Diversity is key to India’s success: Kovind

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New Delhi: India’s new President Ram Nath Kovind on July 25 flagged pluralism and unity in diversity as cornerstones of the country’s success.
Kovind said the “key to India’s success is its diversity. Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique.” Nations, he said, were “not built by governments alone” and required national pride, in the soil and water of the country, in its diversity and inclusiveness, in its culture and “in the little things we do everyday.”
Earlier he was administered the oath by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar at a ceremony in the Central Hall of Parliament.
Making a special mention of Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, the new President said freedom for these leaders was not simply political freedom but economic and social freedom for millions of Indians.
President Kovind, the first member of the BJP to have reached that position since independence, made special mention of one of Jan Sangh’s founders Deendayal Updhyaya in his speech.
“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 Upadhyayaji,” he said.
Each citizen of India was a “nation builder”, he said, making special mention of women and the many roles they undertake. “Women who despite responsibilities at home and work raise children to be ideal citizens are nation builders.”
The new President said a farmer toiling in the blazing sun to feed fellow citizens is a nation builder as is a scientist concentrating tirelessly to send an Indian space mission to Mars, or invent a vaccine. “A young person who founds a start-up and becomes a job creator is a nation builder.”
According to him, “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.”
President Kovind addressed an audience of members of both Houses of Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former prime ministers H.D. Deve Gowda and Manmohan Singh, former president Pratibha Patil, chief ministers of several States and Justices of the Supreme Court. Apart from First Lady Savita Kovind, 22 members of the new President’s family attended the oath-taking ceremony.
The ceremonials associated with the transfer of office of the President of India began early morning with the new occupant’s visit to Rashtrapati Bhavan, a guided tour of the place by former President Pranab Mukherjee and a guard of honor in the forecourt of the Bhavan.

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