Tuesday, August 9, 2022

One President to retire, new President set to come

The stage is again set for the election of India’s 15th President, the biggest democracy in the world. The President of India epitomizes India’s strength, democratic values and secular character. The BJP and the ruling NDA have decided to field Ms Draupudi Murmu – a tribal and a distinguished woman – for the coveted office.
It could be a cliche to say that our country is at a crossroad. Perhaps such a situation arises with every new President and the timing around his or her election. As the confidence for the new President Madam Murmu to be the next President of India unfolds, we are all hopeful that the new President will certainly shape India’s future and also guide and advise the government to make India become a stronger and more vibrant nation.
The Modi government is firmly committed towards an inclusive India and determined to cherish and uphold the values of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas”. The country is making immense progress in multiple sectors. This is truly a ‘New India’ as envisioned by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji.
In the northeast region of India, we feel that a lot of positive impacts have happened in the last eight years. Some of them are path breaking. The country is able to enjoy a more cohesive perspective, more united and is stronger today than it was about two decades back. The government led by Modiji has rightly focused on India’s Act East Policy. India’s friendship with ASEAN neighbours has only strengthened opening new avenues for north east India.
As we wish good luck to Madam Murmu for the responsibility she will take over next month; it is also
good to take a closer view on the last five years and the stewardship of President Ram Nath Kovindji. The year 2017 offered many challenges. There were talks of polarisation and a section of citizens tried to push a line that they no longer felt safe in this India. However, the NDA government led by the Prime Minister Modiji handled things very well and proved such fears wrong. The towering calm presence of Mr Kovind’s stature and his cool approach to making India a secular country gave a soothing touch to the world around us. His tenure would be always remembered for peace and India’s increased circle of influence in the world. The unprecedented Covid19 pandemic crisis was one of the challenging times that President Kovind had to shoulder and guide the country to cope well. The health systems of the country remarkably became more prepared for further eventualities and the management of the entire pandemic under the Union Health and Family Welfare Ministry and the decisive steps taken with regards to vaccine manufacturing and distribution by the Prime Minister Modiji stirred the country from a spiralling down of the economy to resurgence.
Thus, it is a privilege to congratulate Shri Ram Nath Kovindji as he is set to bid farewell to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, it is equally a momentous occasion as Madam Murmu would be taking the charge next month. If we are to celebrate the dignified change of India’s President office before the watchful eye of the world, the historic occasion demonstrates the triumph of Indian democracy. It has to be appreciated that both the incumbent President Kovindji and incoming President Madam Murmu are both self made people – those who have come up the ladder hard way.
This is also reflective of the true spirit of ‘New India’ where an ordinary political karyakarta – born and brought up in challenging situations and circumstances would rise to become the First Citizen of world’s largest democracy. I cannot agree more with the words of Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, “Not only is Democracy a system, but also a ‘sanskar’- a part of our ethos. Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty”.
Coincidentally, as I began to pen down my first draft for this article on June 25, 2022, I recalled the contemporary Indian history, which many of the scholars are also well aware of the fact that in 1975 – that is 47 years back – Indian democracy was curtailed and Emergency was imposed by Smt Indira Gandhi. The country became like a prison. Prominent leaders including Jai Prakash Narayan, Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L K Advani were jailed amongst many others. The press freedom was curtailed and the judiciary too could not escape the sinister shadows of dictatorship. It is ironic that the same Congress party makes all sorts of allegations against the government of the day. While Indian democracy allows democratic views from all, a soul searching exercise of the Congress may do good for the country. In democracy, people are supreme. Time and again, the people’s spirit and yearnings for liberty, inclusion, and pluralism have triumphed. Elections of two Presidents in 2017 and 2022 also reflect this cherished spirit.
As we yet again stand up to bid goodbye to the incumbent President and set the ball rolling to welcome a new President, let us hail the great Indian democracy. The incoming President is a tribal and a woman, making us all feel more proud of the momentous occasion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the national leadership today see the nation poised to take on the age of possibilities. The ‘New India’ also means a triumphant democracy whose achievements would be unrivalled. India will march ahead again with her head held high.
The nation is proud to have a visionary and dynamic tribal leader in the person of Madam Murmu to lead the nation into “Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action – Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake”
(Rabindranath Tagore). May India so shine.
Kevechutso Doulo,
State Executive Member,
BJP Nagaland

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