Home General President’s New Year address to Governors/Lt. Governors

President’s New Year address to Governors/Lt. Governors

My dear Governors and Lt. Governors:

1.                 
Let
me begin by extending warm greetings and Best wishes to you for a year full of Peace,
prosperity and happiness.

 

2.                 
The
year that has just gone by was a year of mixed fortunes. It began on a very
promising note with the Economy performing well, overcoming the weak global
economic trends. GDP growth of 7.2 percent in the first half of 2016-17 – same
as that of last year – is a pointer to the fact that our economic recovery has
been on solid grounds. In 2014 and 2015, below normal rains had caused rural
distress. A good monsoon in 2016 is expected to improve agricultural production
and increase rural employment and incomes. Though our exports have been
affected by weak global demand, we have a stable external Sector. Reviving
exports will remain a challenge but we can overcome it by improving the competitiveness
of the domestic Industry.

 

3.                 
Demonetization,
while immobilizing Black Money and fighting Corruption, may lead to temporary
slowdown of the economy. We all will have to be extra careful to alleviate the
suffering of the poor which might become unavoidable for the expected progress
in the long term. While I appreciate the thrust on transition from entitlement
approach to an entrepreneurial one for poverty alleviation, I am not too sure
that the poor can wait that long. They need to get succour here and now, so
that they can also participate actively in the national march towards a future devoid
of hunger, unemployment and exploitation. The recent package announced by the
Prime Minister will provide some relief.

 

Hon’ble Governors and Lt. Governors:

4.                 
This
year, there will be elections in as many as seven states. The dates for
elections in five states have already been announced. The conduct of free and
fair elections has made our democracy one of the most vibrant in the world. Elections
reflect the attitudes, values and beliefs of the people towards their political
environment. They symbolize the sovereignty of the people and provide
legitimacy to the authority of the government. They also serve the purpose of
regulation of public Policies and mobilization of public opinion.

 

5.                 
As
we have all experienced, elections are usually marked by competitive populism,
electoral rhetoric and vote bank politics. Noisy debates can deepen the
fault-lines in the society. You, as Governors and Lt. Governors, command
respect and attention of the people of your state. Through your interaction and
wise counsel, you can play an important role in easing the tensions in the
society. Goodwill must prevail between different communities. At times, harmony
may be put to test by vested interests. Communal tensions may rear their ugly
head. Rule of law must form the sole basis of dealing with any such challenging
situation.

 

Governors and Lt. Governors:

6.                 
In a pluralistic democracy like ours, tolerance, respect for contrary
views and patience are a must. These values have to be preserved. India is a
multi-faceted nation of 1.3 billion people, 122 languages, 1600 dialects and 7
religions. In the words of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru which I quote: “It is a
country held together by strong but invisible threads
” (unquote). India’s
strength lies in her diversity. The multiplicity in culture, faith and language
is what makes India special. There will always be divergent strands in public
discourse. We may argue. We may disagree. But we cannot deny the prevalence of
multiplicity of opinion. You can, through your calm influence, inculcate
amongst the citizens of your state this fundamental ethos of our civilization.

 

Hon’ble Governors
and Lt. Governors:

7.                 
You are the first citizens of your states. When you assumed this exalted
office, you had taken an oath to protect, preserve and defend the Constitution.
This pious document protects the liberty of the people and promotes the
well-being of the citizens. It decrees inclusiveness, tolerance,
self-restraint, and protection of Women, senior citizens and weaker sections as
essential ingredients of our polity. Our institutions of democracy must operate
on these vital Features. Strong credible institutions lead to good governance
ensuring a healthy functioning of the democracy.

 

Dear Governors and
Lt. Governors:

8.                 
You all have a very important role to play in the improvement of higher
education in your states. As chancellors and visitors of various Universities,
you can work with the academic leaders to effect holistic changes for quality
up-gradation in the institutions of higher learning. I have been exhorting the
academia to concentrate on attaining excellence through original research and
Technology development. A look at numerous social problems affecting millions
of Women and men in our farms and factories clearly shows that humane values
have not yet become a dominant driver of our intellectual pursuits. This should
receive your focused attention. Our interactions at the conferences at
Rashtrapati Bhavan have yielded several positives in areas like: faculty
sourcing and development; ICT for pedagogic refinement; research and
Innovation; Industry-academia interface; and alumni involvement. I am aware of
the good work being done by many of you in this field. Interaction amongst
academic institutions can help spread best practices. These institutions can
leverage knowledge and experience to the benefit of all. Your keen interest can
rejuvenate a Sector that is best positioned to support an innovation-led
knowledge economy.

 

9.                 
Another area where I envisage a role for you is in promoting art and
culture in your respective states. As I have said elsewhere, art and culture
are our link with the past. They provide the foundation for our current thought
and by extension, the platform for our future action. They also provide a
stable base to life and make it possible for us to have a joyous existence.
With art and culture, we can experience life in its fullest and most meaningful
form. They add to the overall happiness and well-being of the society.

 

Hon’ble Governors
and Lt. Governors:

10.             
Before I conclude, I express my deep appreciation to you all for coming
together on this platform for our interaction. Within the limited time
available, let us Share some of our key concerns. I do look forward to our extended
interface in the Governor’s Conference, when we will have the time to hear each
one of us in detail.

 

Thank you.

Jai Hind.

****

 

AKT/AK/SK