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Thursday, Aug 22, 2019

‘India has no place for bigotry’, says Sonia Gandhi in her Independence Day message

Rahul Gandhi had decided to step down following the party’s dismal performance in the recent national elections in which the Congress managed to get just 52 Lok Sabha seats.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2019 23:18 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Congress party's interim president Sonia Gandhi offers sweets to a girl during 73rd Independence Day celebrations at AICC office, in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug 15, 2019.
Congress party's interim president Sonia Gandhi offers sweets to a girl during 73rd Independence Day celebrations at AICC office, in New Delhi, Thursday, Aug 15, 2019. (PTI)
         

Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday called upon the nation to “stand against every act of injustice, intolerance and discrimination to truly cherish freedom” in an Independence Day message that talked about how the country has surged ahead across arenas, while pointing out that the founding principles of “truth, non-violence, compassion and unwavering patriotism” remain at its core.

Gandhi, 72, added that India has no place for “bigotry, superstition, sectarianism, fanaticism, racialism, intolerance or injustice”, yet millions of citizens encounter discrimination every day. “We must rise as a nation to stand against every act of injustice, intolerance and discrimination to truly cherish our freedom,” she said.

Watch| PM Modi interacts with children after Independence day speech

Sonia Gandhi, who took over as the interim Congress president on Saturday after her son Rahul Gandhi rejected repeated pleas by colleagues to reconsider his decision to resign as the party chief, hoisted the national flag at the Congress headquarters in Delhi in the presence of senior party leaders.

Rahul Gandhi had decided to step down following the party’s dismal performance in the recent national elections in which the Congress managed to get just 52 Lok Sabha seats.

Reminding the nation that Independence was a result of immeasurable sacrifices of those who made the country what it is today, Sonia Gandhi called upon every citizen to observe the solemn duty of “protecting and preserving the values of freedom, brotherhood, peace and equality”.

“We must not forget the supreme sacrifice of our armed forces in protecting the integrity of India,” she said in the message, while paying tribute to farmers, labourers, artisans, scientists, tradesmen, teachers, artists, writers and thinkers.

She added the principles of compassion, coexistence and inclusive development as the indelible features of the Indian polity, society and economy.

Earlier in the day, Rahul quoted Mahatma Gandhi while greeting the nation on Independence Day. “Complete independence will be complete only to the extent of our approach in practice to truth and non-violence,” he tweeted. “My best wishes to all of you on this our 73rd Independence Day.”

First Published: Aug 15, 2019 22:33 IST

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