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President on lynchings: 'Pause and reflect... save the basic tenets of our country'

File photo of former president Pranab Mukherjee. Photograph: (Getty)

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 02, 2017, 04.26 AM (IST)

President Pranab Mukherjee spoke out on Saturday out against the sudden increase in lynchings around the country. 

When “mob frenzy becomes so high and irrational, uncontrollable", he said, we “have to pause and reflect”, be “vigilant” to “save the basic tenets of our country.”

“We shall have to ponder over, pause and reflect when we read in the newspapers or see on television screens that an individual is being lynched because of some alleged violation of law or not. When mob frenzy becomes so high and irrational, uncontrollable, we have to pause and reflect. Are you vigilant enough… I am not talking of vigilantism. I am talking of are we vigilant enough, proactively to save the basic tenets of our country,” he said.  

“Because we cannot avoid it, posterity will demand an explanation from us about what have you done,” he added. 

Mukherjee was speaking at the release of the commemorative publication of the National Herald. 

“I do believe that citizens’ vigilance, intellectual vigilance and media vigilance can act as the biggest deterrents to the forces of darkness and backwardness,” Mukherjee said. 

Mukherjee added that Jawaharlal Nehru had inscribed the words “freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might” below the masthead of the National Herald.

“These words may have been written in 1939 but have its application and relevance for all time, whenever freedom is in danger and truly in peril. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and freedom and that vigilance can never be passive. It must be active, and active vigilance is the need of the hour,” he said. 

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