Commemorating the 60th anniversary of Parliament, President Pratibha Patil today called upon all stakeholders of the Indian democracy to progress in harmony and not allow the institution to falter as it is the essence of the nation.
“Unity is the strength of any society. Society is weak without it. Democracy cannot be allowed to falter as it is the essence of our country. We have made progress. We can together achieve greater heights,” Patil told the distinguished gathering at the Central Hall of Parliament.
The president in her address said that despite doubts expressed by skeptics, Indian democracy has thrived these 60 years overcoming different challenges along its path.
“We have continuously walked on the path of democracy. The skeptics doubted this walk earlier but we proved them wrong. We have adhered in a tenacious manner to democracy,” she said.
Patil also drew attention to the changing times and the adaptability of democracy to the quick changes.
“There is always a need for balance. There are regional aspirations, fractured mandates and explosion of media. Democracy now functions in a complex scenario internally and also in a complex global situation,” she said.
The president sought to lay the path of Indian democracy ahead in her speech.
“India is committed to lead a path of democracy while protecting the sanctity of the Constitution. We need to walk ahead carefully so that the determination of a healthy democracy is not lost sight of,” Patil said.
Calling the electoral process as sound, the president termed the practice as the first requirement of a democracy. She also praised the role played by the Election Commission.
“The Election Commission has done its duty remarkably well. But we need to step up our vigil to prevent malpractices in the polls,” Patil said, stressing on the need to clean up the poll procedure even more.
The president also focused on the need of intelligent and amicable debates in Parliament.
“Parliament is the repository of people. People’s wishes should be transformed to policies through discussions. All differences should be solved through established practices of democracy,” the president said.
Patil also laid importance to the other pillars of democracy.
“The judiciary, media and legislature has a role to play. Democracy can sustain with sensitivity to national interest. Democracy must be participatory.
The local body and panchayat elections show us that democracy has deepened and expanded to the grassroots,” she said in the solemn ceremony.