Cautioning against losing sight of long-term goals while dealing with short-term pressures, President Pratibha Patil Wednesday said the most effective law was the conscience of citizens and hoped that solutions will be found to matters of national importance in the spirit of national interest.
In her address to the nation on the eve of the 63rd Republic Day, the president said all countries were facing the impact of global economic instability and there were questions about how growth and resources will be shared in an equitable manner.
In an apparent reference to the contentious debate on the Lokpal bill between the government, Team Anna and the opposition parties, the president said the tree should not be brought down while shaking it to remove the bad fruit, and process of dialogue in a democracy should flow in a manner that "we are willing to listen to each other."
Patil, who is the country's first woman president, said people should build a strong, prosperous nation based on firm system of values".
In an address replete with references to country's civilsational values, Patil said youth should be involved in nation building beyond self-advancement.
"As we remove poverty, let us enrich our thoughts. As we remove disease, let us all remove ill-will towards others," she said.
Patil began her fifth address as president by greeting the citizens in all parts of the world and conveying her best wishes to the armed forces and security personnel.
She said forces of globalisation had created an interlinked and interdependent world and no country exists in isolation.
"All nations, developed and developing, are facing the impact of global economic instability, as well as problems of unemployment and inflation in varying degrees," she said .
"There is also a growing quest for materialism. There are worries about the direction in which the human community is heading in this age of globalisation, knowledge and technology," Patil said.
Patil stressed the need for scientific and technological outlook among people and said India will continue to bring moral force on the global stage.
"How should we proceed to build our nation and its people? I believe that the answer lies in our age-old values, the ideals of our freedom movement, the principles of our Constitution, as also in our unity, a positive attitude and our aspiration to grow."
"We look at building our country, as one whose economy demonstrates a robustness to grow, so that we can become a developed nation."
Underlining India's growing global stature, Patil pitched for the reform of global institutions to reflect contemporary realities.
She said the country's institutions may not be flawless but they have coped with many challenges.
"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. There will be short term pressures but in the process we must not lose sight of the long term goals and must work together on our core national agenda," the president said, apparently referring to the contentious issues including the Lokpal bill.
The Lokpal bill was passed in the Lok Sabha but could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha. Several key legislations of the government are pending in Parliament.
"Those who believe in democracy must try to see whether there is rationale in the other's point of view," she said.
Patil said there can be no place for violence in democracy and all differences should be resolved through dialogue.
"Negativity and rejection cannot be the path for a vibrant country that is moving to seek its destiny. Our work, our values and our approach must be based on the vast capacity that India and its people have."
Patil said solutions to matters of national importance in the spirit of national interest will strengthen "roots of democracy and the foundation of our nation".
The President said agencies involved in the delivery of services should have a strong sense of duty and work in corruption-free manner.
She said a shared future can be achieved by citizens displaying unity and sense of responsibility.