Society needs harmony, not strife: President
Mhow (MP): President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday cautioned people against divisive forces, saying the nation needed harmony and not conflict. Speaking here at the birthplace of chief Constitution-maker B R Ambedkar on the occasion of his birth anniversary, Kovind urged people to follow the path of peace, harmony and brotherhood shown by the Dalit icon.
His statements assume significance as they come in the backdrop of the April 2 nationwide Dalit bandh, which saw large -scale violence in several states, including Madhya Pradesh where more than half a dozen people lost their lives.
"The society needs 'samrasta' (harmony) today and not 'samar' (conflict or war)...It needs non-violence and peace," Kovind said.
"I appeal to the countrymen, especially the youth, to follow the path of peace, harmony and brotherhood shown by Ambedkar, and unitedly work to built the country according to Ambedkar's dreams," he said.
Earlier, he paid tributes to Ambedkar at his memorial here. In doing so, Kovind became the first president to pay homage to the legendary social reformer at his birthplace on his birth anniversary.
"The country saw 13 presidents before me. I came to know I am the first president to visit Ambedkar's birthplace on the occasion of his birth anniversary," Kovind said.
The president was addressing a function organised to celebrate the 127th birth anniversary of Independent India's first Law Minister. "As president, I have got the responsibility to protect the Constitution, whose main architect was Babasaheb Ambedkar. If, after becoming president, I did not bow my head at his birthplace, then I would have felt a sense of guilt," he said.