|India’s Independence Day commemorated in Tehran||
TEHRAN – A function was held at the Indian Embassy in Tehran on Thursday to commemorate India’s Independence Day, which marked the anniversary of the end of British rule on the Indian subcontinent on August 15, 1947.
The occasion was celebrated by Indians across the world, including in New Delhi where Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh unfurled the Tricolor from the ramparts of the Red Fort and addressed the nation to celebrate the occasion.
The event in Tehran began with a flag ceremony, during which India’s national anthem was sung.
Afterward, the message of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to the nation, which was issued on the eve of the celebrations, was read out by Indian Ambassador Shri D.P. Srivastava, and a number of children performed patriotic songs.
Efforts should be made to combat corruption
In his message, the Indian president paid tribute to the Father of the Nation of India, Mahatma Gandhi, and called on the nation to pay heed to Gandhi’s advice that “politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice” should be avoided.
“The ideals of patriotism, compassion, tolerance, self-restraint, honesty, discipline, and respect for women have to be converted into a living force,” Mr. Mukherjee said.
He also noted that “corruption has become a major challenge” for India, calling for efforts to correct this “regression”.
Successful democracy and successful economy are intertwined
Elsewhere in his message, the Indian president hailed the country’s fast economic growth, saying, “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 ton of pulses this year augurs well for our march towards self-sufficiency in pulses. This was unthinkable just a few years ago. This momentum has to be sustained. In a globalized world, with increasing economic complexities, we have to learn to cope better with adversities, both external and domestic.”
He also said, “There is a direct relationship between a successful democracy and a successful economy,” adding that efforts should be made to “empower the local bodies with functions, functionaries, and finances to improve their performance.”
India’s fight against poverty is far from over
Elsewhere in his message, Mr. Mukherjee stated that India’s fight against the scourge of poverty is far from over.
“At the dawn of our independence, we lit the glowing lamp of modernity and equitable economic growth. To keep this lamp aflame, our highest priority has to be the elimination of poverty. Though a declining trend in the poverty rate is clearly visible, our fight against this scourge is far from over. India has the talent, ability and the resources to overcome this challenge.”
India’s commitment to peace is unfailing
Mr. Mukherjee also said that his country has always made efforts to build friendly relations with neighbors, and noted that “India’s commitment to peace is unfailing.”
“But even our patience has limits,” he added, referring to tensions along India’s border with Pakistan. “All steps necessary to ensure internal security and protect the territorial integrity of the nation will be taken.”
Every election must become a milestone in India’s journey toward greater peace
Commenting on India’s 2014 general elections, Mr. Mukherjee said, “This great festival of democracy, is an opportunity for us to elect a stable government which will ensure security and economic development. Every election must become a crucial milestone in our nation’s journey towards greater social harmony, peace, and prosperity.”
“Democracy has given us an opportunity to re-create another golden age. Let us not squander this extraordinary opportunity. The journey ahead calls for wisdom, courage and determination. We must work on across-the-board revival of our values and institutions. We must realize that rights go with responsibilities. We must re-discover the virtue of self-scrutiny and self-restraint.”
“I do not wish to impose my views on you. I have presented to you what I think is right. Now it is for your conscience, for your judgment, for your mind to decide what is right,” the Indian president concluded.
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