President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday greeted the country on the auspicious occasion of Dussehra and in a message of unity said he hoped that compassion, love and brotherhood prevail over all forces of obscurantism and evil that seek to divide the nation.
“Warm greetings and good wishes to all my fellow countrymen in India and abroad on the joyous occasion of Dussehra. The festival symbolizes the victory of good over evil. Let us collectively confront all adversities & march forward towards the goal of all-round development of nation,” he said, according to a tweet from the president’s office tweeted.
President Mukherjee also said that the festival was a reminder that those who follow the path of virtue, goodness and righteousness will always emerge victorious.
Later, speaking at a Dussehra celebration at Parade Ground in central Delhi, he said: “Dussehra is a symbol of our ancient culture and we should forget our differences and work towards nation building. That will be our victory. I appeal to the people to maintain unity and integrity of the nation and contribute to the country’s development.”
This is the fifth occasion in the last fortnight that President Mukherjee expressed concern over rising incidents of intolerance and appealed to people to maintain unity and integrity.
The president had on Monday appealed for tolerance on a day when Hindu activists attacked a Jammu and Kashmir legislator with black ink while the Shiv Sena forced the Board of Control for Cricket in India to call off talks with the Pakistan Cricket Board on reviving cricketing ties between India and Pakistan.