Pranab, Sonia pay rich tributes to Motilal Nehru

FP

Commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Motilal Nehru, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday said that all Indians must learn from and dedicate themselves to the ideals of Motilal Nehru.

"We can pay due respect to him in the 150th year if we follow his principles, respect institutions, strengthen institutions; you can achieve much more by strengthening and respecting institutions than by destroying those institutions," Mukherjee said.

Describing him as a a "constitutional agitator" who believed that change should be achieved through Constitutional means, he noted how Motilal Nehru also won admiration of political adversaries.

Stating that his contributions to the freedom struggle have "all too often been overlooked", Congress chief Sonia Gandhi said his singular contribution was his vision spelt out in the 1928 Nehru report. The modern, inclusive parliamentary democracy owes much to this document that outlined a system in which all could vote and all would be free to follow their faith, she said.

"Today, when these values are being challenged by extremist or deviant forces, we need to remember that these thoughts were asserted at a time when such inclusive equality could not be taken for granted," she said. Among others present were Defence Minister A K Antony, Finance Minister P Chidambaram, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal and Law Minister Salman Khurshid.

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