On the eve of the 76th Independence Day, the newly elected President of India Droupadi Murmu, in her address to the nation, said she "bows to all men and women who made it possible for us to live in a free India".
In her maiden address to the nation, she said: “The world has seen a new India rising in recent years, more so after the outbreak of COVID-19.”
“In celebrating Independence Day, we celebrate our ‘Bharatiyata’. India is full of diversity, but we all also have something in common. It is this common thread that binds us together and inspires us to walk together with the spirit of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat',” President Murmu said.
She added: "Tomorrow marks the day when we freed ourselves from the shackles of colonial rulers. We bow and celebrate those who made enormous sacrifices to make it possible for us to live in free India."
The President of India pointed out how in most other well-established democracies, women had to wage long-drawn struggles to get the right to vote. “But, India can be credited to have helped the world discover the true potential of democracy... Our daughters are the biggest hope for the nation,” she said.
President Murmu then went on to thank the Government of India for recognising the contribution of peasants and tribals and said: “Many heroes and their struggles were forgotten, especially among peasants and tribals. The government’s decision to observe November 15 as ‘Janajatiya Gaurav Divas’ is welcome as our tribal heroes aren't merely local or regional icons but inspire the entire nation.”
The President, in her 17-minute address, also complimented the policymakers for ensuring the growth of the country that has become more inclusive with reduced regional disparities. “Our response to the pandemic has been appreciated everywhere. We launched the biggest vaccination drive in human history with vaccines manufactured in the country itself. Last month we crossed the 200-crore mark in cumulative vaccine coverage.”
In combating the pandemic, India's achievements have been better than those of many developed countries, she said, adding: “for this feat, we are grateful to our scientists, doctors, nurses, paramedics, and the staff associated with vaccination.”
Droupadi Murmu further said: "When the world has been battling the economic consequences of the great crisis, India got its act together and is now moving forward. India is among the fastest growing major economies in the world whose start-up ecosystem ranks high.”