Millennium Post

Remain non-violent when fighting for a cause: Prez to countrymen on R-Day eve

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday urged people, particularly the youth, to remain non-violent when fighting for a cause and stressed on the need to "hold fast to constitutional methods" of achieving social and economic objectives.

His remarks come in the backdrop of protests against the new citizenship law although he made no reference to them.

In his customary address to the nation on the eve of 71st Republic Day, Kovind cited Mahatma Gandhi's gift of 'Ahimsa' (non-violence) to the humanity and said that his talisman for deciding whether an act is right or wrong "applies to the functioning of our democracy". He said modern India comprises three organs - Legislature, Executive and Judiciary - which are necessarily interlinked and interdependent.

"Yet, on ground, the people comprise the State. 'We the People' are the prime movers of the Republic. With us, the people of India rests the real power to decide our collective future," he said.

Stressing that both the government and the opposition have "important roles to play", the president said "while giving expression to their political ideas both must move forward in tandem to ensure that development of the country and welfare of its people are promoted consistently". In his televised address, Kovind said Gandhi's ideals remain relevant in the nation-building efforts.

"It should be part of our daily routine to introspect on Gandhiji's message of truth and non-violence, which has become all the more necessary in our times," he said in his speech.

Recalling the importance of January 26, he said that even before 1947, this day was celebrated 'Purna Swaraj Day' (complete independence day) from 1930 to 1947.

Kovind said though the Constitution gave rights to all the citizens of a free democratic nation, but also placed on responsibility to always adhere to the central tenets of the democracy - justice, liberty, equality and fraternity.

"It becomes easier for us to follow these constitutional ideals, if we keep in mind the life and values of the Father of our Nation. By doing so, we will be adding a meaningful dimension to our celebrations of 150th birth anniversary of Gandhiji," he added.

The president said the present third decade of the 21st century will be "the decade of the rise of New India and a new generation of Indians.

"More and more of those born in this century are participating in the national discourse. With the passage of time, we are gradually losing living links with our great freedom struggle, but there is no reason to worry about the continuity of the beliefs that guided it," he said.

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