New Delhi: Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday asserted that India is passing through a difficult phase as it is in news for rising intolerance, rage and infringement of human rights.

“The land which gave the concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ and civilisational ethos of forgiveness, tolerance was now in news for rising intolerance, rage and infringement of human rights,” said the veteran leader, while speaking at the inauguration of a national conference on “Towards Peace, Harmony and Happiness: Transition to transformation”.

In the last 70 years, the former president said, the country has established a successful parliamentary democracy, an independent judiciary and strong institutions such as the Election Commission, Comptroller and Auditor General, Central Vigilance Commission and the Central Information Commission that sustain and support our democratic structure.

“In the recent past, these institutions have come under severe strain and their credibility is being questioned. There is widespread cynicism and disillusionment with the governance and functioning of these institutions. To restore this credibility, the correctives have to come from within. Institutions are a mirror of national character. To save our democracy, these institutions must win back the trust of the people, without any delay,” he added,  referring to the recent strain between the RBI and the government.

Mukherjee stated that India needs a Parliament that debates, discusses and decides, and not disrupt, a judiciary that gives justice without delay and a leadership that is committed to the nation and those values that made us a great civilization. We need a state that inspires confidence among people in its ability to surmount challenges before us, he said.