Addressing the nation on the eve of the 65th Independence Day, President Pratibha Patil on Sunday said there cannot be just one panacea to deal with the menace of corruption. She said a system of transparency and accountability needs to be put in place at various levels. “Corruption is a cancer affecting the nation’s political, economic , cultural and social life. It is necessary to eliminate it,” said Patil.
Without referring to the ongoing debate on the need for a strong Lokpal, Patil said: “There cannot be just one panacea or remedy to deal with corruption, but a system of transparency and accountability should be put in place at various levels and effectively enforced.” She said pursuing the anti-corruption agenda would require preventive and punitive measures and a rational approach, besides strong institutions and good governance. “India is known for its sobriety and wisdom, balanced and sensible thinking. We need strong institutions and we need good governance in the country.
Our institutions need to be fortified and our governance constantly improved. We should analyse the situation and find considered solutions to address the challenges we are facing in a thoughtful manner ,” Patil said. The president asked the government , parliament, the judiciary and society at large to ponder over corruption and find ways to handle it. Stating that the institutions created by the constitution have been stable, Patil said the separation of powers and the system of checks and balances have given the country a governance structure in which equilibrium is maintained.
Observing that the July 13, 2011, blasts in Mumbai were a grim reminder that terrorism is posing a threat to global peace, the president asked the country to be evervigilant to fight the menace. Concerned over rising prices, Patil called for stepping up efforts to contain inflation and insulate poor from its effects. “Our economy has fundamental strength and resilience, and its large domestic market can help it maintain steady growth rates.
However, price rise is an issue engaging our attention, and would have to be dealt with,” Patil said. She said rising prices affect families , especially those living below the poverty line. “Efforts must be made to find ways and means to soften the impact of inflation so that the benefits of growth are not blunted,” she said. “We are all aware of the consequences of the global financial meltdown of 2008. Uncertainty is again confronting the world economy and would need to be tackled through coordinated global action , as also by suitable precautionary measures in our country ,” she said.
Calling for most stern action and laws to check crimes against women, Patil said the nation must continue to fight social prejudices which have resulted in bias against the fair sex. “Crime against women needs to be dealt with most sternly. There are laws against them but we need to ensure compliance and create awareness. Let each citizen of the country vow to fight these social evils,” Patil said.
Lamenting a decline in the gender ratio “in the 0-6 age group” as recently concluded by the Census of India, Patil said it has touched a low level of 914 girls as compared to a 1,000 boys that “reflects the continuing preference of boys in our society and the bias against the girl child” . Citing example of the successful movement of women Self Help Groups in the country , Patil emphasized that women have tremendous capabilities and capacities to contribute in any field, when given an opportunity. Economic Times