India's newly elected President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday acknowledged that India's daughters are the biggest hope for the nation.
Addressing the nation on the eve of the 76th Independence Day, India's first tribal woman President said, "Our daughters are the biggest hope for the nation. Some of them brought laurels for the country at the recently held Commonwealth Games. Of course, India’s sportspersons have been making the country proud by their performance in international competitions. A large number of our winners come from underprivileged segments of society. From becoming fighter pilots to space scientists, our daughters are scaling great heights.''
President Murmu said, "India’s new-found confidence stems from the spirit of its youth, its farmers, and above all, its women. Gender inequalities are reducing and women are moving ahead, breaking many glass ceilings. Their increasing participation in social and political processes will prove decisive. At the grassroots level, we have more than 14 lakh elected women representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions.
"The keyword for India today is compassion; for the downtrodden, for the needy and for those on the margins. Some of our national values have been incorporated in our Constitution as the Fundamental Duties of the citizens. I appeal to every citizen to know about their Fundamental Duties and follow them in letter and spirit so that our nation reaches new heights.''
The President observed, "In celebrating Independence Day, we are celebrating our ‘Bharatiyata’. Our country is full of diversity. But, at the same time, we all have something in common. It is this common thread which binds all of us together and inspires us to walk together with the spirit of Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.''
She extended greetings to all Indians living in the country and abroad. " I am delighted to address you on this momentous occasion. India is completing 75 years as an independent nation. Fourteenth August is observed as ‘Partition Horrors Remembrance Day’ so as to promote social harmony, unity and empowerment of people. Tomorrow marks the day when we had freed ourselves from the shackles of colonial rulers and decided to reshape our destiny. As all of us celebrate the anniversary of that day, we bow to all those men and women who made enormous sacrifices to make it possible for us to live in a free India.''
The President drew attention to the way India set an example by its cautious handling of the pandemic. "The world has seen a new India rising in recent years, more so after the outbreak of COVID-19. Our response to the pandemic has been appreciated everywhere. We launched the biggest vaccination drive in human history with vaccines manufactured in the country itself. Last month, we crossed the 200-crore mark in cumulative vaccine coverage. In combating the pandemic, our achievements have been better than those of many developed countries. For this feat, we are grateful to our scientists, doctors, nurses, paramedics and the staff associated with vaccination. ''
Murmu said that the pandemic has uprooted lives and also economies in the entire world. "When the world has been battling the economic consequences of the great crisis, India got its act together and is now moving forward. India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world. India's start-up eco-system ranks high in the world. The success of start-ups in our country, especially the growing number of unicorns is a shining example of our industrial progress.''
President Murmu said, "It is a cause of celebration not only for all of us but also for every advocate of democracy around the world. When India won independence, there were many international leaders and experts who were skeptical about the success of democratic form of government in India. They had their reasons to be doubtful. India, after so many years of exploitation at the hands of foreign rulers, was marked by poverty and illiteracy. But we Indians proved the skeptics wrong. Democracy not only grew roots in this soil, it was enriched too.''
The President reminded the citizens that in most other well-established democracies, women had to wage long-drawn struggles to get the right to vote." But India adopted universal adult franchise right since the beginning of the Republic. Thus, the makers of modern India enabled each and every adult citizen to participate in the collective process of nation-building. Thus, India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy."
President Murmu said, "I believe this was not a coincidence. At the beginning of civilisation, saints and seers of this land had developed a vision of humanity that was defined by equality of all; indeed, oneness of all. The great Freedom Struggle and its leaders like Mahatma Gandhi re-discovered our ancient values for modern times. Then, it is no wonder our democracy has Indian characteristics. Gandhiji advocated decentralisation and power to the people."
The President said, "For 75 weeks now, the nation has been commemorating these noble ideals that won us freedom. In March 2021, we began the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with the re-enactment of the Dandi March. This festival is dedicated to the people of India. Based on the success achieved by the people, the resolve to build 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' is also a part of this Mahotsav. This grand festival is going ahead with the ‘Har Ghar Tiranga Abhiyan’. The Indian tricolours are fluttering in every nook and corner of the country. Great martyrs would have been thrilled to see the spirit of the Independence Movement coming alive again on such a massive scale.''
President Murmu added, "Our glorious Freedom Struggle was waged bravely across the vast territory of our country. Many great freedom fighters did their duty and passed on the torch of awakening leaving little trace of their heroic deeds. Forgotten for long were many heroes and their struggles, especially among the peasant and tribal populations. The government’s decision last year to observe 15th November as ‘Janajatiya Gaurav Divas’ is welcome because our tribal heroes are not merely local or regional icons but they inspire the entire nation."
The President said that for a nation, particularly an ancient one such as India, the passage of 75 years is merely a blink of an eye. "But for us as individuals, it is a lifetime. Senior citizens among us have witnessed a dramatic change in their lifetime. They have seen how, after Independence, all the generations have toiled hard; how we met great challenges and how we have taken charge of our destiny. The lessons learnt in the process will prove useful as we move towards the next milestone in the journey of the nation – the Amrit Kaal, the 25 years to the celebration of the centenary of our Independence."
President Murmu said, "By the year 2047, we will have fully realised the dreams of our freedom fighters. We will have given a concrete shape to the vision of those who, led by Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar, drafted the Constitution. We are already on course to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat, an India that would have realised its true potential. But this is only the beginning.
"A series of economic reforms and policy initiatives have been preparing the ground for a long term.Economic success is leading to an ease in living too. Economic reforms are rightly accompanied by innovative welfare initiatives. A home of one’s own is no longer a dream for the poor, but a reality for more and more people, thanks to the ‘Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana’. Similarly, under the ‘Jal Jeevan Mission’, tap water connection is being provided to every household since the launch of the ‘Har Ghar Jal’ scheme."