India Is ‘Substantially Free’ of Homegrown Terrorism: Prez

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New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee said today said India is “substantially free” from the globally witnessed menace of homegrown terrorism because citizens possess “ethnicity in mind and have faith in pluralism”.

The President said it was India’s policy and the acumen of its administration that have kept the country “substantially free” from its tentacles.

“It is we who are attacked and we are the victims of cross-border attacks… But not so much of homegrown terror,” he said, adding this was because of the “ethnicity of mind, belief and faith in pluralism, huge diversity in language, religion, food… Almost in everything,” Mukherjee said.

The President, who has worked as a teacher before, was instructing a special class in a Delhi government-run school. The special session was held to observe ‘Teachers Day’ with students of Class XI of Dr Rajendra Prasad Sarvodaya Vidyalaya here.

Secularism is part of the life” for Indians, he said, adding that India’s diversity is its strength and the Constitution has helped maintain it. India choosing to be a parliamentary democracy and drafting its own Constitution were “major developments” that have kept India secular.

About the way forward, Mukherjee emphasized that the economy needs to grow in such a way that it impacts society.

“Overall social performance should grow, which includes health infrastructure, social infrastructure among others, which is the requirement. Social distribution and growth with equity is also required,” he said.

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