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Updated: January 26, 2012 13:15 IST

"While removing bad fruit, don't bring down the tree"

Gargi Parsai
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President Pratibha Patil addresses the nation on the eve of 63rd Republic Day in New Delhi on Wednesday.
PTI President Pratibha Patil addresses the nation on the eve of 63rd Republic Day in New Delhi on Wednesday.

President Pratibha Patil's remark seen as a tacit allusion to the civil society campaign for a strong Lokpal

In what appears an indirect reference to the civil society movement for a strong Lokpal, President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday said one should be cautious while bringing about reforms so as to not bring down the tree of democratic institutions itself.

“While bringing about reforms and improving institutions, we have to be cautious that while shaking the tree to remove the bad fruit, we do not bring down the tree itself,” she said in her address to the nation on the eve of the 63rd Republic Day.

Emphasising the need for resolving issues through dialogue, she said: “Concord — and not discord — is the way forward for a country as large as India. Negativity and rejection cannot be the path for a vibrant country that is moving to seek its destiny. I do hope that in the spirit of national interest, matters of national importance are discussed and solutions found between different stakeholders.”

Greeting the nation and complimenting citizens on their contribution to nation-building, she said India could take pride in its democratic record but as did any functional democracy it faced pressures and challenges. “There would be short-term pressures, but in this process the long-term goals must not be lost sight of, and everyone must work together on the core national agenda.”

Noting that our institutions may not be flawless, Ms. Patil said nevertheless they coped with many challenges. “Our Parliament has enacted path-breaking laws. Our government has put together schemes for the progress and welfare of people. Our judiciary has a reputable standing. Our media too has played an important role.”

Pointing out that the Constitution had been and should be the compass guiding nation-building, the President said it was the charter of our democracy and document guaranteeing individual freedoms to its citizens. It was the basis on which institutions of the state had been created and had derived their powers and functions.

Tremendous work

Asserting that tremendous work needed to be done to move forward on the social and economic agenda to achieve fast, economic and sustainable growth, she stressed the removal of poverty, hunger, malnutrition, disease and illiteracy as “our foremost priority.”

Expressing concern at global economic instability and related problems of unemployment and inflation, she said these raised questions how growth and resources would be shared equitably.

“There are worries about the direction in which the human community is heading in this age of globalisation, knowledge and technology. For us in India, the discourse is about how an ancient civilisation and a young nation will move ahead. For us, economic prosperity alone is not enough. We look to an India where there is equity and justice.”

The answer lay in a positive attitude and “our aspiration to grow,” she said, emphasising the need for reinforcing education and health, particularly in rural areas.

Maintaining that the status of women was an important indicator of progress, she said drawing women into the mainstream and empowering them would have a big impact on creating a stable social infrastructure.

Underlining the need for the agriculture, industry and service sectors to have inter-linkages and scientific inputs, she pointed out that the integration of the farm sector with other sectors of the economy was “inadequate.”

“We need to look at models of partnership with farmers, with industry and with research and development institutions so that not only farm productivity increases but farmers benefit as well,” she said adding there should be focus on dry land farming and development of infrastructure for rapid growth.

The President highlighted India's global economic stature and pitched for reforms of global institutions to reflect contemporary realities. The role and stature of India had been growing and the nation had been going up the ladder in the comity of nations, she said.

Foreign policy

India's foreign policy, she said, was aimed at promoting an environment that was conducive to its socio-economic transformation. New Delhi should build bridges of cooperation and friendship with all countries.

Ms. Patil also lauded the Indian diaspora, spread over many countries and across continents, for its varied contributions.

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As public those who have blood tears in their eyes, are talking why government is wasting people's money every year to gather and celebrate this day with long procession and by spending money on security purposes etc.to save from terrorist.It is enough to celebrate in the president's campus along with PM,Army officials, officers like celebrating in our government offices all over india., sothat they can save money and this can be spend to good project. for example, in the double line railway track from madras to madurai and upto nagercoil is pending for want of sanction of amount of atleast 200 crores to a particular phase. Advice is easy but savey money is very difficult.eg.,Army people coming in a short leave to see their mother and family members in vaigai express train are facing difficulties with their luggages to have a seat whereas politicians are enjoying flight for shouting and banging desks in parliament.One or two media and Hon.judges try to save democracy at their best.

from:  S.Hariharan now from Singapore
Posted on: Jan 27, 2012 at 08:01 IST

...Hats Off to the Philosophical and Intellectual thoughts of President of India...Public Welfare and Moral Upliftment of the Society is must for Peace and Development of the Society...!!!

from:  Seema Noor Wani.
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 20:30 IST

Her Excellency President may kindly see my complaint (on my 2nd appeal bearing no. CIC/WB/A/2007/01279) lodged in one of the institutions ie. Hon'ble Central Information Commission, New Delhi to take disciplinary action on the officers of the Staff Selection Commission (Dept. of Personnel & Training) who have gone to the extent of misleading the Hon'ble CIC. The complaint number is RC/UG/11/2475vhuf dt. 27-02-2011 and the status of my complaint is still being shown as "signed copy awaited" whereas the same has been delivered to the Hon'CIC through Speed Post. I have the proof of delivery of the same. Madam, the above said complaint is very serious in nature because so far many Central Public Information Officers or Appellate Authorites have misled many RTI applicants but this instant matter is really alarming as the attempts have been made to mislead the apex body of the RTI Act, 2005. But, the silence of the Hon'ble CIC is really unfortunate. Expecting your personal intervention will bring justice to me.

from:  Jhansi Lakshmi Tiruveedhula
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 18:04 IST

Please try to understand the real problems of a common man. Even after more than half a century over since independance, more than 50% of our population still struggling hard to get one meal a day. What is the use of giving a lecture sitting in an airconditioned room ? Please come down from your high pedestal and mingle with common people, try to solve their problem using your experience and power. Then I appreciate your presidentship.

from:  ajjmpur ramadas
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 18:04 IST

Your comparison of today's corruption to a bad fruit is wrong...today's corruption has gone to the extent of damning the tree itself, like cancer. For serious ailments, serious medication needs to be given. The tree is so engulfed by these bad roots and creepers that they need tone removed from the roots. Not only that if the tree has some bad roots, they may also need to be dispensed with so that newer, stronger and healthier roots grow and maintain the tree for long time.

from:  Anil
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 17:36 IST

I wish our honourable President had addressed the political class directly and reminded them of putting the national interest above all, and thus, setting 'positive' examples for the general masses. I cant imagine what would have happenned if the present bunch of politicians had been given the task of writing a Constitution for our country!

from:  Ramya S
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 17:21 IST

In lybia people were plucking the bad fruits one by one. In the course of time they realized that bad one out numbered the good ones. It was not possible to clear the rotten fruits one by one. It required the support of the masses to weed out the entire rotten. Eventually they decided to fall the tree down and plant a sapling new to grow ever green. We have just spotted(yet to be plucked and buried) the rotten fruits in the trunk of 2G, in the branch of CWG and a leaf blight in the entire foliage of Lokpal which needs the application of concentrate bordo mixture, if not a thick fumigation.
Still one should find solace in the solitary branch shooting tall high atop the same tree still branching out and blooming with flowers and fragrance for the common man-the spotless branch of judiciary. So as long as that branch continues to branch out spotless Indians can still opt to pluck the bad fruits with out uprooting the entire tree. Because an Indian spring will be too good to miss for Indians.

from:  Bose A Panicker
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 17:04 IST

Respected Madam, : It is unfortunate that your "Republic Day" speech has mention of tree bearing bad fruits. There is no such tree which bears bad fruits and such comparison of our nation sounds very stupid and gross. I am not sure who has written your speech, please ask them to do a better job.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 16:44 IST

What's new? Except that she accepted that there are rotten fruits. But no, the whole tree is in that state. Gone are the days when we should be sweet talked. Its time this tree should die a natural death and make space or will be uprooted and burnt.

from:  Akshay
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 16:44 IST

Dear Mrs Patil,
Unfortunately, the problem is with the tree itself. It is rotten to to core and is a danger to even those who stays near it. So we need to cut it down and plant a new one in the place.

from:  Narayanan
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 15:33 IST

Best speech by the President On India. Every party to follow the advise of the Head of the State so that Democracy in India will survive in better way.

from:  Ashfaq Rawoof
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 14:12 IST

The President's speech was very sensible and expressed the ancient
Indian political wisdom through the image of the tree.She rightly pointed out the potential danger in a strong civil society movement. It
has to have utmost care and maturity with the Gandhian spirituality. If not, as the President indicates, would cut the root of entire democratic system.

from:  Xavier Tharamel S.J.
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 14:08 IST

Some trees are rotten to the core are best brought down so that new plants can take shoots! It is clear that the Indian democracy has created a hub of corrupt people who support mutually and stay in power to fleece the unsuspecting public! Time to really shake the tree!! India needs better governance and a committed visionary as her leader to bring deserved prosperity to her people. Until such a person identified and voted into office, India's aspiration to be a first rated country will be a distant dream!

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 13:52 IST

Last 63 years what we achieved after British, in infrastructure wise railways, roadways, airways, harbors, and education and health sectors.
All are bring down to India by British, I agree they might be looted our wealth’s and taken back to UK, but they strengthened our India in many sectors Last 63 years what we achieved please think it in today, still poverty was not erased our India, around 47 % of total population are living under by poverty line And most of the states do not have water for irrigation and drinking. And most of the villages (around six lac ) do not have sanitary, drainage, controlled drinking water, proper roads, proper transportation, and schools .>Now we achieved one thing is high corruption, looting, and developed damaged democracy. We badly need river linking project, rapid railway transport project 400 km per hour speed in all over India, separate container rail lines project, and National highways widening with world class quality.
Presently we widened around 10000 km but still 65000km is balance, more power plants around 200 units 50 Mega watts, which is running in nuclear energy it is the cheapest energy it may cost 50 paisa per unit, 1500 medical collages all over the country having 3 years medical course, so that we can utilize this small doctors in village Ares Finally none of the Indian political party has long broad vision to build India, except one politician Mr Vajpayee; this is right time to think people and political parties to develop our India

from:  kumar.M
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 13:24 IST

ms.president's speech was very inspiring and thought provoking taking path to think positively.As a citizen of this country its our duty to know basic citizen rights where most of us are unaware.the youth of our country is holding good fire to do service to our country with in themselves but lack of in giving good directions.This happened due to the increase and provoking of selfishness(due to the effect of kale Maya as per Purana.seriously our country needs legends like swami Vivekananda.Those who are able to give good directions they should know about the evil effects which were spread and included in good directions or good guider books(yadha raja thathapraja).hope her hiness speech would spread to every one.

from:  Soujanya vempati
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 09:45 IST

India is the most populous democracy in the world and will continue this path. The president did make a pointed reference to the tree with fruits and has called upon the citizens of India to preserve the tree( democracy) while shaking to collect fruits. After gaining freedom, we have preserved democratic ideals all along, inspite of the change in Political complexion at the corridors of power at Delhi and that speaks volumes in favour of the people of India. There might be voice of dissent in certain quarters, but that is not against the country as such, but aimed at improving the country for the betterment of the Millions in the land and to project the country's image. India will register growth at the economic front and will be in a position to lead many other countries for the betterment of Peace in the world.

from:  C.p.Chandra das
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 09:07 IST

Planting a new tree takes time. That is the process of renewal which is urgent and overdue in this country. But those hanging on to the old tree are bound to be worried, it is natural.

from:  Kumar
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 08:56 IST

India reached to the stage tree it self rotten. President should talk real issues rather reading congress approved script.

from:  Rao Kuppili
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 07:15 IST

I would say it's easy to say by sitting on Indian President's chair. Sitting in her position what help is she doing for the people of India? Is it just coming talking some story on Independence day? Very Sorry to say this kind of dialogues. Parliament is wasting crores of rupees by simply shouting and banging desks. Isn't she watching all this? I'm ok to bring down the entire and plant a sapling which will then grow into a good tree to bear good fruit. Just trying to pluck down bad fruit by fruit isn't working. Hope Pratibha Patil would try to understand this logic. If not, even God cannot save our nation. I feel sad on this independence day looking at people who still cannot afford for one meal a day and live a medium life...Where is our country going?

from:  Manoj
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 07:14 IST

Democracy might be a good thing but not indian democracy which simply breeds corruption. What did she do when country's image is on the line still CWG was a mess. Has any one been held accountable? Everyone's free.Thats indian democracy. What has she done in 2G scam?

from:  CC
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 07:06 IST

Good analogy. Atleast it is a submission by the highest office there are more bad fruits on the tree now a days. Any sensible concerned farmer will know that we have to controll the pests by setting up traps. If not the bad fruits will be breeding ground for more pests and the whole tree becomes useless. It may even necessitate felling of the tree. There is nothing holy in this world. Change is prepetual.

from:  Ayyappa
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 06:40 IST

And if the tree is bad, irredeemably diseased ('rotten to the core' may be an apt phrase), what then is the solution? Digging it out and burning it is the only way to save the forest. Let's hope the estate manager gets the tools, the courage, and the support of the estate owner.

from:  josh
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 04:31 IST

if trea is being eaten by termite,better to uproot it and plant new,if public lose faith in system,it is better choose what they want not that is wanted by power ful, we should remember the french king when public asked for simple roti, queen told them to buy bread,,it is similiar,,president is custodian of constitution, every intellectual know what our respected dignitaries doing ,the signing of swiss tax treaty of not disclosing name of tax evader by president with rajiv sukhla is not only deplorable but below dignity of high power, indian public is not fool,little spark will destroy whole edifish of whole institution,

from:  bhupinder
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 04:25 IST

But what to do when the tree is severly infected by decease (called corruption, selfish politicians) and the doctor (Governance like President, PM) only talks of cure but give no medicine (take no action against those corrupt in power and agianst the criminals). If doctor wants decease to be removed, it requires action on their part - do we have to remind the President of teachings of the Gita that to succeed 1.Knowledge (jayana); 2. 100% selfless action (karma yoga); and 3. full devotion (bhakti) is required.

from:  harshi
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 02:32 IST

Writer has correctly analysed up the speech of her excellency
President of India indicating Constitution of India as the compass.A
compass as constitution to search the direction under pressure of
stakeholders crying for justified distribution of fruit as wealth
produced.What the text missed or is unable to clear is that `Tree of
Democratic` institutions is shaking coz few handful thieves want to
steal the fruit(wealth) of this tree for the exclusive growth of one
percent privileged.While stealing the fruit when caught they shout
that fruit is bad. Transformation of life from seed to fruit remains
the collective responsibility. To convert a `seed to fruit` a national team works with a clear role. Here a law is required to shape up team work. To distribute the fruit & inclusive wealth again an effective law is required.Forget justice & equality even essential laws like Lokpal is delayed since 43 years.For details read via google my
article: MPs must deliver better citizen laws in time.

from:  Rakesh Manchanda
Posted on: Jan 26, 2012 at 00:57 IST
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