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Indian president urges new freedom struggle against hunger, disease, poverty

08-15-2012 03:12 BJT

NEW DELHI, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- Indian President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday called for a "second freedom struggle" to make people free from hunger, disease and poverty.

In a speech to mark the 66th Independence Day which falls on Aug. 15, Mukherjee said that if progress fell behind rising aspirations of the youth "rage will manifest."

He also criticized some people in India for engaging in " endemic" protests which he said could make the country "flirting with chaos."

He warned that India's democratic institutions like the Parliament can also be undermined by endless protests by opposition lawmakers at the lower house of Parliament, which he described as "the soul of the people."

The Indian Parliament has seen exchanges of angry words between the ruling Congress leaders and opposition Bharatiya Janata Party lawmakers since it began the Monsoon session this month.

His comments came amid renewed anti-corruption protests led by Anna Hazare,a Gandhian activist and Baba Ramdev,a Hindu priest.

"We need a second freedom struggle; this time to ensure that India is free for ever from hunger, disease and poverty," he said in his televised speech.

He also said people's anger against "the bitter pandemic of corruption is legitimate."

Editor:James |Source: Xinhua

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