71st Republic Day | National

Remember the gift of Ahimsa, says President Ram Nath Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the nation on the eve of the 71st Republic Day, in New Delhi on January 25, 2020. Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn

President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the nation on the eve of the 71st Republic Day, in New Delhi on January 25, 2020. Twitter/@rashtrapatibhvn  

Kovind urges the youth to pursue constitutional ideals keeping Gandhiji and Ambedkar in mind

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday, in his address to the nation on the eve of the 71st Republic Day, reminded citizens, particularly the youth, the importance of non-violence while fighting for a cause and the need to adopt constitutional methods in pursuit of social and economic objectives.

Though the President did not make any reference to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), his comments are to be read against the backdrop of the nationwide protests against it.

“When fighting for a cause, people, particularly the youth, should not forget the gift of Ahimsa Gandhiji gave to humanity. Gandhiji’s talisman for deciding whether an act is right or wrong also applies to the functioning of our democracy,” he said.

Remember the gift of Ahimsa, says President Ram Nath Kovind
 

“It should be part of our daily routine to introspect on Gandhiji’s message of truth and non-violence, which has become all the more necessary in our times,” he said.

Read the full address by President Ram Nath Kovind

People power

He said the modern Indian state comprised three organs — legislature, executive and judiciary — that were interlinked and interdependent, but it was the citizens who made up the state.

“We the people are the prime movers of the Republic. With us, the people of India, rests the real power to decide our collective future,” he said.

Mr. Kovind stressed that the government and the Opposition had important roles to play, and “while giving expression to their political ideas, both must move forward in tandem to ensure the development of the country.”

Mr. Kovind stressed how Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals were more than relevant in the present times, and pointed out that the Constitution not only guaranteed rights to every citizen but also placed a responsibility to follow the tenets of democracy — justice, liberty, equality, fraternity.

“It becomes easier for us to follow these constitutional ideals, if we keep in mind the life and values of the Father of our Nation,” he said. “Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals remain relevant in our nation-building efforts. It should be part of our daily routine to introspect on Gandhiji’s message of truth and non-violence, which has become all the more necessary in our times.”

The President said the third decade of the 21st century will be the decade of the rise of New India.

“More and more of those born in this century are participating in the national discourse. With the passage of time, we are gradually losing living links with our great freedom struggle, but there is no reason to worry about the continuity of the beliefs that guided it. With advances in technology, the young minds of today are better informed and more confident. The next generation remains strongly committed to the core values of our nation.”

Before wrapping up his speech, the President recalled the words of Babasaheb Ambedkar: “If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgment we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives.” The President said these words of Dr. Ambedkar would continue to guide the nation.

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 9:44:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/president-ram-nath-kovind-addresses-the-nation-on-the-eve-of-71st-republic-day/article30654009.ece

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