Updated: August 21, 2021 7:22:23 am
Hindsight is always 20/20 but foresight is fraught with risks of unpredictability. I am certainly not endowed with a divine power to see the future. Yet, I take the opportunity of felicitating and addressing you on the centenary of Independence in 2047 while celebrating its 74th anniversary in 2021.
I wish I could do it in person. But life is so fragile that its longevity is beyond one’s control. So I begin with certain constraints. Nevertheless, I can say with confidence that as you celebrate the 100th year of Independence in 2047, I can visualise India having progressed much farther on the path of development, guided by the trinity of justice, equality and fraternity. The social fault lines that existed earlier are substantially, if not wholly, obliterated. The discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, community and language is a ghost of the past buried deep in the sand of time.
I envision a prosperous, progressive and peaceful India gently striding on the world stage in a manner that is endearing and cooperative. The consolidation of India’s influence in the world and its thought leadership a century after Independence is benign and inclusive for the entire humanity.
And this is the true culmination of dreams conjured up by our sages in the ancient times, saints of the medieval era and great freedom fighters led by Mahatma Gandhi in the modern time. These sages and great men and women were gifted with the unique perspicacity to chart the future path for the country. They saw the world as one family and led India on a roadmap to promote compassion and cohesion not only within the country but across the world also. That is the rich heritage bestowed upon you by the great leaders of the country.
As we begin celebrating the 75th year of Independence, I am particularly worried about the climate challenge posed by the industrialised world. Today, India, as a responsible nation, is going well beyond its commitments to protect the environment. Following in the footsteps of our founding fathers, we are determined to bequeath a legacy not only for India but for the whole world; for its prosperity and peaceful coexistence. I am confident that your generation will take the country to greater heights, much beyond my limited imagination!
Wish you all the best.
The writer is President of India
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