<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Outgoing President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday pooh ‘ poohed all forms of violence and batted for pluralism and tolerance. Addressing the nation on the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India, President Mukherjee said the soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. ‘We must free our public discourse from all forms of violence, physical as well as verbal. The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. We derive our strength from tolerance,’ he said. The outgoing President said that non-violent society ensures participation of all section of people.‘Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalized and the dispossessed in the democratic process. Power of non-violence has to be resurrected to build a compassionate and caring society.’He also exhorted the people to protect the environment and termed it essential for the survival of mankind. ‘Protection of the environment is essential for our survival. Nature has been kind to us in its bounty. But, when greed exceeds need, nature lets loose its fury,’ President Mukherjee said. Earlier on Saturday, President Mukherjee attended a farewell dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.The Prime Minister hosted the ceremony at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi, where president-elect Ram Nath Kovind, Vice-President Hamid Ansari, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, senior ministers and Opposition leaders were also present.The president, who is also Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, was also given a farewell by the chiefs of the armed forces.He called for upgradation of higher educational institutions to world-class levels and said education is the alchemy that could take India to its next golden age.Delivering his farewell speech on the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India, he said, ‘Education is the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age. A reordering of society is possible through the transformative power of education. For that, we have to upgrade our higher institutions of learning to world-class levels.’Stressing that the universities should not be a place for rote- memorising but an assembly of inquisitive minds, he said, ‘Our education system must accept disruption as a norm and prepare our students to manage and build upon the disruptions.’ He further said that the institutes of higher learning must promote ‘creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper’.‘It calls for the application of logic through discussion, argument and analysis. These qualities have to be cultivated and the autonomy of the mind has to be encouraged,’ he added.In his farewell speech, Mukherjee also said that everyone has the basic right to lead a healthy and happy life ‘which could be achieved through good governance, social inclusion and poverty eradication’.‘To lead healthy, happy and productive lives is the basic right of our citizens. Happiness is fundamental to the human experience of life. Happiness is equally the outcome of economic and non-economic parameters. The quest for happiness is closely tied to the quest for sustainable development, which is the combination of human well-being, social inclusion and environmental stability,’ he said.The President also emphasized on empowering the poorest of the poor and ensuring that the fruits of our policies reach the last person in the line‘Eradication of poverty would provide a strong boost to happiness. A sustainable environment would prevent damage to planetary resources. Social inclusion would ensure access to the fruits of progress to all,’ he said.Good governance would enable the people to shape their own lives through transparent, accountable and participatory political institutions, the President said.President Mukherjee addressed the nation today on the eve of demitting office of the President.President-elect Ram Nath Kovind will take oath as the 14th President of India on Tuesday (July 25).

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Soul of India resides in pluralism: Pranab Mukherjee pitches for tolerance in farewell speech