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Rashtrapati Bhavan : 29.11.2013

The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the members of Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly at Itanagar today (November 29, 2013).

Speaking on the occasion, the President said Arunachal Pradesh is an integral and important part of the North East region of India and a core stakeholder in India’s Look East foreign policy. The north east of India provides a natural bridge between India and South East Asia. The essential philosophy of India’s Look East Policy is that we must find its destiny by linking itself more and more with its Asian partners and the rest of the world. We seek to make our neighbours partners in our development. We believe that India's future and our own best economic interests are served by closer integration with Asia.

The President said Arunachal Pradesh abounds in places of historical and cultural importance. It finds mention in the Puranas and the Mahabharata. It is believed that here Sage Parashuram washed away his sins, Sage Vyasa meditated, King Bhishmaka founded his kingdom and Lord Krishna married his consort Rukmini. Arunachal is also home to the 400 year old Tawang Monastry and the birth place of the sixth Dalai Lama, Tsangyang Gyatso.

Pointing out that traditions of consultative decision-making have been prevalent in India since ancient times, the President said the people of Arunachal Pradesh have also ruled themselves through customary and traditional laws of respective tribes. Institutions like Buliang, Kebang, Mouchuk etc. were democratic institutions which derived their authority from the expression of the will and power of the people. These systems are still prevalent and function side by side with the modern system of representative democracy.

The President said India today is recognized as a role model of a successful modern Constitutional parliamentary democracy. The fact that we are operating in a highly pluralistic and diverse society beset with myriad challenges is also well known. When we opted for parliamentary democracy as the governing model for free India, the world viewed us with scepticism, and even suspicion. But, we have proved the prophets of doom wrong and maintained our unity, established a highly successful democracy and registered rapid economic growth.

The President said the Parliament and Legislatures are the cornerstone on which rests the edifice of our democratic polity. One of the basic objectives of a representative democracy is to see that governance is carried out keeping in mind the interests of the people and their needs and aspirations. In a parliamentary democracy, the legislature represents the sovereign will of the people. He called upon the Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly to continue to maintain the highest standards of democratic practice and dedicate itself totally to the welfare of the people.

This release issued at 1815 hrs