President Droupadi Murmu said on Sunday the Indian youth should pledge to give everything they can for the sake of safety, security, progress and prosperity of the country. “Our beloved country has given us everything we have in our life. . . Our existence will become meaningful only in building a glorious India,” she said in her maiden Independence Day-eve address to the nation.
She also said that in celebrating Independence Day, India is also celebrating its ‘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 said. She also highlighted India’s achievements in handling Covid-19 and the vaccination drive that followed and added India is now among the fastest growing major economies in the world, despite the pandemic, with a high-ranking startup ecosystem.
The exhortation of President Murmu, the first head of the state to have been born after Independence, to the youth to repay the debt to the country seemed to mirror the Narendra Modi government’s pitch to citizens to balance their rights with their duty to contribute to nation-building. It was also reminiscent of the ‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’ theme that defined former US president JFK Kennedy’s inaugural address.
“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,” she said.
“The success of startups in our country, especially the growing number of unicorns is a shining example of our industrial progress. The government and policymakers deserve credit for beating the global trend and helping the economy flourish,” the President said.
From the success of the Pradhan Mantri GatiShakti Yojana, which integrates India’s transport systems across water, land and air routes, to the Digital India initiative and the National Education Policy, President Murmu also said India is readying the future generation for the next stage of industrial revolution while also “reconnecting it with our heritage”.
She said India helped the world discover the true potential of democracy, served as a beacon for showing compassion towards the downtrodden, needy and those on the margins, and proved sceptics wrong by not only letting democracy grow roots in the Indian soil but also allowing it to be enriched. She also spoke about the environment and said when the world is facing new challenges, India must remain determined to preserve its flora and fauna.