Tribune News Service
New Delhi, August 14
Expressing confidence that the people of Jammu and Kashmir will immensely benefit from the revocation of Article 370 and state’s bifurcation into Union Territories, President Ram Nath Kovind today said the changes would enable them “to access and enjoy same rights, privileges and facilities” as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country.
The changes would bring “justice for our daughters by abolishing unequal practices such as instant triple talaq”, said the President in his televised address to the nation on the eve of country’s 73rd Independence Day.
He went on to add that the changes also include “progressive and egalitarian laws, right to education, right to information, reservation in education and employment and other facilities for traditionally deprived communities”.
Highlighting that the year marks the 550th birth anniversary of “one of the greatest, wisest and the most influential Indians of all time — Guru Nanak Devji”, Kovind said, “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.”
The President said, “In a few weeks from now, on October 2, we will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of our Nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the guiding light of our successful effort to liberate our nation and of our continuing effort to reform our society of all inequities.”
Complimenting people for taking part in the 17th General Election in April-May, Kovind said every election marks a new beginning and every election is the renewal of India’s collective hope and optimism.
Lauding efforts of MPs of various parties in making the recently concluded session of Parliament “lengthy and productive”, he said, “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.”
Kovind also spoke of how state and society, government and citizens must see and cooperate with each other. He said nation-building is about creating an optimal partnership between voters and their representatives; citizens and their government; and the civil society and the state.
Invokes Guru Nanak
He (Guru Nanak Dev) was the founder of Sikhism, but the reverence and respect he commands go far beyond just our Sikh brothers and sisters. These extend to millions of others in India and across the world. — Ram Nath Kovind, President