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                                        Volume. 11907

India’s Republic Day celebrated in Tehran
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_02_ep1a(7).jpgTEHRAN – A function was held at the Indian Embassy in Tehran on Sunday to commemorate the 65th Republic Day of India.   
 
On January 26, 1950, the Constitution of India, which was adopted on November 26, 1949, came into force, replacing the Government of India Act 1935 as the governing document of the country.      
 
The occasion was celebrated by Indians across the world, including in New Delhi, where a large parade was held to showcase India’s military might and rich cultural diversity. 
 
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, which began with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh paying homage to the martyrs at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate and observing two minutes of silence in honor of the fallen heroes. 
 
During the celebrations, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee unfurled the Tricolor at Rajpath.  
 
The ceremonies culminated at around noon local time when the national anthem was played and tricolored balloons were released. 
 
The event in Tehran began with a flag ceremony, during which India’s national anthem was sung. 
 
Afterwards, the Indian president’s message 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.
 

Democracy is the right of every citizen 
 
In his message, the Indian president praised the country’s achievements in various areas, saying, “For us, the democracy is not a gift, but the fundamental right of every citizen; for those in power democracy is a sacred trust. Those who violate this trust commit sacrilege against the nation.
 
Some cynics may scoff at our commitment to democracy but our democracy has never been betrayed by the people; its fault-lines, where they exist, are the handiwork of those who have made power a gateway to greed. We do feel angry, and rightly so, when we see democratic institutions being weakened by complacency and incompetence. If we hear sometimes an anthem of despair from the street, it is because people feel that a sacred trust is being violated.” 
 

Corruption is a cancer that weakens a state 
 
Mukherjee also said that corruption is a cancer that erodes democracy and weakens the country, adding, “If Indians are enraged, it is because they are witnessing corruption and waste of national resources. If governments do not remove these flaws, voters will remove governments.
 
Equally dangerous is the rise of hypocrisy in public life. Elections do not give any person the license to flirt with illusions. Those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible. Government is not a charity shop. Populist anarchy cannot be a substitute for governance. False promises lead to disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power.
 
This rage will abate only when governments deliver what they were elected to deliver: social and economic progress, not at a snail's pace, but with the speed of a racehorse.” 
 
Elsewhere in his message, the president commented on India’s economic situation and said that the slowdown of the economy in the last two years can be some cause for concern but none for despair. 
 
“The green shoots of revival are already visible. The agricultural growth in the first half of this year has touched 3.6 per cent and rural economy is buoyant.” 
 
“This year, we will witness the 16th General Election to our Lok Sabha. A fractured government, hostage to whimsical opportunists, is always an unhappy eventuality. In 2014, it could be catastrophic. Each one of us is a voter; each one of us has a deep responsibility; we cannot let India down. It is time for introspection and action.” 
 

India should not indulge in the easy option of mindless imitation
 
He also said, “India must find its own solutions to its problems. We must be open to all knowledge; to do otherwise would be to condemn our nation to the misery of a stagnant mire. But we should not indulge in the easy option of mindless imitation, for that can lead us to a garden of weeds. India has the intellectual prowess, the human resource and financial capital to shape a glorious future. We possess a dynamic civil society with an innovative mindset. Our people, whether in villages or cities, share a vibrant, unique consciousness and culture. Our finest assets are human.
 
On education, Mukherjee said that it has been an inseparable part of the Indian experience, noting, “Today, our higher educational infrastructure consists of over 650 universities and 33,000 colleges. The quality of education has to be the focus of our attention now. We can be world leaders in education, if only we discover the will and leadership to take us to that pinnacle.” 
 
Commenting on the upcoming parliamentary elections in India, the president said, “Who wins the coming election is less important than the fact that whosoever wins must have an undiluted commitment to stability, honesty, and the development of India.”  
 
“India's true strength lies in her Republic; in the courage of her commitment, the sagacity of her Constitution, and the patriotism of her people. 1950 saw the birth of our Republic. I am sure that 2014 will be the year of resurgence,” the Indian president concluded. 
 
EP/PA

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