President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday addressed the nation on the eve of the 76th Independence Day and remembered the sacrifices of all the freedom fighters.
Asserting that India’s economy is growing, she said that the country’s economic development is all inclusive and gender disparities too are reducing.
“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,” she said.
She also pointed out that when the world has been battling the economic consequences of the great crisis, India got its act together and is now moving forward.
“On 15 August 1947, we cut the shackles of colonial rule. While celebrating the anniversary of that auspicious day, we salute all the freedom fighters. They sacrificed everything so that we can all breathe in a free India,” she 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,” she added.
The President said that international leaders and experts were skeptical about the success of democratic form of government in India but Indians proved the skeptics wrong. Democracy not only grew roots in this soil, it was enriched too, she added.
Highlighting that women had to wage long-drawn struggles to get the right to vote in most other well-established democracies, Murmu said that 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,” she 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.
Lauding the ‘National Education Policy’, Murmu said it is aimed at preparing the future generation for the next stage of industrial revolution while also reconnecting it with our heritage.
She also welcomed the government’s decision to celebrate Janjatiya Gaurav Divas on November 15 every year. “Our tribal superheroes are not just local or regional icons but they are a source of inspiration for the entire nation,” she said.
The President said that India 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 pandemic, our achievements have been better than those of many developed countries,” she said.
“Our daughters are the biggest hope for the nation,” the President said and referred to the recently held Commonwealth Games in which sports persons especially women have been making the country proud with 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,” she said.
The Independence Day celebration comes at a time when India, like most countries, is seen to be coming out of the grim shadows of Covid-19, which crippled normal life and marred economic activities after its outbreak in 2020.
The government had launched a host of programmes, including ‘Har Ghar Tiranga’, in the run up to the 75th anniversary of the independence. Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hoist the national flag at the ramparts of Red Fort and address the nation for the ninth consecutive time on Monday.