President Ram Nath Kovind also hailed the corona warriors for their selfless service.(PTI Photo/File)
President Ram Nath Kovind also hailed the corona warriors for their selfless service.(PTI Photo/File)

China’s ‘expansionist’ designs and India’s growing global ‘clout’ tops President Kovind’s address to the nation

President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation on the eve of the 74th Independence Day
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By | Edited by Abhinav Sahay
UPDATED ON AUG 14, 2020 08:10 PM IST

President Ram Nath Kovind indirectly hit out at China’s ‘expansionist’ designs, praised India’s response to coronavirus pandemic as an example before the rest of the world, cited the ground breaking ceremony at Ayodhya for building of the Ram Temple as example of India’s unity in diversity and hailed the new education policy as instrument of change in the country during his address to the nation on the eve of the 74th Independence Day.

The President also took note of the destruction caused by Cyclone Amphan in West Bengal and Odisha earlier this year.

“It is 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 wholeheartedly. With our committed attitude we have succeeded in containing the magnitude of the pandemic and saving a large number of lives. This is worth emulating by the wider world,” he said lauding India’s collective response to the global pandemic.

He went on to praise the essential service providers led by the medical professionals.

“The nation is indebted to doctors, nurses and other health workers who have been continuously on the forefront of the fight against this virus. Unfortunately many of them have lost lives battling the pandemic. They are our national heroes,” he added.

President Kovind also highlighted that India had generated enormous goodwill by reaching out confidently to other countries that needed help.

“In responding to calls from countries for supplies of medicine, India has again shown that it stands by the global community in times of distress. We have been at the forefront involving regional and global strategies to the pandemic,” President Kovind said, adding that the whole world was recognizing the Indian value of considering the world as one family.

He went on to cite the overwhelming vote in favour of India’s candidature for the non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security council to reinforce his point about India’s global standing.

President Kovind also mentioned Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana announced by PM Narendra Modi as a measure that helped the poor mitigate the impact of the disease. He also took note of the Vande Bharat mission to bring back Indians stranded in foreign countries.

He also stressed on the government’s policy of self reliance to say, “India’s self reliance means self sufficiency without alienating or distancing from the world. The world now realizes what our sages had said long ago, the global community is but one family, Vasudaib Kutumbkam.”

On the Galwan Valley clashes with China, he said, “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 lived and died for national pride. The entire nation salutes the martyrs of Galwan Valley,” he said.

Speaking on another important event this year, President Kovind said that the beginning of the construction of the Ayodhya Ram Temple was a “moment of pride” for all.

“Only ten days ago, construction of the temple at Shri Ram Janmabhoomi began, in Ayodhya. 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,” he said.

He also lauded the newly introduced National Education Policy (NEP) as the means to provide futuristic education children and youth while will transform future challenges into opportunities paving the way for a “new India”.

“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. 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,” he said.

President’s address on the eve of the 74th Independence Day comes in a year marked by the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on the economy and other spheres of life.

Even the I-Day on Saturday will be celebrated under restrictions placed on the number of visitors at the iconic Red Fort and observance of special safety protocols during the curtailed programme to keep the highly contagious disease at bay.

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