Develop courage to say no to corruption, Pranab tells students

Develop courage to say no to corruption, Pranab tells students

President Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday called upon students to develop the courage to say no to corruption, oppression and violence.

“You have to be brave. If you are asked to pay a bribe, have the courage to refuse. If you are asked to support violence, corruption or oppression, have the courage to say no. If you fear reprisal, remember that breaking an unjust system is about making difficult choices.

Mahatma Gandhi could not have led people of India to Independence if he was not brave and willing to make difficult choice of fighting against the colonial rulers”, Mukherjee said in his address at the 24th convocation of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) here.

Asking the legal fraternity and law students to be in vanguard of the battle for rights and welfare of people, he said: “Lawyers have a duty to fight injustice wherever it exists.

Supreme Court of India has through public interest litigation provided a powerful instrument in the hands of the common people. Universities like NLSIU must take the lead in meeting contemporary challenges.” The President also called upon students to read, learn and formulate views on national issues.

“You must help policy makers make the right policies. A democracy cannot be healthy without informed participation. It is not enough to merely vote periodically. It requires effective implementation.

“Be the change that you seek through participation in all matters relating to governance and the state. Choose to engage with our beautiful, complex, often difficult and sometimes noisy democracy – help strengthen and refine our legal and political institutions,” he said.

He complimented the efforts of the NLSIU for starting a legal services clinic and a Centre for Women and the Law that reaches out with legal aid and advice to women, as well as others from the disadvantaged sections of society.
 

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