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'We need to be ever vigilant to fight terrorism', says President Patil

August 14, 2011 - New Delhi

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Sunday said there is a need to be ever vigilant to fight the menace of terrorism, which is a global phenomenon.

"Also, we are all aware of the threats that terrorism is posing to peace everywhere. The attack in Mumbai last month is yet another grim reminder of the destruction that can be caused by terrorism. We need to be ever vigilant to fight this menace, which is a global phenomenon," said President Patil in her message to the nation on the eve of the 65th Independence Day.

President Patil said corruption is a cancer affecting the nation's political, economic, cultural and social life.

"It is necessary to eliminate it. Government, Parliament, Judiciary and society at large, should ponder about this, and find out ways to handle it in a manner that is practical, implementable and sustainable. There cannot be just one panacea or remedy to deal with it, but a system of transparency and accountability should be put in place at various levels, and, then, effectively enforced. It would require preventive and punitive measures, as well as adoption of rational approaches as we pursue the anti-corruption agenda," said President Patil.

"India is known for its sobriety and wisdom, balanced and sensible thinking. We need strong institutions and we need good governance in the country. Our institutions need to be fortified and our governance constantly improved. We should analyze the situation and find considered solutions to address the challenges we are facing in a thoughtful manner," she added.

President Patil further said the nation stands at a threshold and there are important issues on which one must focus.

"Today, our nation stands at a threshold. There are important issues on which we must focus, and as we do so, keep in mind that these are times, when we should also be on our guard, about not straying away from our main objective, of strengthening the nation in its many aspects. This is a time for introspection, a time to take well thought out measures, and to prepare well for the future," said President Patil.

"There have been occasions earlier, when confronted with many questions, we did find answers. The real strength of a nation is judged not by the challenges it faces, but by its responses. Therefore, as we analyze, make policies, legislate, implement schemes and enforce laws, we must not, forget that the purpose of all our efforts is to move on the path of progress while ensuring that morals and ethics in our society do not get eroded," she added.

President Patil further said the nation has performed well economically with a growth rate of 8.6 percent last year.

"India is the world's largest democracy. The country has performed well economically with a growth rate of 8.6 percent last year. We are committed to the welfare of all and are pursuing an inclusive growth agenda. There is much promise, much potential, much hope and much optimism about our future prospects. I point this out so that, as we deal with the challenges, we should not be unmindful of either our achievements; or of our past; or the principles on which our freedom, Constitution and democracy rest; or very importantly, of our future," said President Patil.

"Our actions today, our decisions today, will fashion our tomorrow. A deep sense of responsibility is a call of our times. All institutions and all citizens, have to demonstrate great maturity and, if I may say so, a degree of self-restraint, as we deal with our problems," she added.


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