By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik of The Korea Post media
President Ram Nath Kovind said: “It has been the tradition of India that we work for the well-being of the entire world. India's self-reliance means being self-sufficient without alienating or creating distance from the world.”
Speaking in his Special Message to the Nation on the occasion of the Independence Day of India on Aug. 15, 2020 (which happily coincides with that of the Liberation Day of Korea), President Kovind then stated, “India will continue to engage with the world economy while maintaining its identity.” Then he added: “The world now realizes what our sages had said long ago: The global community is but one family, Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam”
The Independence Day message of the President of India has been kindly provided by the Embassy of India in Seoul for publication by The Korea Post media (publisher of 3 English and 2 Korean-language media outlets since 1985). Details of the Speech of President Kovind of India follow:
It gives me great pleasure to greet all the people of India, living in the country and abroad, on the 74th Independence Day. On this day, the youth of India should feel the special pride of being citizens of a free nation. We gratefully remember our freedom fighters and martyrs whose sacrifices have enabled us to live in an independent nation.
The ethos of our freedom struggle forms the foundation of modern India. Our visionary leaders brought together a diversity of world views to forge a common national spirit. They were committed to the cause of liberating Bharat Mata from oppressive foreign rule and securing the future of her children. Their thoughts and actions shaped the identity of India as a modern nation.
We are fortunate that Mahatma Gandhi became the guiding light of our freedom movement. As much a saint as a political leader, he was a phenomenon that could have happened only in India. Troubled by social strife, economic problems, and climate change, the world seeks relief in Gandhiji’s teachings. His quest for equality and justice is the mantra for our Republic. I am glad to see the younger generations re-discover Gandhiji.
Dear Fellow Citizens,
The poor and daily wage-earners are the worst hit by the pandemic. By introducing ‘Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Yojana’, the Government has enabled crores of people to earn their livelihood and mitigate the impact of job-loss, dislocation, and disruption caused by the pandemic. The Government continues to extend its helping hand through a number of initiatives, supported whole-heartedly by the corporate sector, civil society, and citizens. The needy are being given free food grains so that no family goes hungry. The largest free food distribution program in the world has been extended until the end of November 2020 to provide succor to about 80 crore people every month. In order to ensure that migratory ration cardholders get ration anywhere in the country, all states are being brought under the coverage of ‘One Nation - One Ration Card’ scheme.
Committed to taking care of our people stranded anywhere in the world, the Government has brought back more than 10 lakh Indians under the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’. Indian Railways has been operating train services, in these challenging circumstances, to facilitate travel and transportation of people and goods.
Confident of our strengths, we reached out to help other countries in their fight against COVID-19. In responding to calls from countries for the supply of medicines, India has once again shown that it stands by the global community in times of distress. The overwhelming support India got at the elections for the non-permanent seat of the United Nations Security Council is a testimony to the goodwill we enjoy internationally.
It has been the tradition of India that we work for the well-being of the entire world. India's self-reliance means being self-sufficient without alienating or creating distance from the world. India will continue to engage with the world economy while maintaining its identity. The world now realizes what our sages had said long ago: the global community is but one family; ‘Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam’. However, even while the world community needs to fight together against the greatest challenge before humanity, some in our neighborhood tried to carry out their misadventure of expansion. Our brave soldiers laid down their lives defending our borders. Those worthy sons of Bharat Mata lived and died for national pride. The entire nation salutes the martyrs of Galwan Valley. Every Indian feels grateful to their family members. Their bravery in combat has demonstrated that while we believe in peace, we are also capable of giving a befitting response to any attempt of aggression. We are proud of the members of our Armed Forces, paramilitary forces and police personnel who protect the borders, and ensure our internal security. Dear Fellow Citizens,
When India won freedom, many predicted that our experiment with democracy will not last long. They saw our ancient traditions and rich diversity as hurdles in the democratization of our polity. But we have always nurtured them as our strengths that make the largest democracy in the world so vibrant. India has to continue playing its leading role for the betterment of humanity. We have a lot to offer to the global community, especially for intellectual and spiritual enrichment and promotion of world peace. With this spirit, I offer a prayer for the well-being of one and all:
May all be happy, May all be free from illness,
May all see what is auspicious, May no one come to grief.
The message of this prayer for universal well-being is India’s unique gift to humanity.
I once again congratulate you on the 74th Independence Day. I wish you good health and a bright future.