“From the day the Constitution came into effect to the present day, it has been an amazing journey that has inspired many other nations.
“We have succeeded as a democratic republic because so many creeds and so many languages have not divided us, they have only united us.
“During this period, India has been transformed from a largely poor and illiterate nation into a confident nation marching on the world stage.
“In our mission of ‘Sarvodaya’, the most encouraging has been the progress made on the economic front. Last year, India became the fifth largest economy in the world.
“The pandemic has entered the fourth year, affecting economic growth in most parts of the world. In its initial phase, Covid-19 also hurt India’s economy badly.
“Yet, guided by our able leadership and driven by our resilience, we soon came out of the downturn, and resumed the growth saga.
“The ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiative, in particular, has evoked great response among people at large. There have also been sector-specific incentive schemes.
“By implementing the ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana’ announced in March 2020, the government ensured food security for poor families at a time when the country was facing economic disruption.
“Further extending this assistance, the government has announced that even during the year 2023, the beneficiaries will get their monthly ration free of cost.
“The Digital India Mission is striving to make information and communication technology inclusive by bridging the rural-urban divide.
“India has been among the handful of pioneers in space technology. As long-pending reforms in this sector are underway, private enterprises are now invited to join the quest.
“The ‘Gaganyaan’ programme to carry Indian astronauts into the space is under progress and will be India’s maiden human space flight.
“India’s Mars Mission was powered by a team of extraordinary women, and our sisters and daughters are not far behind in other areas too.
“Women’s empowerment and gender equality are no longer mere slogans, as we have made great progress towards these ideals in recent years. With people’s participation in ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign, women’s representation has been rising in every sphere of activity.
“The same vision of empowerment guides the government’s approach to the marginalised communities, including the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
“This year, as India holds the presidency of the Group of 20 nations, it is an opportunity to promote democracy and multilateralism and the right forum for shaping a better world and a better future.
“Generations of people working in different fields deserve praise for their invaluable contribution in the development story of our Republic so far. I appreciate every citizen who contributes to the nation’s progress.
“Once again, I extend my best wishes to all of you on this Republic Day.
“Jai Hind! Jai Bharat!”