'New India' must include humanist component that is in our DNA: Kovind

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The Hindi and English versions of his speech will then be broadcast in all regional languages across the country by the local Doordarshan channels.

There was a sense of caring and of sharing, and of inter-dependence. "Whether in cities or villages, it is important to renew that sense of caring and sharing".

He said the spirit of social service and volunteerism is very much alive in India. "There are so many people and organisations that work quietly and diligently for the poor and the disadvantaged".

"They might be cleaning rivers and public places". He said there is a need to invoke the same spirit today in the task of nation building. He had also spoken about the rising intolerance, attacks on the weaker or backward sections of the society, the sanctity of the Constitution, obstructionism in politics, terrorism, foreign policy and the recent developments in India.

"For this, the partnership between citizens and government remains essential", he said.

Highlighting the government's efforts for a clean India under the flagship Swachch Bharat campaign, he said it is the "duty of each one of us to keep the nation clean". "Enrol and pay the school fees or buy the books of at least one child other than your own; just one", he said.

President Ram Nath Kovind also said that today the world is looking at India with "admiration". Praising the freedom fighters, the President said the nation was indebted to those who laid down their lives to achieve independence for the country.

This will be Kovind's first address to the nation after being sworn-in as the President of India on July 25 this year.

The government can make, implement and strengthen laws but it is everyone's duty to abide by them, the president said.

Kovind spoke at length about the citizen-government partnership, citing instances where it was exhibited in the current scenario in people giving up LPG subsidy voluntarily, response to demonetisation, and introduction of GST, among others.

In his first address to the nation on the eve of the 71st Independence Day, Kovind, who was sworn in as India's fourteenth President last month, hailed the government's demonetisation decision, people's support in the battle against corruption and the roll out of goods and services tax.

"Your vast patience and understanding in the days following demonetisation - and your whole-hearted support in the battle against corruption and black money - reflected a responsible and enlightened society", Kovind said.

Kovind said India had been built by a partnership between citizens and government, between individual and society, between family and wider community.

Acknowledging the hardships faced by the security forces in the line of duty, the president said, "Our soldiers who guard our borders are not just doing their duty; they are displaying an extra degree of selflessness". At Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose's word, millions of Indians joined the freedom movement and gave their all.

"The government can impose laws and rules but every citizen must take up the onus of following the responsibilities".

He further said that the whole nation should draw inspiration from these families. "Each of us must choose one thing we can do to help another, less-fortunate Indian", President Kovind said.

"On behalf of the people of Singapore, I warmly congratulate Your Excellency and the people of India on the momentous occasion of the Republic of India's 71st Independence Day", Dr Tan wrote according to MFA. There are some obvious parameters like a house for every family, better roads & telecom, a modern railway network. "New India must be a society rushing towards the future, but also a compassionate society", Kovind said. A society where there is no discrimination on the basis of gender, " he said.

"A compassionate society should be established where the deprived child, the aged and the ailing senior citizen, and the poor and the under-privileged are always in our thought and not an afterthought".

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