NEW DELHI: Hinting at the recent incidents of atrocities against Dalits, President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said that attacks on weaker sections of the society were “aberrations”, which needed to be dealt with firmly, even as he hailed the consensus achieved for the passage of the Goods and Services Tax Bill (GST) in Parliament. In his customary address on the eve of the Independence Day, Mukherjee said that he had observed with “some disquiet” forces of “divisiveness and intolerance”.
“Attacks on weaker sections that militate against our national ethos are aberrations that need to be dealt with firmly. The collective wisdom of our society and our polity gives me the confidence that such forces will remain marginalised and India’s remarkable growth story will continue uninterrupted,” he said. There has been a spate of incidents of atrocities on Dalits last month with the flogging of Dalits in Una in Gujarat having creating an uproar across the country.
Mukherjee, however, credited the government and other parties for building a consensus over the passage of the GST Bill, commending the “ruling party and the opposition coming together in pursuit of national agenda of development, unity, integrity and security of the nation”.
“In the just-concluded session of Parliament, the passage of the Constitution Amendment Bill for the introduction of GST amidst non-partisan and quality parliamentary deliberations is reason enough to celebrate our democratic maturity,” Mukherjee said in his fifth address as the President.
The president also mentioned the radicalisation of youth which was leading to a spurt in terrorist activities across the world.
“The world has witnessed a spate of terror activities having their roots in radicalisation of people on the basis of religion. These forces apart from killing innocent people in the name of religion also threaten to disturb geopolitical divides, which could prove disastrous for world peace”.
He said that the recent “inhuman, mindless and barbaric” attacks in countries like France, Belgium, United States, Afghanistan and Bangladesh now pose a danger to all the nations. “The world will have to fight them unconditionally and in one voice”.