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Highlights: President Ram Nath Kovind asks rich to give up entitlements voluntarily, eliminate the curse of poverty

President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation on the eve of India’s 69th Republic Day, and recalled the contributions of freedom fighters, soldiers, farmers, mothers, doctors, teachers and scientists among several others. Here are the live updates:

india Updated: Jan 25, 2018 20:02 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
President’s address to the nation,Ram Nath Kovind,Live updates
President Ram Nath Kovind said a disciplined and morally upright nation is built by disciplined and morally upright institutions.(Sushil Kumar/HT file photo)

President Ram Nath Kovind addressed the nation on Thursday on the eve of India’s 69th Republic Day, and spoke about the need to give equal importance to the girl child.

Here are the live updates:

7.38pm: With those words, I once again wish all of you a very happy Republic Day. And wish all of you a very bright and fulfilling future. Thank you, Jai Hind! : President Kovind

7.37pm: The promise of a developed India beckons us. This is the new stage of our nation building project on which we have embarked. This is the Republic that our young people need to take forward and enhance – in keeping with their vision, their ambition and their ideals: Kovind

7.37pm: Our Republic cannot rest without meeting the basic needs and essential dignity of our less well-off brothers and sisters. It is our sacred obligation to eliminate the curse of poverty in the shortest possible time. This is non-negotiable for the Republic: Kovind

7.36pm: In 2020, our Republic will turn 70. In 2022, we will celebrate the 75th anniversary of our Independence. These are special occasions and we must strive, in the manner of the leaders of our national movement, to build the edifice of a better India: President Kovind

7.35pm: Such principles are also meant for our global Indian family. When Indians living abroad face humanitarian or similar challenges, it is natural for us as a country to reach out to them. We have, and we will continue to do so: Kovind

7.35pm: The principles of compassion, of assisting those in need, of building capacities of our neighbours, or even of those further away, underpin our society. These are the very principles that we bring to the international community: Kovind

7.34pm: The highest stage of India’s nation building project is to contribute to building a better world – a composite and cohesive world, a world at peace with itself and at peace with nature. This is the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – of the World being One Family: President Kovind

7.33pm: Institutions that are always more important than the individuals located there. And institutions where the holders and members make every attempt to live up to the office they occupy as trustees of the people: President Kovind

7.33pm: A disciplined and morally upright nation is built by disciplined and morally upright institutions. Institutions that respect their fraternal relationship with other institutions. Institutions that maintain the integrity, discipline and limits of their functioning: President Kovind

7.32pm: Where a better-off family voluntarily gives up an entitlement – it could be subsidised LPG today and some other entitlement tomorrow – so that another family, which has a greater need, can avail it. Philanthropy is part of our age-old culture. Let us renew it: President

7.32pm: A nation with a sense of selflessness is built by citizens and by a society that embraces selflessness. Where voluntary groups clean public places such as beaches and rivers. And care for orphaned children and homeless people, and even for homeless animals: Kovind

7.31pm: Where one can disagree with another viewpoint – or even with a historical context - without mocking a fellow citizen’s dignity and personal space. This is fraternity in action: Kovind

7.31pm: A civic-minded nation is built by civic-minded neighbourhoods. Where we respect the next-door person’s space, privacy and rights. Where we do not inconvenience our neighbours while celebrating a festival or while resorting to a protest or on any other occasion: President Kovind

7.30pm: We have made strides in tackling hunger, but the challenge of malnutrition and of bringing the right micronutrients to the plate of every child is still there. This is important for both physical and cognitive development of our children: Kovind

7.30pm: An innovative nation is built by innovative children. This must be our obsessive goal. Our schooling system has to encourage our children to think and to tinker, not just to memorise and reproduce: Kovind

7.29pm: We have made strides in spreading literacy; now we must expand frontiers of education. Our aspiration must be to upgrade and enlarge our education system – and make it relevant to 21st century realities of the digital economy, genomics, robotics and automation: Kovind

7.29pm: A confident and forward-looking nation is built by confident and forward-looking young people. Over 60% of our fellow citizens are below the age of 35. It is in them that our hopes lie: Kovind

7.28pm: Governments can bring in policies and laws to ensure justice to women – but these policies and laws can only be made effective by families and communities that must hear the voices of our daughters. We cannot shut our ears to their urgings for change: Kovind

7.28pm: A happy and equal-opportunity nation is built by happy and equal-opportunity families and communities. Families where girls have the same rights and the same access to education and healthcare as boys: Kovind

7.27pm: Nation building is a grand project. But it is also the compilation of a billion smaller projects, each as sacred. Nation building is also about building a family, building a neighbourhood, building a community, building an institution. And building society: Kovind

7.27pm: Lessons from that formative period, the period that gave shape to our Republic, serve us well to this day. They serve us well in whatever we do, wherever we work, whichever goal we aim for. These lessons continue to spur our nation building project: Kovind

7.26pm: Constitution framers were men and women with great foresight. They understood the majesty of the rule of law, and of rule by laws. They represented an important phase in our national life. We are fortunate to have inherited its legacy in the form of the Republic: Kovind

7.25pm: But they did not rest. Instead, they re-doubled their efforts. They immersed themselves in the process of writing a Constitution. They saw the Constitution not just as a basic law for a new nation, but as a scripture for social transformation: Kovind

7.24pm: Independence had come after a great struggle in which millions had participated. They gave their all; many gave their lives. Inspired and led by Mahatma Gandhi, the men and women who took us to freedom could have rested on the gaining of Independence: Kovind

7.23pm: This ethic of equality complemented the liberty that had come at Independence. And a third principle also defined both the cooperative efforts at creating our Republic as well as the India that we wished to be. This was the principle of fraternity: Kovind

7.22pm: It was with the framing and adoption of the Constitution – and the birth of the Republic of India – that we truly achieved the ethic of equality among all citizens, irrespective of religion, region or community: Kovind

7.22pm: Senior citizens who can look back with pride at how far they have brought our Republic; the youth in whom lie the energy, hopes and future of our Republic; and our dear children, who dream for our Republic: Kovind

7.21pm: The scientist who innovates for our Republic; the missile technologist who puts our Republic on a new trajectory; the wise tribal who conserves the ecology of our Republic; the engineer who re-imagines our Republic; the construction worker who builds our Republic: Kovind

7.21pm: The forces that keep our Republic safe; the mother who nurtures our Republic; the doctor who heals our Republic; the nurse who tends to our Republic; the sanitation worker who makes our Republic cleaner and hygienic; the teacher who educates our Republic: Kovind

7.20pm: A Republic is its people. Citizens do not just make up and preserve a Republic; they are its ultimate stakeholders and in fact pillars. Each one of us is a pillar – the soldier who defends our Republic; the farmer who feeds our Republic: Kovind

7.20pm: This is a day to remember with gratitude the enormous efforts and sacrifices of millions of freedom fighters whose blood and sweat gave us Independence and created our Republic. Above all, this is a day to cherish our republican values: Kovind

7.15pm: Kovind asks people to build a nation where girls are given equal treatment like boys in terms of education and healthcare, and equal opportunities.

7.12pm: Kovind recalls contributions of nurses who serve the people, sanitary workers who help keep the nation clean, teachers who educate the people, scientists who innovate, and engineers who help build new infrastructure.

7.10pm: Kovind pays tributes to soldiers who protect the nation, to farmers who feed us, to police and paramilitary forces who provide us security, to mothers who take care of us, and to doctors who treat people who are ill.

7.07pm: Our people are not only the builders of this republic, but are its pillars, says Kovind.

7.05pm: Kovind pays tributes to freedom fighters who fought for India’s independence.

7.02pm: President Ram Nath Kovind greets people on eve of Republic Day.

President Kovind meets Asean heads of state and government

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday received the Asean heads of state and government at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and hosted a lunch in their honour.

Kovind said India’s Act East policy reinforces its ancient links with Southeast Asia through enhanced political, security, economic and cultural ties.

“India greatly values Asean’s role as a proponent of peace, stability and prosperity in the region. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Asean in pursuit of a rules-based regional architecture that is open, inclusive, balanced and equitable,” he said.

Kovind said India and Asean are bound by history and geography. “Culture, commerce and connectivity -- and ideas and thought -- have woven us together in one common fabric. Our partnership is based on our shared heritage and is built on the foundation of strong people-to-people contacts, nurtured through the millennia,” he said.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) comprises Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

The 10 heads of state and government who visited the Rashtrapati Bhavan included Brunei’s Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Thailand’s Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Lao PDR’s Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith.

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 19:06 IST