India's destiny is to embrace the idea of others: President
New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday expressed confidence that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will immensely benefit from the revocation of provisions of Article 370 that gave special status to the state and its bifurcation into two Union Territories.
Delivering his Independence Day address to the nation, Kovind also said the changes made in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh recently will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country.
"...I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions. They will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country," Kovind said in the address on the eve of the 73rd Independence Day. The Modi government announced on August 5 the removal of some provisions of Article 370 to take away Jammu and Kashmir's special status and proposed bifurcation of the state into two Union territories--Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh--a far-reaching decision that seeks to redraw the map and future of a region at the centre of protracted militancy.
The measures later secured Parliament's approval. The two UTs will come into existence on October 31.Kovind made a reference to the changes in Jammu and Kashmir while recalling that the illustrious generation that led us to freedom did not perceive Independence only in terms of transfer of political power. "They considered it a stepping stone in a longer and larger process of nation building and national welding. Their objective was to improve the life of each individual, each family and society as a whole."
The President said the recent enactment of new laws and amendments to existing ones will also be beneficial to people of Jammu and Kashmir, adding the law making instant triple talaq a criminal offence will deliver justice for "our daughters".
"These include progressive, egalitarian laws and provisions related to the Right to Education; accessing public information through the Right to Information; reservations in education and employment and other facilities for traditionally deprived communities; and justice for our daughters by abolishing unequal practices such as instant triple talaq," he said.
Kovind also underlined the need for the government to build financial infrastructure in the form of a transparent, inclusive banking system, an online friendly tax system and easier access to capital for legitimate entrepreneurs.
The President observed that India has rarely been a judgemental society and rather it has had an "easy-going, live-and-let-live organising principle."
"India's history and destiny, India's legacy and future, are a function of coexistence and conciliation, of reform and reconciliation--of expanding our hearts and embracing the idea of others."