Who has built the Indian nation – governments, politicians or people? President Ram Nath Kovind today identified the real builders of the nation, saying, “Nations are not built by governments alone. The government can at best be a facilitator, and a trigger for society’s innate entrepreneurial and creative instincts. Nation building requires national pride.”
In his speech after taking oath as the 14th President of India from Chief Justice of India Justice JS Kehar, Kovind said, “We take pride in the soil and water of India; We take pride in the diversity, religious harmony and inclusive ethos of India; We take pride in the culture, heritage and spirituality of India; We take pride in our fellow citizens; We take pride in our work; and We take pride in the little things we do every day.”
According to Kovind every citizen of India is a nation builder. All citizens are custodians of “India’s well being and of the legacy that we will pass on to the coming generation.”
Further highlighting the real nation builders of India, President Kovind said, “The armed forces that protect our borders and keep us safe are nation builders. Those police and paramilitary forces that fight terrorism and crime are nation builders. That farmer toiling in the blazing sun to feed fellow citizens is a nation builder. And we must never forget that so much of our farm labour comprises women.
“That scientist concentrating tirelessly and 24 x 7 to send an Indian space mission to Mars, or invent a vaccine, is a nation builder. That nurse or doctor helping the sick to recover and fighting disease in a remote village, is a nation builder. That young person who founds a start-up and becomes a job creator is a nation builder. The start-up could be on a small farm, converting mangoes to pickles. Or in an artisans’ village, weaving carpets. Or at a laboratory lit up by giant screens.
“That tribal and ordinary citizen striving to preserve our ecology, our forests, our wildlife, to push back climate change and to advance the cause of renewable energy, is a nation builder. That committed and driven public servant who works beyond the call of duty, whether on a flooded road, directing traffic; or in a quiet room, poring over detailed files, is a nation builder.
“That self-less teacher who equips young children and shapes their destinies, is a nation builder. Those countless women who take care of families with so many other responsibilities, at home and work, and raise children to become ideal citizens, are nation builders.”
President Kovind also urged all Indians to make relentless efforts to take India to new heights by 2022. “We have achieved a lot as a nation, but the effort to do more, to do better and to do faster should be relentless. This is especially so as we approach the 75th Year of our independence in 2022.”
“What must also bother us is our ability to enhance access and opportunity for the last person and the last girl-child from an under-privileged family if I may put it so, in the last house in the last village,” he added.