President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday ended his five-year tenure in the highest Constitutional office of India with a farewell speech addressed to the nation. In his last speech as President, Pranab Mukherjee thanked the people for love he recieved during his term and hoped for an inclusive and non-violent society in future.
Here are the five main highlights of President Pranab Mukherjee's last address to the nation:
#Parliament is my temple: For the past fifty years of my public life my sacred text has been the Constitution of India. My temple has been the Parliament of India and my passion has been the service of the people of India.
#On pluralism and tolerance: The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. Plurality of our society has come about through assimilation of ideas over centuries. The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special. We derive our strength from tolerance; it has been part of our collective consciousness for centuries. There are divergent strands in public discourse; we may argue, we may agree or we may not agree. But we cannot deny the essential prevalence of multiplicity of opinion. Otherwise, a fundamental character of our thought process will wither away.
#On non-violence: The capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilization. We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal. Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people in the democratic process. Power of non-violence has to be resurrected to build a compassionate and caring society.
#On education: As I had said on assuming Office of the President, education is the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age. A reordering of society is possible through the transformative power of education. Our universities should not be a place for rote-memorizing but an assembly of inquisitive minds. Creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper have to be promoted in our institutions of higher learning.
#On inclusive society: For us, creation of an inclusive society has to be an article of faith. We must empower the poorest of the poor and ensure that the fruits of our policies reach the last person in the line. Eradication of poverty would provide a strong boost to happiness. Social inclusion would ensure access to the fruits of progress to all.
Earlier President Mukherjee addresses a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. During his speech, he expressed sorrow on the fact that he will no longer be associated with Parliament and thanked PM Modi for 'advice and co-operation'.
Here are the highlights:
On Parliamentary proceedings
It is unfortunate that the parliamentary time devoted to legislation has been declining. With the heightened complexity of administration, legislation must be preceded by scrutiny and adequate discussion. Scrutiny in committees is no substitute to open discussion on the floor of the House. When Parliament fails to discharge its law-making role it breaches the trust reposed in it by the people.
On association with PM Modi
In this task, I greatly benefitted from the advice and co-operation extended by Prime Minister Modi at every step. I will carry with me fond memories of my association with Prime Minister Modi and his warm & courteous behaviour.
On retiring from Parliament of India
As I retire from the Office of the President of the Republic, my association with the Parliament also comes to an end. I will no longer be a part of the Parliament of India. It will be with a tinge of sadness and a rainbow of memories that I will be leaving this magnificent building today. I leave with a sense of fulfilment & happiness of having served the people of this country - as their humble servant.
Next President of India Ram Nath Kovind will take oath to office on Tuesday.