- President Kovind in his R-Day eve address said it's an occasion to celebrate our Indian-ness
- President Kovind lauded India's vaccination drive
- President Ram Nath Kovind also said that the country is better placed to meet challenges of future
President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday in his address to the nation on the eve of 73rd Republic Day said that India is better placed today to meet the challenges of the future and hailed the country's vaccination drive against Covid-19. The president said it is an occasion to celebrate what is common to us all, our Indian-ness. It was on this day in 1950 that this sacred essence of us all assumed a formal shape. That day, India was established as the largest democratic republic and ‘we the people’ put into effect a Constitution that is an inspired document of our collective vision.
- The diversity and vibrancy of our democracy is appreciated world-wide. It is this spirit of unity and of being one nation which is celebrated every year as Republic Day. This year’s celebrations may be muted due to the pandemic, but the spirit is as strong as ever.
- On this occasion, let us also remember the great freedom fighters who showed incomparable courage in their pursuit of the dream of Swaraj and fired up the people to fight for it. Two days ago, on 23rd January, all of us observed the one hundred twenty-fifth birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, who had adopted the energising salutation of ‘Jai-Hind’. His quest for independence and his ambition to make India proud inspire all of us.
- We are immensely fortunate that the Constituent Assembly which prepared the document included some of the best minds of their generation.
- They were the leading lights of our great Freedom Struggle. After long years, the soul of India was re-awakening, and these exceptional men and women were the harbingers of a new dawn. They discussed threadbare every Article, every phrase and every word, on behalf of the people. The churning went on for close to three years. Eventually, it was Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar who, as chairman of the drafting committee, prepared the final version that has become our founding document.
- While the text of the Constitution, dealing with the details of the workings of the State, is quite long, the Preamble sums up its guiding principles – Democracy, Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity. They form the bedrock on which our Republic stands. These are the values that form our collective inheritance.
- The challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the country has shown an unmatched resolve. He noted that the vaccination drive is progressing at a quick pace and during the pandemic, India has reached out to several other countries with vaccines and other medical help and its contribution has also been appreciated by international organisations.
- Noting that unfortunately, the virus makes a comeback with new mutations, the President cautioned that as the pandemic is still widespread, people must remain alert and not let their guard down. He emphasised that in the fight against Covid, it has now become a sacred national duty of every citizen to follow the precautions suggested by scientists and experts and "we have to discharge this duty till the crisis is behind us".
- Kovind said that each one of us can remember Gandhiji's advice and help improve the world around us, exuding confidence that inspired by this spirit of universal brotherhood, India and the entire global community will move towards a more equitable and prosperous future.
- Appreciating the role of leadership, policy-makers, administrators, and others at the Central and state levels for making timely interventions, he also said that the economy is on the move again. It is a testimony to India's spirit in the face of adversity that the economy is projected to grow at an impressive rate in this fiscal, after going through contraction last year, he said, adding that this shows the success of the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan launched the previous year.
- Noting that small and medium enterprises have played an important role in providing employment to people and imparting impetus to the economy, the President said, "Our innovative young entrepreneurs have set new benchmarks of success by making effective use of the startup eco-system."
- Referring to the National Education Policy, he said, "To reap the demographic dividend, the government has created the right environment with the National Education Policy that makes a perfect blend of traditional values and modern skills."
- He also said that it is gratifying to note that India has found a place among the top 50 innovative economies.
- About the country's sportspersons who brought cheers last year as they made their mark at the Olympics and their self-confidence, he said that they will inspire millions of youngsters.
- The President said that in recent months, he has witnessed remarkable examples of people strengthening the country and the society through their commitment and action in diverse areas.
- "The dedicated teams of the Indian Navy and Cochin Shipyard Ltd have built indigenous state of the art aircraft carrier IAC Vikrant which is to be inducted into our Navy," he said, adding that due to such modern military capabilities, India is now counted among the world's leading naval powers. "This is an impressive example of moving towards self-reliance in the field of defence."
- The President said that today, it is our soldiers and security personnel who carry on the legacy of national pride. He said, when a brave soldier dies on duty, the entire country feels sad. Last month, in an unfortunate accident, the country lost one of the bravest commanders - General Bipin Rawat, his wife and many other brave soldiers and the entire country was deeply saddened by the tragic loss, he said.
- Highlighting that India will cross a milestone when it completes 75 years of Independence, the President said that the country has been celebrating this as 'Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav'. "It is a great opportunity for not only the next generation but all of us to reconnect with our past... our freedom struggle was an inspiring chapter in our splendid saga. In this 75th year of Independence, let us re-discover the values that animated our glorious national movement," he added.
- India is an ancient civilisation but a young republic. For us, nation-building is a constant endeavour. As in a family, so in a nation; one generation works hard to ensure a better future for the next generation. When we won independence, the exploitation of colonial rule had left us in utter poverty, but in seventy-five years, we have made impressive progress. New opportunities await the next generation. Our youth have taken advantage of these opportunities and set new benchmarks of success. I am sure that with this energy, confidence and entrepreneurship, our country will continue to march ahead on the path of progress and will definitely secure its rightful place, befitting its potential, in the global community.
I once again wish all of you a Happy Republic Day!
(With inputs from IANS)