Newly-elected President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday said the key to India’s success is its diversity and asked people to build a country that is “an economic leader as well as a moral exemplar”.
In his first address as president after taking oath at the Central Hall of Parliament, Kovind said there is need to sculpt an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society.
“We have achieved a lot as a nation, but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster is relentless. It is appropriate that the land of Lord Buddha should lead the world in its search for peace, tranquillity and ecological balance,” he said.
“The key to India’s success is its diversity. Our diversity is the core that makes us so unique. We need to build an India that is an economic leader as well as a moral exemplar. We need to sculpt a robust, high growth economy, an educated, ethical and shared community, and an egalitarian society,” the 71-year-old said.
India’s 14th president made special mention of women and their role in nation building.
Nations, he said, are not built by governments alone and requires national pride.
“Each citizen of India is a nation builder. Those police and paramilitary forces that fight terrorism and crime are nation builders.
“Women who despite responsibilities at home and work raise children to be ideal citizens are nation builders,” he said.
The new president went on to say that a farmer toiling in the blazing sun to feed fellow citizens is a nation builder as is a scientist concentrating tirelessly to send an Indian space mission to Mars, or invent a vaccine.
“(A) nurse or doctor helping the sick to recover and fighting disease in a remote village, is a nation builder. Young person who founds a start-up and becomes a job creator is a nation builder,” he added.
Soon after taking the oath, Kovind had said he was honoured to be sworn in as the 14th president of India would be carrying out responsibilities “with all humility”.