Updated: July 25, 2017 9:57:54 pm
Ram Nath Kovind took oath as the 14th President of India in the Central Hall of Parliament on Tuesday. Chief Justice JS Khehar administered the oath of office to Kovind who swore to “preserve, protect and defend the constitution and law.” Former President Pranab Mukherjee, Vice President Hamid Ansari, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were present at the ceremony.
“I am accepting this position with all humility and I am grateful for this responsibility,” said Kovind in his inaugural address. He said he comes from a very simple background and feels privileged to walk on the same path as Dr.Radhakrishnan, Dr. Abdul Kalam and his predecessor, Pranab Mukherjee.
“I bow to the 125 crore citizens of this great nation and promise to stay true to the trust they have bestowed on me,” he added.
He pegged India’s diversity as the key to the nation’s success. “Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique,” he said. He talked about combining tradition and technology, the “wisdom of an age-old Bharat and the science of a contemporary India” for the development of the nation.
Calling each citizen a nation-builder, he said, “Nations are not built by governments alone. Nation building requires national pride. Each one of us is a custodian of India’s well-being and of the legacy that we will pass on to coming generations.”
His speech highlighted the role played by various people like farmers, doctors, nurses, scientists, teachers, armed forces, public servant, tribals, women and ordinary citizen in the nation-building process. “Young person who founds a start-up and becomes a job creator is a nation builder,” he said.
“India’s voice counts in today’s world. (…) We have achieved a lot as a nation, but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster is relentless,” he added.
Kovind expressed the need to build a robust economy with a high growth. He also expressed hope for an educated, shared community and an egalitarian society. “This is the India of our dreams, an India that will provide equality of opportunities.”
The newly-elected President Kovind then took the first salute at Rashtrapati Bhawan and accompanied former President Pranab Mukherjee to the latter’s house at 10, Rajaji Marg.
A lawyer by training, Kovind has previously served as the Governor of Bihar and is the second Dalit President of the country after KR Narayanan. He is also the first BJP leader to be elected to the country’s highest post.
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