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Sunday, February 17, 2019 ARCHIVES  |  SEARCH  |  POST ADS  |  ADVERTISE  |  SUBSCRIBE   |  LOGIN   |  CONTACT US

A tribute to freedom fighters

Stephanie Sutcliffe

On the occasion of the 72nd Independence Day of India, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind sent a message to the community.

India’s spirit of empathy, sincerity and diversity will be in full display for the global community as we complete 71 years as an independent nation,” he said.

“(Today) we will commemorate our 72nd Independence Day.

“For every Indian, whether living at home or anywhere else in the world, August 15 is sacred and marked on calendars as a celebration of our sovereignty.

“It is crucial to understand that this dream for a free India started on August 15, 1947, as a result of years and decades of sacrifice on the part of our ancestors and our revered freedom fighters.

“These were men and women of rare courage came from all regions of the country, all sections of society, all communities and all social and economic groups.

“It was my privilege to honour these freedom fighters on the anniversary of ‘Quit India Day’ on August 9 in Rashtrapati Bhavan.

“Even decades after 1947, each one of us can contribute in the manner of a freedom fighter by expanding the frontiers of freedom and of opportunity for our fellow Indians.

“Our farmers grow food for tens of thousands of fellow citizens and uphold our freedom by ensuring food security and nutrition for our children.

“Our Armed Forces stand guard valiantly on our borders while police and paramilitary forces take on a variety of challenges including battling terrorism, in fighting crime and law and order disturbances, or even in helping ordinary citizens by holding their hands while they cross a flooded street.

“The expansion of freedom in our country in many senses amounts to the expansion of freedom for women in our country.

“On the other hand, young people, both boys and girls, represent the hope and optimism of India.

“We are at the cusp of achieving many of our long-awaited goals such as universal access to electricity, the elimination of open defecation, the elimination of homelessness and extreme poverty.

“Let contentious issues and extraneous debates not distract us.

“I have given only a few examples; there could be many more.

“After four years, we will be marking the 75th anniversary of Independence and the decisions we take today, the foundations we lay today, will determine where we stand.

“Independence Day is always special, but this year in a few weeks, on October 2, we will begin the commemoration of the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi.

“He was and still is our moral compass and let each of us adapt his ideas and maxims, in whatever manner we can in our everyday work and conduct.

“We are Gandhiji’s children.

“We dream for all humanity, even when we walk alone.

“Together we can help every citizen in our country.

“This is the Indian spirit.

“This is India, because India belongs to the people of India – not just to the Government.”

“Jai Hind!”

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