“My election is a proof of the fact that the poor in India can have dreams and fulfil them too”
GN Bureau | July 25, 2022
Droupadi Murmu became the 15th president of India, when Chief Justice N. V. Ramana administered the oath of office to her in the Central Hall of parliament on Monday. In her address to the nation on the assumption of office, Murmu spoke of the democratic ideals and outlined her vision of the progress over the next quarter century of Amritkal – up to the centenary of India’s independence.
She expressed her “heartfelt gratitude” to all members of parliament and legislative assemblies for electing her to the highest Constitutional post of India. “Your vote for me is an expression of the faith of crores of citizens of the country,” she said.
Murmu noted that she was elected as the president at a crucial time when the nation was celebrating ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’. “It is also a coincidence that my political career started when the country was celebrating its 50th year of independence. And today, in the 75th year of independence, I have been assigned this new responsibility. It is my great privilege to be given this responsibility at such a historic time when India is engaged with full vigour in realising its vision for the next 25 years.”
She noted that she also happened to be the first president of the country who was born in independent India.
“We have to work at a fast pace in this Amritkal to fulfil the expectations of our freedom fighters from the citizens of independent India. In these 25 years, the path to attain the goals of Amritkal will proceed on two tracks – Sabka Prayas aur Sabka Kartavya (everyone's effort and everyone's duty). The new development journey towards the bright future of India has to be undertaken by our collective efforts, following the path of duty.”
Murmu recalled that she started her journey of life from a small tribal village in Odisha and from the background that she comes from, it was like a dream for her to get elementary education. “But despite many obstacles, my determination remained strong and I became the first daughter of my village to go to college. I belong to tribal society. I have got the opportunity to rise from serving as a ward councillor to becoming the President of India. This is the greatness of India, the mother of democracy,” she said.
“It is a tribute to the power of our democracy that a daughter born in a poor house in a remote tribal area can reach the highest constitutional position in India. That I attained the post of President is not my personal achievement, it is the achievement of every poor person in India. My election is a proof of the fact that the poor in India can have dreams and fulfil them too.”
Recalling the freedom struggle which prepared the roadmap for India's new journey as a nation, she said it was a continuous stream of those struggles and sacrifices which had nurtured so many ideals and possibilities for independent India. “Pujya Bapu had resorted to Swaraj, Swadeshi, Swachhta and Satyagraha to show us the way for realising Indian cultural ideals. Countless personalities like Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Nehru ji, Sardar Patel, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru and Chandrashekhar Azad had taught us to keep national pride as paramount.
“Many brave women icons like Rani Lakshmi Bai, Rani Velu Nachiyar, Rani Gaidinliu and Rani Chennamma had taken to new heights the role of women power in defending and building the nation. From Santhal revolution, Paika revolution to Kol revolution and Bhil revolution, all these revolutions had strengthened the tribal contribution in the freedom struggle. We derived inspiration from the sacrifice of 'Dharti Aaba' Bhagwan Birsa Munda Ji for social upliftment and patriotism.”
Murmu also spoke of India adding a new chapter of development in every field and India going to host the G-20 Group under its chairmanship in the coming months.
“Moving ahead in every field – from ‘Vocal for Local’ to ‘Digital India’ – today's India, marching in step with the world, is all set for 'Industrial Revolution Four Point O'. The youth of India have a big role in creating a record number of start-ups, in numerous innovations and in the adoption of digital technology in far flung areas.”
Becoming Gandhi: Living the Mahatma`s 6 Moral Truths in Immoral Times By Perry Garfinkel Simon & Schuster India, 264 pages, Rs 699
I Am an Ordinary Man: India’s Struggle for Freedom (1914–1948) Edited by Gopalkrishna Gandhi Aleph, 456 pages, Rs 999
Selected Works of C. Rajagopalachari: Vol. VIII, 1946–48 By Ravi K. Mishra and Narendra Shukla (Editors) Orient BlackSwan, 460 pages, Rs 2,575
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