On I-Day eve, President Mukherjee warns against rise of divisive forces


On the eve of India’s 70th Independence Day, President Pranab Mukherjee warned against the rise of divisive and intolerant forces, in what can be seen as a message for the parties in power.

Mukherjee also asked for firm measures to deal with attacks on weaker sections amid allegations of increasing victimisation of Dalits and minorities, often by fringe elements of the ruling establishment.

Reminding about the duties defined in the Constitution, President Mukherjee in his pre-Independence Day speech asked the stakeholders to uphold the “spirit of the Constitution” and maintain the “maryada (sanctity)” of authorities and institutions of state power.

“In these four years, I saw with disgust forces of divisiveness and intolerance trying to raise their ugly head. Attacks on weaker sections that militate against our national ethos are aberrations that need to be dealt with firmly,” Mukherjee said in what may be his last speech as President on August 14.

A spate of incidents, including attacks on churches, the beef controversy, a Muslim’s lynching on the suspicion that he was storing beef, the suicide of Dalit student Rohith Vemulla and the recent beating of Dalit youth in Gujarat, has raised a number of political storms for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, which has come under increased criticism from the opposition.


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