India choosing to be a parliamentary democracy and drafting its own Constitution were a “major development that the country got to witness after Independence from British in 1947”, President Pranab Mukherjee said on Monday.
Interacting with a group of students at Dr. Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya in President’s Estate on the occasion of Teachers Day, Mukherjee said: “Drafting of the Constitution was a major task done within three years after Independence.”
He said India’s diversity is its strength and the Constitution helped it maintain all thorough.
“(Maintaining) diversity has been possible because of our Constitution,” he told the students of Classes 11 and 12 of the school.
Speaking on “politics in India since Independence”, the President underlined the challenges the country was facing during those early days of Indian nation.
“Communal harmony was a major challenge,” he said, adding that people were troubled because of Partition and hence communal tension built up.
Mukherjee, however, said that political leaders managed to maintain harmony among the people and expressed satisfaction that secularism was a part of life in India.
“Yes, there has been terror attacks (in the country) but thankfully it (terror) is not home grown. We are attacked from outside. We are victim of cross-border terrorism,” the President said.
“We certainly face attack but from cross-border terrorism. Success of our governance and administration lies in ensuring that home grown terrorism, which is the world’s biggest menace today, is not yet there in India,” he said, and added that “secularism is part of our life and it is still unfolding”.
Touching upon economic aspect of the country, the President emphasised on social performance for economic growth of India.
“Overall social performance should grow, which includes health infrastructure, social infrastructure among others, which is the requirement. Social distribution and growth with equity is also required,” he said.
On being asked by a student if the country should have simultaneous elections to the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies, he said that there was an emerging idea within the political parties that the elections should be held together.
He said the Election Commission can also put in their idea and efforts on holding the polls together.
Mukherjee apprised the students of development of various political parties and fronts after Independence.
He said that various groups went out of the Congress, which was a common front before the Independence, and floated many political outfits.
In India, September 5 is celebrated as Teachers’ Day, which is the birth anniversary of India’s second President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (September 5, 1888).
Radhakrishnan was a staunch believer in education, and was a well-known statesman and scholar. The former President was above all, a teacher. The occasion is a mark of tribute to the contribution made by teachers to the society.