New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind today asserted that India belongs to every group, community, religion, identity and individual as pluralism is its greatest strength and example to the world.
He said, Indian model rests on a tripod of diversity, democracy and development and the country cannot choose one above the other and it must have and it will have all these three.
In his address to the nation on the eve of 70th Republic Day, President Kovind described the recent Constitutional Amendment to provide ten per cent reservation to talented children from poor families of general category as another step to an India of our dreams and that of Mahatma Gandhi.
President Kovind said, Gandhiji wanted an India where the poorest will have an effective voice and there will be no high and low class and all communities will live in perfect harmony and women will enjoy the same rights as men. He said, these ideals are the constant reminder of India that is being built.
The President said, no conception of India’s development can be complete without a salute to country’s spirit of inclusiveness that is access and opportunity for all. Highlighting the significance of next Lok Sabha polls, the President said, an election is not just a political exercise but a collective call to wisdom and action.
It represents a renewal and a commitment to the goals and hopes for a shared and egalitarian society.He said, the country is at a key juncture and decision and action of today will shape the India of the remainder of 21st Century.He said, this election is only a milestone in the journey towards fulfilling the aspirations of Indian people and building a developed India.
The President said, India has come a long way but there are still waters to cover, gaps to fill and tears to wipe.
He said, the country has to recalibrate its yardstick of achievement and success from quantity to quality and literate to a knowledge society.
President said that India is at the door step of eliminating extreme poverty for the first time in memory.
Affordable medicines and medical devices and implants are becoming a reality for more and more people and a great number of Indians than ever previously have access to proper housing with modern sanitation and electricity.
He said, in the form of facilities like ports and inland waterways , upgraded railways, new metro services, national highways, rural roads and cost effective air services is bringing people together as never before. He said, India has been united and integrated and now it is being networked.
The president added that in area after area, the government has converted difficulties into availability and it has done this step by step and year by year. Mr Ram Nath Kovind said, the best indicator of social change in India is change towards gender equality and providing equal opportunity to every girl child and women.
He said, young women in the country are moving ahead in every field like academics, creative arts, sports and armed forces. In his address, the President emphasized the need for open communication, honest conversation and unstinted compassion with regard to section and groups that has been historically disadvantaged and their grievances must continue to be heard and addressed.He said, the concept of seva of devotion to public service and to the broadening of the ambit of justice must get its due.
He said, well -intentioned contribution of individuals, group of people , institutions and society at large must be acknowledged and appreciated. He said, these are the guiding principles for India at home as well as abroad.
He said, these principles shape India’s global approach in peace making, climate change, mitigation, development partnership, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.
Concluding his address, the President said India’s Republic vision is that of reaching democratic goals by democratic means, pluralistic goals by pluralistic means, enlightened goals by enlightened means, inclusive goals by inclusive means and constitutionals goals by constitutional means.