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On R-Day eve, Prez Kovind’s message to youth: ‘Remain non-violent when fighting for a cause’

President Kovind's remarks come amidst the backdrop of country-wide protest against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed nation-wide NRC. Although, the president made no direct reference to them.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Published: January 25, 2020 9:21:25 pm
President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation on the eve of the 71st Republic Day. (Souce: Twitter/rashtrapatibhavan)

On the eve of India’s 71st Republic Day, President Ram Nath Kovind Saturday urged the youth of the country to remain non-violent and remember Gandhi’s gift of “Ahimsa” (non-violence) when fighting for a cause.

“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,” the president said in his customary address to the nation on the eve of 71st Republic Day.

The President’s remarks come in the backdrop of country-wide protests against the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and proposed nation-wide NRC, although the president made no direct reference to them.

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In his address, televised and broadcast nationally, the President said that modern India comprises of three organs – Legislature, Executive and Judiciary – which are necessarily interlinked and interdependent. “Yet, on the ground, the people comprise 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.

‘Both govt and opposition have roles to play’

In his address, President Kovind stressed the need for mutual cooperation between the government and the opposition parties and said they have “important roles to play”.

“Government and opposition both have important roles to play. While giving expression to their political ideas, both must move forward in tandem to ensure that the development of the country and welfare of its people are promoted consistently.”

The President’s address was broadcast on the entire national network of All India Radio (AIR) and telecast over all channels of Doordarshan in Hindi followed by the English version. The address was also broadcast in regional languages.

‘Young minds are better informed and more confident’

Remarking that the third decade of the 21st century will be the “decade of the rise of New India” and a “new generation of Indians”, Kovind said that those born in this century are participating in national discourse in large numbers.

Kovind said that with technological advancement, the young minds are better informed and more confident. “The next generation remains strongly committed to the core values of our nation. For our youth, the nation always comes first. With them, we are witnessing the emergence of a New India,” he said.

He also said that with the passage of time, the country is losing living links of the great freedom struggle but assured that there is no reason to worry because the beliefs that guided it are in continuity.

“Unreserved praise for armed forces”

Speaking on the issue of security, President Kovind said that strong internal security is essential for the development of the country and therefore, the government has taken several steps to strengthen the internal security system.

“I have nothing but unreserved praise for our armed forces, paramilitary and internal security forces. Their sacrifices to preserve the integrity and unity of our country present a saga of unparalleled courage and discipline,” Kovind said.

The president in his address also applauded the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and said that the country is proud of them. “They (ISRO) are making further progress in Mission Gaganyaan, and the nation excitedly looks forward to the Indian Human Spaceflight Programme gaining further momentum this year,” Kovind said in his address.

In his concluding remarks, the President quoted the words of B R 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”, adding that these words of Ambedkar have lit the path for the country and will continue to show us the way ahead.

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