President Pranab Mukherjee while addressing a function after releasing the commemorative publication of National Herald, talked about the heated topic of mob lynchings. He said whenever there is a news of an individual been lynched because of some alleged violation, we need to pause and reflect, according to a report by The Indian Express. “We shall have to ponder over, pause and reflect when we read in the newspapers or see on television screens that an individual is being lynched because of some alleged violation of law or not. When mob frenzy becomes so high and irrational, uncontrollable, we have to pause and reflect,” he said.
The President added that he is not talking about vigilantism but asking whether we are vigilant enough. “Are you vigilant enough… I am not talking of vigilantism. I am talking of are we vigilant enough, proactively to save the basic tenets of our country. Because we cannot avoid it, posterity will demand an explanation from us about what have you done,” he said. Apart from the President, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, vice-president Rahul Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and the entire top leadership of the Congress attended the event.
During the event, the former finance minister of India recalled that Jawaharlal Nehru had inscribed the words ‘freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might’ below the masthead of the National Herald. “These words may have been written in 1939 but have its application and relevance for all time, whenever freedom is in danger and truly in peril. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and freedom and that vigilance can never be passive. It must be active, and active vigilance is the need of the hour,” he said.
Meanwhile, Congress President Sonia Gandhi targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party without naming it. “Those who stood aside when history was painfully made by sacrifice and struggle, those who…had little faith in the Constitution…are now seeking to create an India completely at odds with the one that saw the light of Independence on August 15, 1947,” she said.
“Though their language is modern, they seek to take India backward, to further their narrow sectarian vision. Their modern jargon conceals pre-modern beliefs, concepts that are at odds with progressive and inclusive thought, with contemporary knowledge and with a vision for the future. It is our duty to pull away the hypocrisy and reveal the reality lurk,” the senior Congress leader added.