Urging people to become partners in the development process of the country, President Ram Nath Kovind said that there should partnership between citizens and the government.
President Ram Nath Kovind addresses the Nation on the eve of 71st Independence Day, in New Delhi on Monday. He stressed that the "humanist component" was an essential part of the nation's DNA and a good quality of life for every citizen should be the goal - the standards include a house for every family, power on demand, better roads and telecom, a modern railway network, rapid and sustained growth, as the president elaborated.
"The stress on the moral basis of policy and action, belief in unity and discipline, faith in a synthesis of heritage and science, and promotion of the rule of law and of education - all of it was located in a partnership between citizen and government", said the President.
Spelling out his vision, President Kovind said when India completes 75 years of Independence by 2022, it should have a compassionate society.
Expressing concern over the lack of sense of caring and sharing in big cities where neighbours may not know each other, he said that it is important to renew it. This will make us a gentler and happier society and help us understand each other with greater empathy.
He said the spirit of social service and volunteerism is very much alive in India.
The President said that while the government had taken policy decisions to build toilets under the Swachh Bharat initiative, enable communication infrastructure, and save the girl child, it was only through a partnership between citizens and the government that the benefits of these programmes would reach all sections of people. He said, back in the day, when a girl from the village would be married, each local villager would contribute and fulfil some responsibility.
The government can make, implement and strengthen laws, but it is everyone's duty to abide by them. "Demonetisation has boosted our efforts to build an honest society", said the President. At Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's word, millions of Indians joined the freedom movement and gave their all. "Poverty and New India are simply not compatible", he said. He also lauded the "immense patience and understanding" of the citizens in the days following demonetisation and "whole- hearted support" in the battle against corruption and black money.
Up on an appeal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, more than one crore families gave up their LPG subsidies and I salute them.
I am happy that the transition to the GST system has been smooth.
And he added that it was the responsibility of each one of us to promote a sense of pride in paying our taxes. The government or law did not force them to do so, they listened to the conscience. "Their response came from within". "Each of us must choose one thing we can do to help another, less-fortunate Indian", President Kovind said. "And to build a law-abiding society", he said. "A compassionate and egalitarian society that does not discriminate on gender or religious background", Kovind explained.
For this, he said, the partnership between citizens and government remains essential. The soldiers guarding the border are not only doing their duty, but are also displaying an extra degree of selflessness. Police & paramilitary forces that courageous death to combat terrorism or crime is not just doing their duty.