Corporates should supplement govt's push for development: Prez

New Delhi, May 31: President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday pitched for the involvement of the private sector in government's efforts to ensure economic growth and social welfare of the people of the country.

"Government's efforts must be supplemented by the commitment of more resources by the corporate sector to development and social welfare activities," the President said at a function in Mumbai.

He also stressed that our foremost goal should be the revival of country's proud traditions in morality, ethics and social conduct.

"Our nation's progress should not be hampered by the tarnishing of our national character or a weakening of the moral fibre of our society".

"We seem to be losing our sense of right and wrong and good and bad as we pursue our respective short-term objectives".

"As a result, not only is the greater public good being sacrificed, but even the private search for success and happiness is yielding short-lived, illusory and often counter-productive outcomes," the President said.

Mukherjee, who is on a two-day visit to Maharashtra, was speaking at the '120th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda's historic voyage from Mumbai to the West to participate in the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago (1893)' in the iconic convocation hall of Mumbai University.

Mukherjee said social reform constituted a key component of Swami Vivekananda's vision for modern India.

Swamiji was uncompromising in his opposition to discrimination, deprivation and injustice on the grounds of caste, class and gender, he added.

"Maharashtra has borne some of our nation's greatest social reformers. I would like to affirm today that although the paths of these leaders of our society may have appeared to be outwardly divergent, their goals were essentially the same".

"Swamiji's 150th birth anniversary celebrations should be an occasion for a constructive debate and cooperative action among the various sections striving for social reform," the President said.

Mukherjee also emphasised on the need for improvement and expansion of the country's educational system.

"As the Swami believed, it is today an urgent imperative to both improve and also expand our education system".

"I am confident that many of our grand Universities can reinvent themselves and regain their past glory".

"They urgently need to update themselves and make their curriculum and methods more relevant and result oriented".

"This can be achieved through a comprehensive and time-bound plan of reform," he said.

The President said that Swamiji's Chicago speeches were amongst the greatest proclamations of inter-faith harmony and universal brotherhood.

"Their relevance has increased manifold today in a world that is far more inter-connected and interdependent".

"Harmonious co-existence amongst various faiths and communities is not an ideal anymore but an absolute imperative," he said.

Citing a message from Swamiji's first speech in Chicago on September 11, 1893, Mukherjee asked people to shun fanaticism and sectarianism for the sake of the country's growth.

"Sectarianism, bigotry, and its horrible descendant, fanaticism, have long possessed this beautiful earth".

"They have filled the earth with violence, drenched it often... with human blood, destroyed civilisation, and sent whole nations to despair".

"Had it not been for these horrible demons, human society would be far more advanced than it is now," Mukherjee quoted Swamiji as saying.

During the function, the President was also presented with first editions of two books 'Swami Vivekanda in Mumbai and Maharashtra' and 'A Monk from Bombay' by state Governor K Sankaranarayanan.

Besides the Governor, senior BJP leader and former deputy prime minister LK Advani, former Maharashtra Chief Minister Dr Manohar Joshi, Mumbai Mayor Sunil Prabhu and Sudheendra Kulkarni, Chief Programme Coordinator of Ramakrishna Mission were present at the function.

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Courtesy:ISTV Imphal


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