NEW DELHI: On the eve of India’s 71st Independence Day, President Ram Nath Kovind declared that India has become more honest and responsible following demonetisation.
In his maiden speech on Monday, Kovind also praised other actions of the Narendra government like voluntarily giving up LPG subsidy, demonetisation, and the introduction of GST, ‘Swachh Bharat’ and ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’. He said partnership between citizens with the government has been crucial to the success of several flagship announcements of the government.
Lauding “immense patience, understanding and whole-hearted support” of the citizens in the battle against corruption following days of demonetisation, Kovind said, “Demonetisation has boosted our efforts to build an honest society. We must sustain this spirit and this momentum.
Calling for creating a New India by 2022 when the country will complete 75 years of Independence, Kovind said the country must be compassionate and egalitarian society that does not discriminate on gender or religious background.
The second Dalit President said India must be a compassionate society where the traditionally disadvantaged, whether SCs, STs or OBCs are part of the country's national development process.
He added the partnership between citizens and the government would help create the New India that would include the “humanist component” which is integral to the nation’s DNA”.
Elaborating on this, Kovind said a New India means some obvious parameters – like a house for every family, power on demand, better roads and telecom, a modern railway network, rapid and sustained growth.
He further said there was a need of partnership between individual and society, between a family and the wider community.
“Today, in big cities we may not even know our neighbours. Whether in cities or villages, it is important to renew that sense of caring and sharing. This will make us a gentler and happier society and help us understand each other with greater empathy,” he said, adding that is how India has been built--by a partnership between citizen and government, between individual and society, between a family and the wider community.
The newly elected President also paid tribute to the freedom fighters and remembered the role of political leaders during the freedom struggle. From Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Vallabhbai Patel to BR Ambedkar, Kovind recalled the contribution of these leaders and said they are an inspiration for the nation.
He said the generation that brought us to freedom was diverse which included men and women from all parts of the country and a variety of “political and social thought”. Asking people to draw inspiration from freedom fighters, Kovind said there was a need to invoke the same spirit today for nation building.
He pointed out that single most critical factor for building our nation is to equip our coming generation. Talking about the importance of education, Kovind appealed to people to try to educate as many children they can besides providing education to their own children.
“Enrol and pay the school fees or buy the books of at least one child other than your own; just one!,” he said.