President Pratibha Patil on Thursday appealed for calm in the country and stressed the need for resolving all the differences through dialogue and reconciliation.
The appeal came in the backdrop of the ongoing agitation in Jammu and Kashmir over the Amarnath land row.
In her address to the nation on the eve of 62nd Independence Day, the president said there have been instances of people taking law into their own hands and causing destruction to life and public property, and asserted that there is no place for violence in the society.
“Whatever the problem, whatever the cause, whatever the reason, there is no place for violence in our society. There is no issue that does not lend itself to dialogue and reconciliation. The paths of peace and compromise can be complex and difficult, but pursue them we must,” Patil said.
Lamenting that terrorist groups continue to receive support and sanctuary, she called for a united fight against terrorism. “India has been the target of terrorist attacks for several decades. Terrorists, with their disruptive agenda, will never succeed in discouraging us from our resolve to build a strong India, or from working with our neighbours to eliminate this menace from our region.” The president called for making India an economically vibrant and modern democracy.
Seeking a nationwide movement for the empowerment of women, she said the fairer sex should be provided better avenues of growth, opportunities for participation and support to overcome the prejudices against them. “This is their right and women must strive hard to get their rights. Malpractices like dowry, discrimination against girl child, female foeticide, domestic violence and drug addiction must be eradicated from our society,” she said.
Patil stressed the need for sustainable and cleaner sources to address energy security issues, and advocated special attention to the development of agriculture and rural areas. She also urged the media to play a role in generating hope and promoting values.