Earlier in his speech to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, President Pranab Mukherjee denounced "forces of divisiveness and intolerance" as well as attacks on weaker sections, saying they must be dealt with firmly.

The President also came out strongly against groups and individuals who pursue a divisive political agenda that leads to Constitutional subversion.
In his fifth August 14 address, President Mukherjee said that in the last four years he saw "with some disquiet, forces of divisiveness and intolerance trying to raise their ugly head”.

“Attacks on weaker sections that militate against our national ethos are aberrations that need to be dealt with firmly.”  "The collective wisdom of our society and our polity gives me the confidence that such forces will remain marginalised," he added.

Democracy, the President underlined, was not just about elections. "Disruptions, obstructionism and unmindful pursuit of a divisive political agenda by groups and individuals lead to nothing but institutional travesty and Constitutional subversion," he said.

"Polarising debates only deepen the fault lines in public discourse,” he added. The President, however, made no specific reference to the attacks on Dalits, communal tensions or the Kashmir unrest in his speech. A unique feature of India, he pointed out, was "our respect for each other's cultures, values and beliefs”.

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