President Ram Nath Kovind today asserted that contentious issues and extraneous debates should not be allowed to distract us at a “pivotal moment” when the country is at the cusp of achieving many long-awaited goals.
In his televised address to the nation on the eve of India’s 72nd Independence Day, Kovind recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s “most noble mantra” on the power of ‘ahinsa'(non-violence) being far greater than the power of ‘hinsa’ (violence), remarks that come against the backdrop of incidents of lynching and mob violence in some parts of the country.
“The power to stay your hand is far greater than the power to strike with your hand and ‘hinsa’ has no place in the society”. Touching upon a range of issues, the president also said women were entitled to a life of their choice and security to fulfil their potential, amid concerns over their privacy and safety.
“We are at a juncture in our history that is very different from any period we have so far experienced. We are at the cusp of achieving many of our long-awaited goals.
Universal access to electricity, the elimination of open defecation, the elimination of homelessness, the very elimination of extreme poverty is achievable and attainable. We are at a pivotal moment. Let contentious issues and extraneous debates not distract us,” Kovind said.
The president said that every Indian who does not jump the queue and respects the civic space and rights of those ahead in the line lives up to the principles of the country’s freedom struggle.
“It’s a very small gesture. Let us try and abide by it,” Kovind said.
Highlighting the role of farmers in providing food security to fellow citizens and the contribution by the country’s armed and police forces in battling terrorism and ensuring law and order, he said every Indian who does his or her job with sincerity and commitment is upholding the principles of our freedom struggle.