Calling for creating a New India by 2022, president Ram Nath Kovind on Monday said the country must be a compassionate and egalitarian society that does not discriminate on gender or religious background. In his first address to the nation, on the eve of 71st Independence Day, he hailed the government’s demonetization decision and the people’s “wholehearted” support in the battle against corruption and black money, voluntarily giving up LPG fuel subsidy and the roll out of Goods and Services Tax.
He referred to Gandhi, Nehru, Patel, Bose and various other freedom fighters and also invoked Jana Sangh ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhyay, saying New India must include “that integral humanist component that is in our DNA and which has defined our country and our civilization.” “New India must be a society rushing towards the future, but also a compassionate society,” he said.
The second Dalit president said India must be a compassionate society where the traditionally disadvantaged, whether SCs, STs or OBCs are part of the country’s national development process. Recalling the role of freedom fighters, Kovind said people need to draw inspiration from them and imbibe their spirit and invoke it in the task of nation building.
Asking people to work with unity and purpose to ensure that benefits of government policy reach all sections of society, the president said for this the partnership between citizens and government remains essential.