President Kovind calls for social democracy, climate action

President Ram Nath Kovind's address to the nation

Photo credit Twitter Rashtrapati Bhavan

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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, July 24: A day ahead of the swearing of Droupadi Murmu as President of India, the incumbent Ram Nath Kovind in a very brief address to the nation reminded the people of the words of BR Ambedkar stressing on the need for the political democracy to transform as social democracy, while also urging the youth to take part in the climate action.

President Kovind in his televised address referred to the concluding remarks in the Constituent Assembly before the Constitution was adopted by Ambedkar in which he had made the distinction between two kinds of democracy.

“He had said we must not be content with mere political democracy,” President Kovind quoted Amberkar’s words.

Ambedkar had said: “We must make our political democracy a social democracy as well. Political democracy cannot last unless there lies at the base of it, social democracy.”

He had further explained social democracy as “a way of life which recognizes liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of life”.

“These principles of liberty, equality and fraternity are not to be treated as separate items in a trinity. They form a union of trinity in the sense that to divorce one from the other is to defeat the very purpose of democracy,” President Kovind quoted Ambedkar’s words.

Urging the people to work for the climate change response. President Kovind said: “Mother Nature is in deep agony and the climate crisis can endanger the very future of this planet. We must take care of our environment, our land, air and water, for the sake of our children. In our daily lives and routine choices, we must be more careful to protect our trees, rivers, seas and mountains, as well as all other living beings. As the first citizen, if I have to give one advice to my fellow citizens, it has to be this.”

Reflecting on India’s struggle for freedom, President Kovind mentioned that “Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, like a modern-day ‘rishi’, was at work to help us find our cultural roots again, while Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was vigorously advocating the cause of equality that was unheard of in most advanced countries”.

“From Tilak and Gokhale to Bhagat Singh and Netaji, from Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee to Sarojini Naidu and Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay – nowhere in the history of humankind have so many great minds come together for a common cause,” remarked President Kovind.

He further stated that the formal map for the democratic path was drafted by the Constituent Assembly.

“It included great minds from across the country, including 15 remarkable women such as Hansaben Mehta, Durgabai Deshmukh, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Sucheta Kripalani. The Constitution they prepared, with invaluable contributions from each of them, has been our guiding beacon. Values enshrined in it have been part of the Indian ethos since time immemorial,” added President Kovind.

President Kovind also mentioned visit to his ancestral village, while urging the youth to stay connected with their roots.

“…among the most memorable moments of my life has been visiting my home during my term and touching the feet of my teachers at Kanpur to seek their blessings. This year, the Prime Minister also honoured my village Paraunkh with his visit. This connection with our roots has been the essence of India,” said President Kovind.

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