reconciliation,” she said while addressing the nation on on the eve of the country’s Independence Day.

According to Patil, “The paths of peace and compromise can be complex and difficult, but pursue them we must. They alone will enable the nation to grow and prosper.

“I appeal that calm be always maintained in all parts of the country and wherever differences exist, all efforts be directed towards reconciliation.”

Noting that great nations “are built with the contributions and hard work of one and all”, she added: “On the other hand, violence in any form undermines its progress.”

During the address, Patil spoke on a wide range of issues, including terrorism, international relations, the need for ushering in a second Green Revolution, and the need for sustainable and cleaner sources to address energy security issues. She also asked scientists and researchers to find efficient and cost-effective options for growth.

Patil maintained that terrorists, “with their disruptive agenda, will never succeed in discouraging us from our resolve to build a strong India, or from working with our neighbours to eliminate this menace from our region, or from our commitment to forge co-operative relations with other countries across the world”.

“Unfortunately, terrorist groups continue to receive support and sanctuary. India has been the target of terrorist attacks for several decades and, in more recent times so have many countries across the globe. We must stand united against the threats emanating from terrorism,” the president said.

Turning to agriculture, she noted that India’s food security was dependent on the growth of the sector and that “our scientists and agricultural research institutes must work to usher in a second Green Revolution which, along with agro-biotechnology, can translate into an ever-Green Revolution in India”.

Noting that science and technology “holds the key to progress in today’s knowledge based societies”, Patil urged scientists and researchers to find efficient and cost-effective options for growth.

Speaking about energy security, the president said: “We need to look at energy mixes that are sustainable in the long run and are cleaner sources of energy, gradually making a deliberate shift to renewable energy.

“It should be our national mission to begin exploring ways in which new sources of energy can be harnessed viably. Technologies that increase efficiency in energy-intensive sectors need to be developed.

“Any contribution to save energy is a step towards environment protection and in saving the wide diversity of flora and fauna on the planet.”

Speaking about the country’s development agenda, the president noted that India had attained impressive rates of growth “but empowerment of all sections of society still remains unaccomplished”.

“Addressing the needs of the under-privileged, the disadvantaged sections and other weaker sections of our society will make our growth process more stable and equitable,” Patil contended.

In this context, she noted that the government had formulated flagship programmes for improving the lives of the people.

“Those involved in the implementation of development and social welfare schemes must work with dedication and zeal, and without causing delays.

“Implementation done in a transparent and accountable manner will ensure that welfare schemes reach the genuine beneficiaries in a timely manner,” the president added.

She also urged a nationwide movement for the empowerment of women.

“I strongly feel that women must be provided better avenues of growth, opportunities for participation and support to overcome the prejudices against them.

“This is their right and women must strive hard to get their rights. Real development cannot take root if it bypasses women, who represent the very pivot around which social change takes shape,” the president maintained.

Speaking about international relations, the president noted that India sought to engage with the international community to promote peace and development in the world.

“Our role in global political and economic affairs has been responsible and positive. It is our view that multilateral institutions should be made more equitable and reflect contemporary realities,” Patil said.

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