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HindustanTimes Sat,30 Aug 2014

Pranab ‘exceeds his brief’, says Anna-type movements good for our democracy

Sanjib Kr Baruah, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 19, 2013
First Published: 15:55 IST(19/12/2013) | Last Updated: 16:17 IST(19/12/2013)
Movements such as the one led by social activist Anna Hazare have opened up new dimensions of our democracy, which India can ill afford to ignore, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Thursday — veering away from prepared speech.
 
Asking to be excused for “exceeding my brief” at the annual Intelligence Bureau Centenary Endowment lecture, Mukherjee said, “To my mind, it (movements like Anna Hazare’s) is opening up a new dimension of our democratic structure which we will have to address.”
 
“Just 10 years ago, no one could think of social activists, non-governmental organisations… (that) they will demand a particular piece of legislation be enacted… we will have to address these issues, we cannot keep it under the carpet.”
 
Speaking on security, the President said India’s warning that international terrorism would be the single-biggest danger after the end of the Cold War was largely ignored by the world order.
 
He underscored social media’s importance in today’s world when he said its misuse had to be combated by adopting superior tactics and technology. “The misuse of social media is now a weapon that terrorists across the world and anti-nationals are employing with greater sophistication.”
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