Democracy not a gift, but a fundamental right of people: Mukherjee

New Delhi, Jan.25,: Stating that India’s true strength lies in her Republic and in the sagacity of her Constitution, President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday described the country’s democratic nature not only a gift to the people, but also a fundamental right of them.

Addressing the people on the eve of India’s 65th Republic Day, Mukherjee said, “The Republic Day commands the respect of every Indian. On this day, sixty four years ago, in a remarkable display of idealism and courage, we the people of India gave to ourselves a sovereign democratic republic to secure all its citizens justice, liberty and equality. We undertook to promote among all citizens fraternity, the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation. These ideals became the lodestar of the modern Indian State.”

“For us, the democracy is not a gift, but the fundamental right of every citizen; for those in power democracy is a sacred trust. Those who violate this trust commit sacrilege against the nation,” he said.

Mukherjee also said that democracy is the most precious guide towards peace and regeneration from the swamp of poverty created by centuries of colonial rule in India.

“From within the spacious provisions of our Constitution, India has grown into a beautiful, vibrant, and sometimes noisy democracy,” he added.

Describing the upcoming general election a chance to elect a stable government, Mukherjee said, “This year, we will witness the 16th General Election to our Lok Sabha. A fractured government, hostage to whimsical opportunists, is always an unhappy eventuality. In 2014, it could be catastrophic.”

He said each one of us has a deep responsibility and cannot let India down, and added that it is time for introspection and action.

“Who wins the coming election is less important than the fact that whosoever wins must have an undiluted commitment to stability, honesty, and the development of India,” he added. (ANI)