India Celebrates 71st Republic Day

Representational Image - Sakshi Post

NEW DELHI: India is celebrating its 71st Republic Day today and the celebrations start at 9 am and are likely to continue till 11:30 am. Brazilian President Jair Messias Bolsonaro will be the chief guest for this year's Republic Day celebration. The main Republic Day celebration is held at the Rajpath, New Delhi, before the President of India.

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday invoked Mahatma Gandhi's message of truth and non-violence and urged the people, especially the youth, to follow non-violence while expressing concern over a cause and stick to constitutional methods of achieving social and economic objectives.

"It should be part of our daily routine to introspect on Gandhiji's message of truth and non-violence, which has become all the more necessary in our times," said the President in a televised address to the nation on the eve of 71st Republic Day. His message gains significance in the backdrop of protests, some of them violent, across the country against the new citizenship law.

However, he didn't make a direct reference to protests. "When fighting for a cause, people, particularly the youth, should not forget the gift of ahimsa (non-violence) Gandhiji gave to humanity. Gandhiji's talisman for deciding whether an act is right or wrong also applies to the functioning of our democracy," the President said.

The President said the third decade of the 21st century would be "the decade of the rise of New India and a new generation of Indians." He said the next generation remained committed to the core values of our nation. "For our youth, the nation always comes first. With them, we are witnessing the emergence of a New India," he said.

Recalling the importance of January 26, he said even before Independence, from 1930 to 1947 this day was celebrated as "Purna Swaraj Day". "It becomes easier for us to follow these constitutional ideals if we keep in mind the life and values of the Father of Nation. By doing so, we will be adding a meaningful dimension to celebrations of the 150th birth anniversary of Gandhi," Kovind said and added, as we all march forward, "we remain committed to engaging the global community to build a secure and prosperous future for ourselves and for the humanity." Mentioning the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) achievement, he said it was making progress towards the Mission Gaganyaan. On the welfare schemes, he said the 'Swachchh Bharat Abhiyan' had achieved huge success.

He praised the success of the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi and expressed the hope that schemes, like Jal Jeevan Mission aimed at water conservation, would soon become popular movements. Stating that internal security is essential for the development of the country, the President said, "I have nothing but unreserved praise for our armed forces, paramilitary and internal security forces. Their sacrifices to preserve the integrity and unity of the country present a saga of unparalleled courage and discipline."

Concluding his speech, the President quoted Babasaheb Ambedkar: "If we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgment we must do is to hold to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives". These words had always lighted our path and they would continue to show us the way ahead to new glories, the President said. (IANS)

Also Read: Republic Day 2020: Tallest Tricolour Flags In India

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