"Despite India's consistent efforts to build friendly relations with neighbours, there have been tensions on the border and repeated violations of the Ceasefire on the Line of Control, leading to tragic loss of lives. Our commitment to peace is unfailing but even our patience has limits," said Mukherjee.
"All steps necessary to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity of the nation will be taken," he said while sending out a strong message to the neighbouring country without mentioning the name directly.
"I applaud the courage and heroism of our security and armed forces who maintain eternal vigilance and pay homage to those who have made the supreme sacrifice of the most precious gift of life in the service of the motherland," Mukherjee said.
Expressing his concerns over the recent Uttarakhand calamity, he said, "In our race for development, we must be careful not to disturb the balance between man and nature. The consequences of such imbalance can be disastrous."
"My heartfelt condolences to the many who lost their lives, and the innumerable who suffered in Uttarakhand; and my salutations to those brave personnel of our security and armed forces, government and NGOs who did so much to alleviate suffering. This tragedy owes as much to the avarice of human nature as to the rage of Mother Nature. This was nature's wake-up call. And it is time to wake up," he said.
He said corruption has become a major challenge for the Indian democracy.
"Today we see widespread cynicism and disillusionment with the governance and functioning of institutions in our country. Our legislatures look more like combat arenas, rather than fora that legislate. Corruption has become a major challenge. The precious resources of the nation are being wasted through indolence and indifference. It is sapping the dynamism of our society. We need to correct this regression," said Mukherjee.
Speaking about the economic conditions of India, the president said,"For a developing country of more than 1.2 billion people, the debate between growth and redistribution is vital. While growth builds the scope for redistribution, redistribution sustains growth over time."
"The last decade has seen India emerge as one of the fastest growing nations in the world. During this period, our economy grew annually at an average rate of 7.9 per cent. We are today self-sufficient in food grains production."
"We are the largest exporter of rice and second largest exporter of wheat in the world. The record production of 18.45 million tonne of pulses this year augurs well for our march towards self-sufficiency in pulses," he said.
--IBNS (Posted on 14-08-2013)