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President Ram Nath Kovind welcomes PM Narendra Modi to Paraunkh: ‘Sanskar trumps protocol’

While delivering a speech later, Modi said that Kovind told him he had come to the helipad personally since the Prime Minister was an “atithi (guest) of his village”.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
Updated: June 4, 2022 10:25:02 am
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, Indian President, Ram Nath Kovind, Paraunkh, Kanpur Dehat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh Governor, Anandiben Patel, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Yogi AdityanathPresident Ram Nath Kovind and PM Narendra Modi at a public meeting in Paraunkh village in Kanpur on Friday. Vishal Srivastav

Paraunkh, the remote village in UP’s Kanpur Dehat where Ram Nath Kovind hails from, became the venue of an unusual sight when the President broke protocol to receive Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who had arrived for a brief visit on Friday.

While delivering a speech later, Modi said that Kovind told him he had come to the helipad personally since the Prime Minister was an “atithi (guest) of his village”. Modi added that though he felt “embarrassed” by the gesture, it showed that the President embodied both the “samvidhan” (constitution) and “sanskar” (cultural values).

Modi said the incident shows how the “sanskar (cultural values)” of “atithi devo bhava (guest is equivalent to god)” is “in our veins”, and that the President “has shown an example”.

At one point during the speech, Kovind got up with folded hands in response to Modi offering his “pranam” in gratitude for the reception at the helipad.

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“Paraunkh ki mitti se Rashtrapati ji ko jo sanskar mile hain aaj poori duniya uski sakshi ban rahi hai (The world is becoming witness to the cultural values that the President has imbibed from the land of Paraunkh),” Modi said in his speech.

“Today in the village, the President went beyond the protocols created for his position and surprised me. He himself came to the helipad to receive me. I felt embarrassed as we work under his guidance and his post has its own seniority and respect,” he said.

According to Modi, when he told Kovind that “you have done injustice to me”, the President replied that “samvidhan ki maryadaon ka palan to main karta hun, lekin sanskar ki bhi apni takat hoti hai. Aaj aap mere gaon mein aaye hain. Main aaj yahan atithi ka swagat karne aya hun, Rashtrapati ke roop mein nahin aaya hun.”


(“I do maintain respect for the Constitution but cultural values have their importance too. Today, you have come to my village. I have come here to receive a guest, I have not come as the President”).

In his speech that followed, the President did not refer specifically to the incident but said that his ancestral village and the district were “obliged” to the Prime Minister for making the visit.

“The people of this state feel proud that a person from the state has been given the top constitutional post of the country and the credit for that goes to you, Prime Minister,” he said.


Kovind said he was impressed when Modi took the initiative “to give responsibility to someone like him who was born into a poor family of the state”.

According to him, the people of UP had always felt that the state had given nine Prime Ministers to the country but not a President. The President also praised the Prime Minister for “giving new meaning to the term ‘Bharat Mata ki sewa’ (serving mother India)”.

The President said that the Prime Minister visited the Pathar Devi temple and made an offering of flowers at the statue of B R Ambedkar in the village.

During the visit, Modi was shown how Paraunkh has been developed into a model village with solar energy, model parks and a model anganwadi centre. The Prime Minister also visited an exhibition on the village, including various schemes implemented, and the “life journey” of Kovind.

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First published on: 04-06-2022 at 03:46:23 am
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