President Murmu stresses on maintaining spirit of harmony, calls Indian economy beacon of hope for world

New Delhi: Observing that there is a new confidence in ‘India story’, President Droupadi Murmu on Monday urged the people to move forward with the spirit of brotherhood and stressed that their identity as “citizens of India” is above all other identities of caste, creed, language and region.

In her address to the nation on the eve of 77th Independence Day, President Murmu hailed India’s economic performance amid the global uncertainty, saying the country has been a “beacon of hope” for others and has converted challenges into opportunities.

India has regained its rightful place on the world stage and enhanced its standing in the international order, she said and asserted that with the G20 presidency, the country can nudge decision-making in trade and finance towards equitable progress.

“The government has succeeded in protecting the common people from high inflation while also providing a more extensive security cover to the poor. The world looks up to India for global economic growth,” she said.

President Murmu also pitched for the economic empowerment of women and appealed to tribal “brothers and sisters to enrich their traditions while embracing modernity”.

“Each of us has many identities – apart from caste, creed, language and region, we are also identified with our families and professions – but there is one identity that is above all. That is our identity as citizens of India. Each one of us is an equal citizen; each one of us has an equal opportunity, equal rights and equal duties, in this land,” the President said.

“But it was not always so. India is the mother of democracy and since ancient times we had democratic institutions functioning at the grassroots. But long years of colonial rule wiped them out. On 15th August 1947, the nation woke up to a new dawn. We not only won freedom from foreign rule but also the freedom to rewrite our destiny,” she said.

Underlining that the Constitution is the country’s guiding document, Murmu said its Preamble contains the ideals of the freedom struggle.

“Let us move forward with the spirit of harmony and brotherhood to realise the dreams of our nation-builders,” she said.

Noting that the nation has been taking “great strides” on all fronts, she said, “India’s economy has proven to be not only resilient during turbulent times but is also a beacon of hope for others”.

Murmu said the world economy is passing through a delicate stage, as the pandemic has been followed by international events that have added to the air of uncertainty.

“Yet, the government has been able to navigate the stormy waters very well. India has converted challenges into opportunities and has recorded high GDP growth. Our ‘annadata’ farmers have contributed significantly to our economic growth. The nation feels indebted to them,” she said.

The President said global inflation remains a cause for worry, but in India, the government and the Reserve Bank have managed to contain it.

The President lauded the two-pronged strategy of the government – sustained push to enterprise and proactive and expanded welfare initiatives for the needy – which is driving the economic progress of the country.

“Giving priority to the deprived remains the focus of our policies and actions that have lifted a large number of people out of poverty in the last decade,” she said.

On India’s G-20 presidency, President Murmu said as the grouping represents two-thirds of the world population, this is a unique opportunity to help shape global discourse in the right direction.

“During my visits and interactions with members of the Indian diaspora, I have observed a new confidence in the India story. India is playing a crucial role in promoting developmental and humanitarian goals around the world,” she said.

“With the G20 presidency, India can nudge decision-making in trade and finance towards equitable progress. Beyond trade and finance, matters of human development too are on the agenda,” Murmu said.

She said there were many global issues that concern all humanity and are not limited by geographical boundaries.

“I am confident that with India’s proven leadership in dealing with global issues, member nations will be able to advance effective action on these fronts,” the President said.

Noting that the economic empowerment of women strengthens their position in family and society, President Murmu expressed the hope that women in the country will overcome challenges with courage and move ahead in life.

“Today our women have made their special place in many such fields in which their participation was unimaginable a few decades ago,” she said.

Highlighting the role of women freedom fighters such as Matangini Hazra, Kanaklata Baruah, Kasturba Gandhi, Sarojini Naidu, Ammu Swaminathan, Rama Devi, Aruna Asaf Ali and Sucheta Kriplani, Murmu said they have set inspiring ideals for all future generations of women to serve the nation and the society with self-confidence.

“I am happy to note that the economic empowerment of women is being given special focus in our country. Economic empowerment strengthens the position of women in the family and society.

“I urge all fellow citizens to give priority to women empowerment. I would like our sisters and daughters to overcome challenges with courage and move ahead in life. Development of women was among the ideals of our freedom struggle,” she said.

India is the mother of democracy and since ancient times it had democratic institutions functioning at the grassroots, the President said, but long years of colonial rule wiped them out.

The President said along with economic growth, human development concerns have also been accorded high priority.

Talking about the National Education Policy, she said it “has started making a difference”. Terming it a “visionary policy” aimed at merging ancient values with modern skills, the President said it will bring in unprecedented changes in the education sector over the years, leading to a great transformation of the nation.

She said India’s economic progress is powered by the dreams of its people, particularly the young generation for whom limitless opportunities have opened up.

“From start-ups to sports, our youth have explored new horizons of excellence,” she said.

The President also called for urgent attention of scientists and policymakers towards climate change and global warming which is resulting in frequent floods of drought situations, saying the “culture of greed” is taking the “world away from nature”.

Appreciating recent projects of India in space research, she referred to ISRO’s moon mission Chandrayaan-3 and said it is only a stepping stone for our future space programmes.

“We have to go far ahead,” she said.

Murmu said to foster the spirit of research, innovation and entrepreneurship, the Government is setting up the Anusandhan National Research Foundation, with an amount of Rs. 50,000 crore for the next five years.