President Droupadi Murmu addresses the nation on the eve of the 74th Republic Day in New Delhi on January 25, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI
India has succeeded as a democratic republic because many creeds and languages have united and not divided the country, President Droupadi Murmu said on Wednesday, in her address to the nation on the eve of its 74 th Republic Day.
“That is the essence of India. That essence was at the heart of the Constitution, which has withstood the test of time,” she said, in her first Republic Day address.
Lauding the architects of the Constitution, the President said that India’s transformation from a largely poor and illiterate nation into a confident one would not have been possible but for the “collective wisdom” of the Constitution makers. Their vision continues to guide the republic, she said.
“While Babasaheb Ambedkar and others gave us a map and a moral framework, the task of walking that path remains our responsibility. We have largely remained true to their expectations, and yet we realize that much remains to be done to realize Gandhiji’s ideal of sarvodaya, the upliftment of all,” added Ms. Murmu
‘Economy shaken off pandemic effect’
Talking about India’s emergence as the world’s fifth largest economy in the backdrop of economic uncertainties created by COVID-19, the President asserted that the country had shaken off the effects of the pandemic that has now entered its fourth year.
“Most sectors of the economy have shaken off the pandemic effect. India has been among the fastest-growing major economies. This has been made possible by timely and pro-active interventions from the Government. The ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, in particular, has evoked great response among people at large,” she said.
Reflecting on India’s presidency of the G-20, the President said that it would be an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism, and would be the right forum for shaping a better future for the world.
“As G-20 represents about two-thirds of the world population and around 85% of global GDP, it is an ideal forum to discuss and find solutions for global challenges. To my mind, global warming and climate change are the most pressing among them,” she said.
Lessons from tribals
Ms. Murmu noted that tribal communities, in particular, have rich lessons to offer in many areas, from protecting the environment to crafting a more cohesive society. She also commended the Union government’s approach to empowering women and marginalized communities, including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
“With the economy on a sound footing, we have been able to begin and carry forward a series of praiseworthy initiatives. The ultimate goal is to create an environment in which all citizens can, individually and collectively, realize their true potential and prosper. As education builds the right foundation for this purpose, the National Education Policy has introduced ambitious changes,” the President said.
“It rightly addresses the two-fold aims of education: as an instrument of economic and social empowerment and as a means to explore truth. The policy makes our civilizational lessons relevant for contemporary life, while also preparing the learner for the 21st century’s challenges. The National Education Policy appreciates the role of technology in expanding and deepening the learning process,” she added.