Delhi gangrape has left our hearts empty, our minds in turmoil: Pranab Mukherjee

Pranab Mukherjee

"The youth of India spread across villages and towns, are in the vanguard of change. The future belongs to them. They are today troubled by a range of existential doubts.

The youth doubt whether system offers due reward for merit and whether the powerful lost their Dharma in pursuit of greed.

"Does our legislature reflect emerging India or does it need radical reforms? These doubts have to be set at rest. Elected representatives must win back the confidence of the people. The anxiety and restlessness of the youth should be channelised towards change with speed, dignity and order," he said.

The President said the young cannot dream on an empty stomach. They must have jobs capable of serving their own as well as the nation's ambitions.

"But we must ensure that the fruits of economic growth do not become the monopoly of the privileged at the peak of a pyramid. The primary purpose of wealth creation must be to drive out the evil of hunger, deprivation and marginal subsistence from the base of our expanding population," he said.

Noting that last year has been a testing time, the President said as the country moved ahead on the path of economic reforms it must remain alive to the persisting problems of market dependent economies.

"Many rich nations are now trapped by a culture of entitlement without social obligations; we must avoid this trap. The results of our policies should be seen in our villages, farms and factories, schools and hospitals," he said.

The President said figures mean nothing to those who do not benefit from them.

"We must act immediately, otherwise the current pockets of conflict, often described as "Naxalite" violence, could acquire far more dangerous dimensions," he said.

He underlined the need for ensuring gender equality for every Indian woman.

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