Bangalore, Jan 26 (IANS) Karnataka Governor Hans Raj Bhardwaj in his address on the 64th Republic Day Saturday advocated discipline in democracy to prevent the country slipping into "chaos and self-destruction".
"Gandhiji insisted on discipline in democracy and enlightenment to check prejudice, ignorance and superstition, which could lead us into chaos and self-destruction," Bhardwaj said in his address here.
Noting that democracy meant the art and science of mobilising physical, economic and spiritual resources of all sections of the people in the service of the common good of all, the governor said in an independent nation there was no place for communalism, separatism, bigotry or untouchability.
"We must strive to ensure social, economic and political independence. For instance, the recent problems faced by women, especially the gang-rape incident in New Delhi recently (Dec 16), should be attended to with sincerity and firmness," the governor said.
He was speaking at the city's Field Marshal Manekshaw Parade Ground where he unfurled the national flag, inspected guard of honour and took salute from armed forces and other contingents.
Recalling the supreme sacrifice of the armed and para-military forces to protect the country from adversaries, the former union law minister said governments and civic societies should endeavour nation building through democratic means.
"In achieving the objective of a welfare state, our democratic institutions such as parliament, state assemblies and local-self government bodies must ensure justice to weaker sections and the rural poor as they are more deserving than others," Bhardwaj asserted.
Lauding the state for achieving significant progress in diverse fields, especially in education, research, science and technology, the governor said the contribution of the knowledge sector, led by IT and biotechnology was immense in terms of jobs, investments and living standards.
"I firmly believe there is no reason why Karnataka should not further emerge as the leading state in the political, economic, social, educational, scientific and technological spheres," Bhardwaj added.
After hoisting the tricolour, Bhardwaj went around the ground in an open jeep and received salute from the armed forces and other contingents, including battalions of the state police, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Bharat Scouts and Guides (BS&G) and hundreds of school children, with military and police bands in attendance.
About 8,000 people, including children who assembled at the venue to celebrate the occasion, greeted and cheered the forces and other participants.
After the governor's address in English, contingents of the military, police platoons, battalions of security agencies, NCC, BS&G and about 3,000 boys and girls from various schools across the city and district staged a march-past.
The people in the ground and thousands of viewers watching the proceedings live on all local television channels were later treated to an hour-long children's cultural programme and daring feats on motor-cycles by the military police and acrobatic teams, which drew maximum applause.
Elaborate arrangements were made to ensure peace and order. About 2,000 police personnel were deployed in and around the ground to provide security.
Pomp and pageantry also marked the celebrations of the historic day across the state.