Nagpur: Towards the end of his speech, former president Pranab Mukherjee hailed the economic progress India has been making in the world, but he asked ? why aren't we happy as a nation?
''In the happiness index, why are we ranked 133 among 150? At the very bottom,'' the former president asked.And then he quoted a Sanskrit couplet that says ?"In the happiness of the people, lies the King's happiness,He must pursue that which makes people happy not seek his own happiness."
He defined a nation as a large group of people sharing same culture, religion orhistory.Patriotism he defined as support and devotion to one's motherland.Then he went into a long description of India's history beginning with periods going back to B.C. And then ending with struggle for Independence.
He talked about pluralism, multi ethnicity, the seven religions and three ethnic groups that makes Indians. And hundreds of languages.He quoted from Tagore, Dr Radhakrishna and Pundit Nehru's book 'Discovery of India'. He praised Sardar Patel in his role of formation of India.
Dr Mukherjee did not openly or even obliquely criticise RSS or BJP for their views/attitude on minorities, but he did stress that India's constitution was prime and showed the only way for India to be happy and prosperous.He also spoke very briefly about brutality of rape and the misery of marginalized and poor.(UNI)