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"Parties need to ensure stability’’

Tuesday 5 July 2005

Staff Reporter

"Corruption remains a chronic problem, communalism another threat"

CHENNAI: With coalition governments set to become a permanent feature, especially at the Centre, the most important challenge before the country is to ensure socio-political stability, according to N. Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu.

Delivering the first Henning Holck-Larsen memorial lecture, organised here on Monday by Larsen and Toubro Limited to mark the 98th birth anniversary of one of its founders, he said that stability was essential as the governments had a huge role to play in shaping policy.

Under such circumstances, political parties would be required to show capability of assuring "a viable degree of stability," he said, adding that the Common Minimum Programme, chalked out by the ruling coalition partners, acted as binding glue. "Anything common goes to the heart of stability."

Listing corruption as another challenge, he said it "remains a chronic problem for India" and poses a major threat to political health and stability of the country. He called for measures to attack this problem, particularly by laying emphasis on good practices.

Communalism was another threat to the country’s stability. Despite having a secular Constitution, the country faced communal conflicts, which should not be allowed. Similarly, stability was also under pressure due to separatist movements. Noting that the other challenges facing the country included measures to ensure social justice, gender equality and popularising education in rural areas, he said a reality check had been necessitated.

Such a reality check was necessary as there was a need to establish vital linkages bridging the divide between those dependent on the predominant agrarian economy and those in the upcoming services sector. The emphasis should be on manufacturing and job creation. "Let us not make a fetish of the new economy," he said, pointing out that the country could not catch up with other nations without taking measures for broadbased growth.

The late Henning Holck-Larsen, who co-founded L and T, contributed to modernisation and development of India and was a professional of integrity and meticulousness, he said.

K.V. Rangaswami, Member of the board and Senior Vice-President (Operations), L and T, said the launch of the lecture series was a befitting tribute to the late Larsen and comes in the centenary year of the other founder, late S.K. Toubro.

See online : The Hindu

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