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August 15th, 2009

'World wants India to be one of its largest economies'

President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil paying tribute at the Amar Jawan Jyoti

Addressing the nation on the eve of the 63rd Independence Day, President Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil said the world expected India to become one of the largest global economies. She added that the country could set international benchmarks in research and development. Turning to the economy, she said: "The world expects India to be one of the largest economies of the world. We know we can achieve this position.

"After all," she noted, "history tells us that since ancient times India was a wealthy nation well known for its riches and its global importance".

Excerpts from her speech:

"Our independence was won after a long and arduous struggle. Countless men and women, yearning for liberation from the colonial yoke, joined the ranks of freedom fighters. The four essential pillars necessary to support the edifice of India have been and remain - democracy, inclusive economic development, social empowerment and a value system based on our civilisational heritage.

Each one of them is individually important and must be equally strong for a stable and progressive nation.

The 15th General Elections were held this year. Spread over five phases, the effort was to reach out to every voter, even in the remotest parts of the country. That is why even where there was only one voter, arrangements were made for the casting of that one vote. The voice of every citizen is important and the principle of inclusiveness integral to democracy. In accordance with the mandate, the new Government assumed office. The electoral exercise re-affirmed the strong faith of the people, across the country, in democracy.

It once again proved that the world's largest democracy is, indeed, a mature democracy. We can be proud that we have carried forward the torch of democracy in a manner that today the concept of democracy and India are inseparable.

If we can work to ensure that each citizen gets an opportunity to be heard while choosing representatives to Parliament and the Assemblies, it also becomes our bounden duty to ensure that they are heard even in the period between elections.

Each elected Member of Parliament represents on an average the voice of over a 1.3 million electorate - larger than the population of some nations, and this imposes a huge responsibility to represent the aspirations of those who have elected them. They have a clear obligation to work for the welfare of the people and the progress of the nation.

At the same time, the expectations of the people are rising as they are becoming more aware of their rights and seek better opportunities. Facilities, amenities and services meant for them whether they are living in rural or urban areas can be delivered...

Continues on Page 2

Isle of Man hosts first ever zero-emissions race

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh salutes the National Tricolour

Striking a positive note on India's 63rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on August 15 asserted that Indians had immense faith and confidence in themselves and the world's largest democracy was headed to a "new glory".

In his sixth consecutive address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister sought to allay fears emanating from the global economic meltdown, unending terrorism and the swine flu to assert that India had the strength and resilience to overcome all obstacles. "Some people question whether India will ever be able to attain its true potential," Dr. Manmohan Singh said. "I have no doubt about this. We are rapidly moving forward. We have faith in ourselves... I am sure that they will take our country to a new glory."

Excerpts from the Prime Minister's address:

"Today is most certainly a day of happiness and pride for us. We are proud of our freedom. We are proud of our democracy. We are proud of our values and ideals.

Today, we remember all those martyrs who laid down their lives for the freedom and security of our country. The best way of paying homage to those brave sons of our country will be to resolve today that we will always stay committed to strengthening the unity and integrity of our nation.

The elections held a few months back have strengthened our nation and our democracy. I am of the view that we have received a mandate for starting a new era of cooperation and harmony in our national life.

We accept with humility the great responsibility you.

Continues on Page 2


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