New Delhi: Raising the issue of lynchings in the country in the name of vigilantism, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday said when mob frenzy becomes so "irrational and uncontrollable", people have to be "vigilant" to save the basic tenets of the society.
He also said that vigilance on the part of citizens, intellectuals and media can act as the biggest deterrent to the forces of darkness and backwardness.
"When mob frenzy becomes so high, irrational and uncontrollable, we have to pause and reflect. Are you vigilant enough?" he said at a function to celebrate 70 years of India's independence.
Launching the commemorative publication of the Congress party's organ National Herald, Mukherjee also reminded the journalists that their job will never come to an end and their motto should be "freedom first, freedom now, freedom forever".
Mukherjee also said that one cannot obliterate one's duty towards the issue, saying, "Posterity will demand an explanation from us about what we have done. I raise this question within myself."
Mukherjee, who steps down later this month, also spoke about colonialism and the various forms it can take in the present context: "Today, I am not going to suggest that there is any apprehension of the old type of colonialism to come back. But colonialism has always taken its different face with the change of history, exploitation, dominance by one power to another power.
"I will appeal to the media persons that your duty, your job has never come to an end, and it will never come to an end," he said reminding journalists.
"You must rise to preserve and ensure human dignity is maintained, slavery is kept away. You will have to maintain your vigilance," Mukherjee said.
The President said that "our achievements in the last 70 years are not just about building dams or power plants etc".
"It is not just about economic independence or regional prosperity but our unity, which is our greatest strength," Mukherjee said.
"Our national unity and nationalism is exhibited when more than 1.3 billion people, speaking more than 200 languages in their daily lives, practicing seven major religions and belonging to three different ethnic groups - Caucasians, Mongoloids and Dravidians, come together to constitute One India, under one flag and one Constitution and live in peace and harmony," he added.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice president Rahul Gandhi, besides a host of dignitaries, former ministers, MPs and Congress leaders were present at the event.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Jul 01, 2017 22:07:26 IST