Without naming but directly pointing at China, President of India Ram Nath Kovind Friday, 14 August 2020, said when the world community was supposed to be fighting together COVID-19, the greatest challenge before humanity, some in our neighbourhood tried to carry out their misadventure of expansion. Our brave soldiers laid down their lives defending our borders.
Those worthy sons of Bharat Mata (Mother India) lived and died for national pride. The entire nation salutes the martyrs of Galwan Valley. Every Indian feels grateful to their family members. Their bravery in combat has demonstrated that while we believe in peace, we are also capable of giving a befitting response to any attempt of aggression. We are proud of the members of our Armed Forces, paramilitary forces and police personnel who protect the borders, and ensure our internal security.
The was addressing the nation on the eve of the 74th Independence Day. Construction of the temple at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi began ten days ago, in Ayodhya, he said adding it was indeed a moment of pride for all. People of the country maintained restraint and patience for a long time and reposed unflinching trust in the judicial system. The issue of Ram Janmabhoomi was resolved through judicial process. All concerned parties and the people respectfully accepted the verdict of the Supreme Court and displayed before the world, Indian ethos of peace, non-violence, love and harmony.
Mahatma Gandhi became the guiding light of our freedom movement, the President said and went on to underscore that he was as much a saint as a political leader. He was a phenomenon that could have happened only in India. Troubled by social strife, economic problems, and climate change, the world seeks relief in Gandhiji’s teachings. His quest for equality and justice is the mantra for our Republic. I am glad to see the younger generations re-discover Gandhiji.
The celebrations of Independence Day this year will be rather restrained as the whole world confronts a deadly virus that has disrupted all activities and taken a heavy toll. It has altered the world we lived in before the pandemic, the President said.
The president said that the nation is indebted to doctors, nurses and other health workers who have been continuously on the forefront of our fight against this virus. Unfortunately, many of them have lost their lives battling the pandemic. They are our national heroes.
Fruther the President said:
Corona Warriors deserve high praise. They go much beyond their call of duty to save lives and ensure essential services. These doctors, health workers, members of Disaster Management Teams, police personnel, sanitation workers, delivery staff, transportation, railway and aviation personnel, providers of various services, government employees, social service organisations and generous citizens have been scripting inspiring stories of courage and selfless service.
It is very reassuring to note that, the central government, while anticipating the tremendous challenge, responded effectively and well in time. For a country so vast and diverse with high population density, meeting this challenge requires super-human efforts. All state governments took measures in accordance with local circumstances. People also supported whole-heartedly.
We have learnt some tough lessons in the year 2020. The invisible virus has demolished the illusion that human being is the master of nature. I believe, it is still not too late for humanity to correct its course and live in harmony with nature. The pandemic, like climate change, has awakened the global community to our shared destiny.
Amid the Corona crisis, Cyclone Amphan hit us in West Bengal and Odisha. Concerted response of Disaster Management Teams, Central and State agencies and alert citizens helped minimize loss of life.
Offices of the Government of India and of the state governments have been extensively using virtual interface to discharge their functions. The judiciary has been conducting virtual court proceedings to deliver justice. In Rashtrapati Bhavan also, we have used technology to conduct virtual conferences and carry out many activities. IT and communication tools have promoted e-learning and distance education. Work-from-home has become the norm in many sectors. Technology has enabled certain establishments in government and private sectors to work overtime to keep the wheels of the economy running. Thus, we have learnt the lesson that adoption of science and technology, in harmony with nature, will help sustain our survival and growth.Floods also have been disrupting lives of
our people in the North-East and eastern state.
The poor and daily wage-earners are the worst hit by the pandemic. In order to support them through this phase of crisis, virus containment-efforts have been supplemented by welfare interventions. By introducing ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana’, the government has enabled crores of people to earn their livelihood, and mitigate the impact of job-loss, dislocation and disruption caused by the pandemic.
The ‘National Education Policy’ spells a long term vision with far-reaching impact. It will strengthen the culture of ‘Inclusion’, ‘Innovation’ and ‘Institution’ in the sphere of education.
With a view to providing futuristic education to our children and youth, the Central Government has decided to implement the National Education Policy. I am confident that with the implementation of this policy, a new quality education system will be developed and this will transform the future challenges into opportunities, paving the way for a New India.
When India won freedom, many predicted that our experiment with democracy will not last long. They saw our ancient traditions and rich diversity as hurdles in democratization of our polity. But we have always nurtured them as our strengths that make the largest democracy in the world so vibrant. India has to continue playing its leading role for the betterment of humanity.