Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the release of theme song of the Central Reserve Police Force on the occasion of its Diamond Jubilee Year (75 Years).
Ladies and Gentlemen:
1. I am indeed happy to be a part of this ceremony of the Central Reserve Police Force to release its Theme Song on the occasion of its Diamond Jubilee Year.
2. I congratulate the Central Reserve Police Force, which is an important central security agency, on its 75th year of service to this great nation. Raised as Crown Representative’s Police on 27th July, 1939 and rechristened as Central Reserve Police Force on 28th December, 1949, the Force has since grown by leaps and bounds. This largest para-military force in the world has confronted and resolved numerous key challenges to internal security. With its resolute commitment and battle worthiness, it has assuaged the aggrieved regions of the country from disturbances.
3. I compliment Shri Javed Akhtar, the most distinguished lyricist of our times, for his creative effort at capturing through his lyrics and with such splendour the sentiments of this security force; and, for gifting this song to inspire and arouse each Jawan and officer of CRPF. This initiative will also instill a sense of identity and camaraderie amongst the CRPF personnel.
4. The CRPF is the sentinel of our internal security. At the edifice of our country’s unity and integrity, lie the toil, sweat and blood of the brave personnel of this Force. I congratulate all its members for rendering their services to the nation.
5. Some of the members of the Forces have been awarded gallantry medals and many other distinctions including the Kirti Chakra and Gallantry Medals on the Republic Day. The history of CRPF is thick with acts of bravery and valour. CRPF has produced many a chivalrous sons who have done their utmost in securing our country. I take this opportunity to also salute the brave hearts from this security force, who have sacrificed their lives at the call of duty.
6. The existence of peace and security is a true facilitator of development. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the architect of modern India once observed and I quote: “Without peace, all others dreams vanish and are reduced to ashes” (unquote). Our institutions entrusted with the maintenance of peace and security have an arduous task. They have to be proactive as law enforcers and effective as partners in growth and development.
7. The ‘Rule of Law’, which is a cardinal principle on which a modern state rests, has to be enforced with due firmness. The frequent challenges to the rule of law have to be confronted by implementing the law in letter and spirit. In this context, I want to mention that whatever the situation or provocation, there is no room in a liberal democracy for use of violence aimed at intimidation and delivering extra judicial justice. This belief must be firmly inculcated in the minds of all the personnel who are taking on security challenges at the ground level.
8. Para-military forces like the CRPF are called upon to perform multiple functions. They are drafted for law and order situations and to control riots. In handling various challenging tasks, the personnel of these law enforcing agencies have to be responsive to the humane side of policing. They have to be always sensitive to the vulnerable sections like women, children and the aged.
9. This year, we will witness the 16th General Election to the Lok Sabha. The Indian electorate is one-seventh of the global population. The election of a government at the Centre by the people every five years is an exercise of gigantic proportions and poses enormous challenge to all those involved in its conduct. The security forces, particularly the CRPF, have to give their best in ensuring that free and fair elections are held under a peaceful atmosphere.
10. The menace of terrorism afflicts many countries in the world today. India, in particular, is a target of various terrorist groups operating in the region. The security forces and the intelligence mechanism have to be alert every second to avert any event that can strike terror or disrupt peace. The pernicious designs of the terrorists have to be defeated at all levels. The fangs of their vicious and divisive blueprint have to be countered with a multi-pronged approach. To my mind, using information technology, harnessing better intelligence, and drawing greater cooperation from the people would be the key.
11. Left wing extremism is a major thrust area for CRPF operation. The operational engagement has to be all-encompassing. A greater understanding and a sensitive handling has to be the core of the strategy in dealing with the affected areas. I would like to make a special mention of the role played by the security forces in such difficult areas where they have created space; wherein developmental activity has begun; economy has picked-up and democratic process stands strengthened. I appreciate the wonderful contribution of officers and Jawans of CRPF in the peaceful conduct of Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh recently. The next few years will be critical. Having reached a threshold, CRPF has to win over the hearts and minds of the people and restore complete normalcy in the disturbed areas.
12. There is a worrying increase in communal violence in some parts of our country. To control its spread, the communication system - both external and internal – has to be strengthened. The social media, which enables reaching out quickly to large number of people, has to be incessantly monitored for any incendiary messages. Early warning systems have to be put to effective use in potentially troublesome situations.
13. CRPF has secured and woven the internal security fabric by demonstrating its operational prowess along with a humane approach. This pan-India Force has taken pioneering steps towards modernization and enhanced combativeness. But more needs to be done. Ground level tactics have to be made more innovative by the adoption of state-of-the-art planning strategies. To give confidence to the troops, they have to be equipped with modern gadgetry and weaponry. To develop their morale further, the welfare issues have to be addressed promptly.
14. CRPF is an important pillar of our country’s internal security apparatus. The diversity of its role and its unique adaptability to situational requirements, and its capacity to deliver operational dividends in difficult circumstances has distinguished itself as a very valuable organization. I commend the Union Home Ministry for giving every possible support to this crucial security unit. I also appreciate the Director General of CRPFfor providing a firm leadership to this Force. I congratulate all the CRPF personnel who, by their dedication and commitment, have brought name and pride to the Force. As it marches through its Diamond Jubilee year, I wish CRPF great success in all its endeavours.