“It is more than symbolic that the new building will be inaugurated in the year of the 75th anniversary of Independence,” said the President

President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday maintained that parliament is the temple of the country’s democracy “which provides us highest forum where we discuss, debate and decide issues for the well-being of our people.”

In his televised address to the nation on the eve of the 75th Independence Day, he said, “It is a matter of great pride for all Indians that our Parliament will soon be housed in a new building. It will be a fitting statement of our outlook: It will honour our legacy while also walking in step with the contemporary world. It is more than symbolic that the new building will be inaugurated in the year of the 75th anniversary of Independence.”

Highlighting the government’s effort to make this special year memorable, he said, “The government has planned many initiatives to make this special year memorable, and the most exciting of them all may as well be the Gaganyaan mission. Pilots of the Indian Air Force have been receiving training abroad. When they fly off into space, India will become only the fourth nation on the planet to carry out a manned space mission. When it comes to the flights of our ambitions, we don’t let any limitations define us.”

The President also talked about Jammu and Kashmir, stating, “A new dawn is rising in Jammu and Kashmir. The government has initiated the process of consultation with all stakeholders who have faith in democracy and the rule of law. I urge the people, especially the youth, of Jammu and Kashmir to utilise this opportunity and work on realising their aspirations through democratic institutions.”

He also said that India’s stature is rising in the international arena, “as it was reflected in our participation in several key multilateral forums as well as in consolidating bilateral relationships with several countries.”

With regard to India’s performance at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics, the President said, “Our sportspersons have brought laurels to the nation with their stellar performances. India has won the highest number of medals in the 121 years of its participation in the Olympics. Our daughters have achieved world class excellence in playgrounds overcoming many adversities.”

“Along with sports, epoch-making changes are taking place in the participation and success of women in all walks of life. From higher educational institutions to armed forces, from laboratories to playgrounds, our daughters are making their mark. In this success of our daughters, I see a glimpse of a developed India of the future. I urge every parent to learn from the families of such promising daughters and provide opportunities to their daughters also to explore avenues of growth,” he added.

In the context of the second wave of pandemic, he said, “We suffered from a terrible second wave. I am deeply sad that many lives could not be saved and many more suffered immensely in this phase of an unprecedented crisis. I speak for the whole nation when I say that I share the grief of all the affected families with the same intensity.”

However, he expressed his satisfaction that “the science is coping with this invisible enemy of terrible might with remarkable speed. We can take solace from the fact that more lives have been saved than the lives lost. It was our collective determination to overcome the challenge that helped us see the weakening of the second wave. Once again, our corona warriors, the doctors, nurses and health workers, the administrators, and others, risked everything to contain the impact of the second wave.”

The President also expressed his happiness that rural India, “particularly the agriculture sector has kept growing against all odds. In a recent visit to my ancestral village Paraunkh in Kanpur Dehat district, I was quite pleased to find that better infrastructure is being developed to make life better for people in rural areas. The psychological distance between the urban and the rural is now much less as compared to the past.”