The President of India,
Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivered New Year Message to the Governors/Lt.
Governors through Video Conferencing from Rashtrapati Bhavan today
(January 5, 2017).
Addressing the Governors/Lt. Governors, the President said that
demonetization, while immobilizing black money and fighting corruption,
may lead to temporary slowdown of the economy. We all will have to be
extra careful to alleviate the suffering of the poor which might become
unavoidable for the expected progress in the long term. The President
said while he appreciates the thrust on transition from entitlement
approach to an entrepreneurial one for poverty alleviation, he is not
too sure that the poor can wait that long. They need to get succour here
and now, so that they can also participate actively in the national
march towards a future devoid of hunger, unemployment and exploitation.
The President said this year, there will be elections in as many as
seven states and the dates for elections in five states have already
been announced. The conduct of free and fair elections has made our
democracy one of the most vibrant in the world. Elections reflect the
attitudes, values and beliefs of the people towards their political
environment. They symbolize the sovereignty of the people and provide
legitimacy to the authority of the government. They also serve the
purpose of regulation of public policies and mobilization of public
The President said as we have all experienced, elections are usually
marked by competitive populism, electoral rhetoric and vote bank
politics. Governors and Lt. Governors through their interaction and wise
counsel can play an important role in easing the tensions in the
society. Goodwill must prevail between different communities.In a
pluralistic democracy like ours, tolerance, respect for contrary views
and patience are a must. These values have to be preserved. The
multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special.
Governors/Lt. Governors can, through their calm influence, inculcate
amongst the citizens of their state this fundamental ethos of our
The President said the Governors/Lt. Governors have a very important
role to play in the improvement of higher education in their states. As
chancellors and visitors of various universities, they can work with the
academic leaders to effect holistic changes for quality up-gradation in
the institutions of higher learning. Our interactions at the conferences
at Rashtrapati Bhavan have yielded several positives in areas like:
faculty sourcing and development; ICT for pedagogic refinement; research
and innovation; industry-academia interface; and alumni involvement.
Their keen interest can rejuvenate a sector that is best positioned to
support an innovation-led knowledge economy.
The President said that Governors/Lt. Governors can have a major role in
promoting art and culture in their respective states. With art and
culture, we can experience life in its fullest and most meaningful form.