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Quixotic heroism can’t lead this nation: Pranab Mukherjee

Speaking at the AIMA Managing India Awards, Mukherjee said that an increase in the number of middle income Indians is more important than rising number of billionaires in Forbes list.

SNS | New Delhi |

Former President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that India needs leaders who can help meet the ever-rising expectations of the people and not those who believe in “Quixotic heroism”.

Speaking at the AIMA Managing India Awards, Mukherjee said that an increase in the number of middle income Indians is more important than rising number of billionaires in Forbes list.

“Quixotic heroism can’t lead this nation. India needs leaders who can help them to meet nation’s ever rising expectations. The country still has a long way to go before it’s completely rid of poverty and before it achieves reasonable level of human development,” the 83-year-old Mukherjee said.

The Congress veteran who served as the President of India from 2012 to 2017 further said, “While it is good to have a rising number of India billionaires in the Forbes list, it is much more important to have a growing number of the middle income Indians every year.”

He also expressed concern that 1 per cent of Indians hold over 60 per cent of the country’s total wealth.

“While the figure is definitely a burden on our national conscience, they also indicate that our growth needs to more inclusive then equitable,” Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee also underlined that over 270 million have moved out of poverty line in the decade since 2005-06 and the poverty rate in this country nearly halved over the previous period.

“This is a positive side,” he said.

He also stressed on the need to tackle the distress in the farm sector.

“We still have to find the solution to ever growing distress in the farm sector so that the segment acquires a deserving place in the larger scheme of things,” he said.

Calling on the corporate houses to forward for development of the country’s human capital, the former President said that more young people need to be put to work to ensure that India becomes a truly prosperous and proud nation.

At the same time, Mukherjee said that there is need for alumni of IITs and IIMs to pass on their knowledge and skill to next generation or creating new knowledge through research.

Mukherjee, who has had a stellar political career of five decades, was awarded Bharat Ratna this year by President Ram Nath Kovind.