In his inaugural address to the nation on the eve of India’s 71st Independence Day, newly elected President Ram Nath Kovind greeted the nation and covered a wide range of issued concerning nation building in his speech at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. The president used the opportunity to declare that the country had come out stronger and more honest after the hardships of demonetisation, and also heaped praise on policy actions of the Narendra Modi government, including the recently introduced GST reform, the Swachh Bharat Andolan, the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Andolan and the voluntary surrender of vast LPG subsidies that the Modi government instituted.
The president set 2022, which will be the 75th anniversary of the birth of the nation, as the target year for a reinvented India where there was no more social injustice against the Dalit, Adivasi and minority communities. He stressed that the “humanist component” was an essential part of the nation’s DNA and a good quality of life for every citizen should be the goal – the standards include a house for every family, power on demand, better roads and telecom, a modern railway network, rapid and sustained growth, as the president elaborated.
The president also took time out in his speech to pay tribute to the generation of freedom fighters who struggled for India’s independence, mentioning Jawaharlal Nehru, Mahatma Gandhi, Vallabhai Patel and BR Ambedkar as shining role models for the country that is still seeking its place in the global order. He stressed that the diversity found in the nation’s early heroes was an example for how to build the nation today, and expressed his desire to equip the future generation with the right tools to carry the great work of these leaders to fruition.
India celebrates the 71st anniversary of its creation, and all eyes are on PM Modi who will address the nation from the Red Fort tomorrow.