India at 75 | Federalism, secularism the driving forces of India’s unity, says Kerala CM

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hoisted the National Flag at the Central Stadium on the 76th Independence day, in Thiruvananthapuram on August 15, 2022.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hoisted the National Flag at the Central Stadium on the 76th Independence day, in Thiruvananthapuram on August 15, 2022. | Photo Credit: S. MAHINSHA

Kerala celebrated the 75th anniversary of Indian independence in grand fashion on Monday after two COVID-19 stricken years that witnessed toned-down ceremonies.

The Central Stadium in the State capital of Thiruvananthapuram witnessed a full-scale ceremonial parade during which Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hoisted the national flag and received a salute.

Speaking on occasion, Mr. Vijayan rekindled the debate on federalism and secularism being the driving forces for a united India. It was paramount that the founding ideals were upheld in all aspects including fiscal federalism, he said.

“Being a melting point of a variety of cultures and languages, India could thrive only on the basis of robust federal structure that gave prime importance for plurality. The Constitution has been built on the ideal of unity in diversity and could be strengthened only by remaining steadfast to such ethos. The nation has been built by people of various beliefs and any decision that ignores such contributions would go against the aspirations of the country’s founding fathers,” he said.

Mr. Vijayan added that many research, cultural organisations as well as Constitutional institutions were created as extensions of the independence movement to utilise the country’s resources for the welfare of its people. These bodies will have to be retained in accordance with their founding ideals to uphold the Constitution, he pointed out.

Kerala has strived to remain a glowing example of federalism as it has persevered to strengthen decentralisation in governance. Local self-government institutions have been nurtured to become local governments that have been empowered to administer their bodies in a manner that is endorsed by the local populace, the Chief Minister said.

Elaborating on the prime objectives of the State, Mr. Vijayan said the government has been working to eliminate poverty and homelessness. It has also worked towards blending the advancements in science and technology with traditional knowledge to create a knowledge society. While digital knowledge is being extended to all facets of governance to ensure its benefits reach all sections of society, various initiatives, including the Kerala Fibre Optic Network (KFON) have been aimed at bridging the digital divide.

The Chief Minister also gave away the President’s Police medals, Fire Service medals, and Correctional Service medals for meritorious service. The Jeevan Raksha Padak awards, conferred by the President, for lifesaving acts were also presented. The Sarvottam Jeevan Raksha Padak was presented posthumously to R.R. Sarath. Alphas Babu, K. Krishnan, V. Mayookha, and Mohammed Adnanmohiuddin received the Uttam Jeevan Raksha Medal.

The ceremonial parade was led by P. Nidhin Raj and the second-in-command was Biju Divakaran. Over 20 platoons, including those of the Kerala Police, Kerala Prisons, Kerala Fire and Rescue Service, Forest Department, Excise Department, Motor Vehicles Department, National Cadet Corps (NCC), Student Police Cadets (SPC), Bharat Guides, and Sainik School took part in the parade.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2022 12:51:25 pm |