Key to India’s success is its diversity: President Kovind

We need to sculpt a robust, high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society, says Ram Nath Kovind

GN Bureau | July 25, 2017


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“The key to India’s success is its diversity,” said Ram Nath Kovind after being sworn-in as president at the Central Hall of parliament on Tuesday.
 
“Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique. In this land we find a mix of states and regions, religions, languages, cultures, lifestyles and much more. We are so different and yet so similar and united,” said Kovind who became the second dalit to be president after K R Narayanan. He was administered the oath of office by chief justice JS Khehar.
 
In his speech, Kovind recalled his humble background and said that he grew up in a mud house, in a small village. “My journey has been a long one, and yet this journey is hardly mine alone. It is so telling of our nation and our society also. For all its problems, it follows that basic mantra given to us in the Preamble to the Constitution – of ensuring Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity and I will always continue to follow this basic mantra.”
 
He said: “We need to build an India that is an economic leader as well as a moral exemplar. For us, those two touchstones can never be separate. They are and must forever be linked.”
 
Kovind, who was born in a village in Uttar Pradesh, said that the India of the 21st century will be one that is in conformity with our ancient values as well as compliant with the Fourth Industrial Revolution. There is no dichotomy there, no question of choice. We must combine tradition and technology, the wisdom of an age-old Bharat and the science of a contemporary India.
 
“Nations are not built by governments alone. The government can at best be a facilitator, and a trigger for society’s innate entrepreneurial and creative instincts.”
 
He went on to say that India’s voice counts in today’s world. “The entire planet is drawn to Indian culture and soft power. The global community looks to us for solutions to international problems – whether terrorism, money laundering or climate change. In a globalised world, our responsibilities are also global.”
 
Kovind, who was governor of Bihar before he quit to contest the presidential election against UPA nominee Meira Kumar, noted that we have achieved a lot as a nation, “but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster should be relentless”.
 
“This is especially so as we approach the 75th Year of our independence in 2022. What must also bother us is our ability to enhance access and opportunity for the last person and the last girl-child from an under-privileged family if I may put it so, in the last house in the last village. This must include a quick and affordable justice delivery system in all judicial forums.”
 
He added: “We need to sculpt a robust, high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society, as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and Deen Dayal Upadhyay ji. These are integral to our sense of humanism. This is the India of our dreams, an India that will provide equality of opportunities. This will be the India of the 21st century.”
 

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