Anger against corruption legitimate, but not an excuse for assault on democratic institutions: Mukh
New Delhi, Aug.14 (ANI): India's 13th President, Pranab Mukherjee, on Tuesday, said that while public anger against corruption was legitimate, people should not lose patience and assault established democratic institutions of the country.
Delivering his first address to the nation as president on the eve of India's 65th Independence Day, Mukherjee said: "Anger against the bitter pandemic of corruption is legitimate, as is the protest against this plague that is eroding the capability and potential of our nation."
"There are times when people lose their patience, but it cannot become an excuse for an assault on our democratic institutions. Institutions are the visible pillars of our Constitution, and if they crack, then the idealism of our Constitution cannot hold," Mukherjee added.
"They are the interface between principles and the people. Our institutions may have suffered from the weariness of time. The answer is not to destroy what has been built, but to re-engineer them, so that they become stronger than before. Institutions are the guardians of our liberty," he further said.
Mukherjee said every effort must be made to "restore the credibility of those areas of our polity, judiciary, executive and legislature where complacency, exhaustion or malfeasance may have clogged delivery."
He said the people of the country have a right to express their discontent, but must also understand that legislation cannot be wrenched away from the legislature or justice from the judiciary.
"When authority becomes authoritarian, democracy suffers; but when protest becomes endemic, we are flirting with chaos," Mukherjee said, adding that, " Democracy is a shared process. We all win or lose together."
"Democratic temper calls for dignity of behaviour and tolerance of contrary views. Parliament will live by its own calendar and rhythm. Sometimes that rhythm sounds a bit atonal; but in a democracy, there is always judgement day, an election. Parliament is the soul of the people, the "Atman" of India. We challenge its rights and duties at our peril," the President said.
"I say this not in a spirit of admonition, but as a plea for greater understanding of the existential issues that lurk behind the mask of the mundane. Democracy is blessed with a unique opportunity for redress of grievances through the great institution of accountability - free elections," he added. (ANI)
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