Indian Independence day address

INDIAN President Dr Shankar Dayal Sharma called for unity and self-reliance in pursuing India's goal of ''growth with social justice'' in his Independence Day Eve address to the nation last night.

''Our nation has a tremendous wealth of talented and dedicated men and women comparable with the best in the world,'' Dr Sharma said.

''We have before us immense vistas of development and progress,'' he said, calling for a ''resolute effort by one and all''.

Dr Sharma paid homage to the leaders and martyrs of the independence struggle and invoked their spirit in facing the challenges ahead.

He paid tribute to India's tradition of pluralism, openness and democracy and expressed faith in the nation's ability to overcome every problem.

''We are heirs to a great past, and are bound to fulfil the historic mission of building a future even more glorious: a new India, self-reliant, vibrant and progressive, making its rightful contribution for the good of all humankind.''