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President Kovind addresses nation on the eve of India's 73rd Independence Day
Greetings people on the eve of our 73rd Independence Day and calling the occasion an emotional day for all children of Mother India, whether living at home or abroad, President Ram Nath Kovind in his adds to nation stated, "We remember with gratitude the countless freedom fighters and revolutionaries who struggled, strived and made heroic sacrifices to win us our freedom from colonial rule."

"When we design and deliver welfare programmes for our disadvantaged fellow citizens and families, when we seek to harness the power of the sun as renewable energy, we put Gandhian philosophy into action," he added.

Here are a few main excerpts from his address.

-This year also marks the 550th birth anniversary of one of the greatest, wisest and most influential Indians of all time ? Guru Nanak Devji. He was the founder of Sikhism, but the reverence and respect he commands go far beyond just our Sikh brothers and sisters. They extend to millions of others in India and across the world. My best wishes to them on this pious occasion.

-I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions. They will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country.

-Every election marks a new beginning. Every election is the renewal of India's collective hope and optimism ? a hope and optimism that can be compared, I would say, to what we experienced on August 15, 1947. Now it is for all of us, everybody in India, to work together and take our cherished nation to new heights.

-Many important Bills were passed, in a spirit of cross-party cooperation and constructive debate. I am confident this is only an indicator of what the coming five years have in store. I also urge that this culture percolates to all our legislative assemblies.

-Nation building, at the end of the day, is about creating that optimal partnership between voters and their representatives, between citizens and their government, and between civil society and state.

-Today, the dreams are for accelerated development; for effective and transparent governance; and yet for a smaller footprint of government in our everyday lives.

-Today, given a facilitative and enabling environment by the government, we can only imagine what our people can achieve.

-The government can build connectivity infrastructure in the form of wider, better highways and safer, faster trains; airports in the interiors of our country, and ports that dot our coasts. And near universal data access that allows common citizens to benefit from Digital India.

-The government can build social infrastructure in the form of a comprehensive healthcare programme, and facilities and provisions for the mainstreaming of our Divyang fellow citizens. The government can build legal infrastructure by enacting laws that advance gender equality, as well as by removing obsolete laws to make life easier for our people.

-Fiscal reforms and easier regulations for business have meaning only if our entrepreneurs, whether small start-ups or big industrialists, use these to build honest and imaginative enterprises and create sustainable jobs. Universal availability of toilets and household water have meaning only if they empower the women of India, enhance their dignity and become a catalyst for them to go out into the world and achieve their ambitions.

-We respect each other's identity ? whether born of region, language or faith; or even the absence of faith. India's history and destiny, India's legacy and future, are a function of coexistence and conciliation, of reform and reconciliation ? of expanding our hearts and embracing the ideas of others.

-At home and abroad, in domestic discourse and in foreign policy, let us always be conscious of the magic and uniqueness of India.

- We Indians are a people who dare to explore the moon and Mars. We are also a people who persevere to create a loving habitat for three of every four wild tigers on our planet, because it is characteristic of Indianness to empathise with nature and with all living beings

He closed the address wishing 'all the very best' to cizens on the eve of Independence Day.

The full text of the prudential address is available on the internet.

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