New Delhi: In a message to the nation on the eve of 75th Independence Day, President Ram Nath Kovind said that Independence Day is a festival of freedom for us. Our dream of freedom was realized through the struggle of many generations of known and unknown freedom fighters. All of them set unique examples of sacrifice and sacrifice. Today we and you are breathing freedom only on the strength of their valor and valor. I pay my homage to the sacred memory of all those immortal fighters.
Our nation, like many other countries, suffered a lot of injustice and atrocities during the foreign rule. But the specialty of India was that under the leadership of Gandhiji, our freedom movement was based on the principles of truth and non-violence. He and all other national heroes not only showed the way to free India from colonial rule, but also presented the roadmap for the reconstruction of the nation. He also made a lot of efforts to restore Indian values and human dignity.
When we look back on the journey of the last 75 years of our Republic, we feel proud that we have come a long way on the path of progress. Gandhiji taught us that it is better to take slow but steady steps in the right direction than to take quick steps in the wrong direction. The world community sees with respect the wonderful success of India’s largest and vibrant democracy, rich in many traditions.
Our athletes have brought laurels to the nation with their stellar performance in the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics. India has created the history of winning the most medals in the 121 years of its participation in the Olympic Games. Our daughters have overcome many hurdles to achieve world class excellence in playgrounds. Along with sports, epoch-making changes are taking place in the participation and success of women in all walks of life. From higher educational institutions to armed forces, from laboratories to playgrounds, our daughters are making their mark. In this success of daughters I see a glimpse of future developed India. I urge every parent to take education from the families of such promising daughters and provide opportunities to their daughters to grow.
Like last year, due to the pandemic, this year also Independence Day celebrations will not be celebrated on a large scale but we all have a lot of enthusiasm in our hearts. Although the intensity of the epidemic has reduced, the impact of the corona-virus is not over yet. We are yet to recover from the devastating effects of the second wave of the pandemic this year. Last year, with the extraordinary efforts of all the people, we were able to contain the spread of the infection. Our scientists have completed the difficult task of preparing the vaccine in a very short time. So, earlier this year we were all full of confidence as we started the biggest vaccination campaign in history. Yet, as a result of new forms of the corona virus and other unforeseen causes, we had to face the horrific outbreak of a second wave. I am deeply saddened that in the second wave many lives could not be saved and many people had to suffer immensely. It was a time of unprecedented crisis. On behalf of the entire nation, I am an equal participant in the grief of all the bereaved families.
This virus is an invisible and powerful enemy which is being faced by science with commendable speed. We are satisfied that we have been able to save more lives than the number of lives we have lost in this pandemic. Once again, it is on the strength of our collective resolve that we are able to see the reduction in the second wave. Taking all risks, the second wave of corona is being contained with the efforts of our doctors, nurses, health workers, administrators and other corona warriors.
The second wave of COVID has put a lot of pressure on our public health infrastructure. The fact is that the infrastructure of any country, including the developed economies, has not proved to be capable of handling this formidable crisis. We made efforts on a war-footing to strengthen the health system. The leadership of the country faced this challenge resolutely. Along with the efforts of the Central Government, State Governments, private sector health facilities, NGOs and other groups actively contributed. In this extraordinary campaign, many countries generously shared essentials, just as India had provided medicines, equipment and vaccines to many countries. I would like to thank the world community for this help.
As a result of all these efforts, to a large extent, normalcy has been restored and now most of our countrymen are breathing a sigh of relief. The only lesson learned from the experience so far is that right now we all need to be constantly careful. Vaccines are the best protection provided by science for all of us at the moment. Under the world’s biggest vaccination campaign going on in our country, more than 500 million countrymen have been vaccinated so far. I urge all the countrymen to get vaccinated as per protocol as soon as possible and also to motivate others.
my dear countrymen, The impact of this pandemic is as devastating for the economy as it is for the health of the people. The government has been concerned about the problems of the poor and lower middle class people as well as the small and medium industries. The government has also been sensitive to the needs of workers and entrepreneurs who have faced hardships due to the lockdown and restrictions on movement. Realizing their needs, the government had taken several steps last year to provide them relief. This year also, the government provided food grains to about 80 crore people in May and June. Now this assistance has been extended till Diwali. Apart from this, the government has recently announced an incentive package of Rs 6 lakh 28 thousand crore to give incentives to some enterprises affected by Kovid. It is particularly satisfying to note that twenty three thousand two hundred and twenty crore rupees are being spent within a period of one year for the expansion of medical facilities.
I am happy that despite all odds, growth in rural areas – especially in agriculture – has continued. Recently, during a visit to my native village Paraunkh located in Kanpur Dehat district, I was overjoyed to see that better infrastructure is being developed to make life easier for people in rural areas. The psychological distance between urban and rural areas has now become much less than before. Basically, India lives in villages, so they cannot be allowed to lag behind in terms of development. That is why, including the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi, special campaigns are being emphasized for our farmer brothers and sisters.
All these efforts are in line with the concept of self-reliant India. With a firm belief in the growth potential inherent in our economy, the government has further simplified investment in defence, health, civil aviation, power and other sectors. The innovative efforts by the government to promote eco-friendly, renewable sources of energy, especially solar energy, are being praised worldwide. When the ranking of ‘Ease of Doing Business’ improves, then it also has a positive impact on the ‘Ease of Living’ of the countrymen. Apart from this, special emphasis is being given on the schemes of public welfare. For example, thanks to the Rs 70,000-crore credit-linked subsidy scheme, the dream of owning a house is now a reality. With the many reforms made in agricultural marketing, our Annadata farmers will be further empowered and they will get better price for their products. The government has taken several steps to develop the potential of every countryman, out of which I have mentioned only a few.
Now a new awakening is visible in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has started the process of consultation with all stakeholders who believe in democracy and the rule of law. I urge the residents of Jammu and Kashmir, especially the youth, to take advantage of this opportunity and be proactive in realizing their aspirations through democratic institutions.
With the effect of all round development, India’s stature is rising on the international stage. This change is reflected in our effective participation in major multilateral fora and the strengthening of our bilateral relations with many countries.
Seventy-five years ago, when India gained independence, many people had doubts that democracy would not succeed in India. Such people were probably unaware of the fact that in ancient times, the roots of democracy had flourished in this land of India. Even in the modern era, India was ahead of many western countries in giving voting rights to all adults without any discrimination. Our nation-builders expressed their faith in the conscience of the people and ‘We the people of India’ have been successful in making our country a powerful democracy.
Our democracy is based on the parliamentary system, so Parliament is the temple of our democracy. Where to serve the public, we have the highest platform to debate, communicate and decide on important issues. It is a matter of great pride for all the countrymen that this temple of our democracy is going to be established in a new building in the near future. This building will express our customs and ethics. It will have a sense of respect for our heritage and at the same time it will also be a display of skill to keep pace with the contemporary world. The inauguration of this new building on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of independence will be considered as a historic starting point in the development journey of the world’s largest democracy.
The government has launched several schemes to make this special year memorable. The ‘Gaganyaan Mission’ holds special importance in those missions. Under this mission some pilots of Indian Air Force are undergoing training abroad. When they fly into space, India will become the fourth country in the world to carry out a manned space mission. Thus, the flight of our aspirations is not bound to be bound by any limits.
Yet, our feet remain on the solid ground of reality. We realize that we have a long way to go in realizing the dreams of freedom fighters who died for freedom. Those dreams, in our constitution, are clearly embodied by these four succinct words ‘justice’, ‘freedom’, ‘equality’ and ‘fraternity’. For more equality in a world order full of inequality and for more justice in unjust conditions, there is a need to strive resolutely. The concept of justice has become very broad, which includes economic and environmental justice. The road ahead is not very easy. We will have to go through many complex and difficult stages, but we all have extraordinary guidance available. We get this guidance from various sources. We have the power of a very rich tradition of our guides, from the sages of centuries ago to the saints and nation-heroes of the modern era. On the strength of the spirit of Unity in Diversity, we are moving ahead strongly, as a nation.
The life-vision of our forefathers inherited, will prove helpful in this century, not only for us but for the whole world. Modern industrial civilization has posed serious challenges to mankind. Sea levels are rising, glaciers are melting, and the Earth’s temperature is rising. Thus, the problem of climate change is affecting our lives. It is a matter of pride for us that India has not only complied with the Paris Climate Agreement, but is also contributing more than the commitment made to protect the climate. Yet humanity is in dire need of changing its ways globally. That is why the trend of the world towards Indian knowledge tradition is increasing; Such a knowledge tradition was created by the creators of the Vedas and Upanishads, described in the Ramayana and Mahabharata, transmitted by Lord Mahavira, Lord Buddha and Guru Nanak, and reflected in the lives of people like Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhiji said that it takes effort to learn the art of living in harmony with nature, but once you make a connection with rivers and mountains, animals and birds, nature reveals its secrets to you. . Let us take a pledge that we will imbibe this message of Gandhiji and will also make sacrifices for the protection of the environment of India, the land on which we live.
The feeling of patriotism and sacrifice was paramount among our freedom fighters. He faced all kinds of challenges without worrying about his own interests. I have seen that even in the face of Corona crisis, lakhs of people have taken enormous risks to protect the health and life of others selflessly towards humanity, without caring for themselves. I heartily appreciate all such covid warriors. Many Kovid warriors have also lost their lives. I salute the memory of all of them.
Recently, on the occasion of ‘Kargil Vijay Diwas’, I wanted to visit ‘Kargil War Memorial – Dras’ in Ladakh to pay tribute to our brave soldiers. But on the way, due to bad weather, it was not possible for me to reach that monument. In honor of the brave soldiers, that day I paid homage to the martyrs at the ‘Dagger War Memorial’ in Baramulla. That memorial has been built in the memory of all the soldiers who have made the supreme sacrifice in their line of duty. Appreciating the valor and sacrifice of those brave warriors, I noticed that the war memorial has a motto: “My every work, the name of the country.
All of us countrymen should imbibe this motto in the form of mantra and work with full devotion and dedication for the development of the nation. I would like that with this spirit of keeping the interest of the nation and society paramount, all of us countrymen should unite to take India forward on the path of progress.