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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 06.11.2014

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee delivered the 46th Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture today (November 13, 2014) in New Delhi on the topic ‘Jawaharlal Nehru and the Making of Modern India’.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said India is what it is today because of Nehru, his vision and his lifetime of dedication to the nation. Nehru’s services to India are immeasurable. He was one of the greatest figures of our times. Nehru had a clear vision of what modern India should look like and he set out to realize his dreams by establishing strong pillars which would support the young nation. If India is a vibrant democracy today, it is because of the foundations laid by Nehru. If India has become the third largest economy in the world in terms of Purchasing Power Parity, it is because of the multi-purpose projects, the public sector undertakings and institutions of higher learning established by Nehru as well as the systematic planning process initiated by him. If India is today counted amongst the technologically advanced nations of the world, it is because of Nehru’s promotion of scientific temper and the chain of scientific research laboratories that he built across the country. It is Nehru who brought us from a backward and dependent economy to the emerging power we are today. It is he who has equipped Indians with the confidence and ability to ensure that our country obtains its rightful and honoured place amongst the leading nations of the world.

The President said Nehru’s life and vision, his struggles and his achievements were no less than epic. But it is his deep democratic spirit and practice of a politics vested in the sovereignty of the people that is his most precious legacy to us. The manner in which 66.4% of our 834 million strong electorate exercised their vote in the recent elections to the 16thLok Sabha is the best validation of Nehru’s efforts in the above regard. Looking ahead, we must renew afresh the imperative of protecting and strengthening our democratic institutions and practices. Imperfect they may be, but they represent the best way forward for our nation as we forge ahead into the 21st century.

The Lecture was organized by Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund to mark the 125th birth anniversary of Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru.

This release issued at 1915 hrs.