The President's remarks came against the backdrop of violence by Rajput outfit Karni Seva against the film 'Padmaavat'.

You can disagree without mocking a fellow citizens dignity President Kovind
news News Friday, January 26, 2018 - 13:23
Written by  IANS

President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday made a veiled attack on the protests against controversial Hindi movie Padmaavat, saying disagreements should not mock a fellow citizen's dignity and personal space.

The President's attack in his first Republic Day eve address to the nation came against the backdrop of violence in some states by supporters of Rajput outfit Karni Seva who opposed the release of the Sanjay Leela Bansali-directed film on Thursday.

The Kerna Sena has been protesting against the period film because they allege that it shows the 14th Century Rajput queen Rani Padmaavati, also known as Padmini, in less than honourable light.

"A civic-minded nation is built by civic-minded neighbourhoods, whether in our cities or our villages. Where we respect the next-door person's space, privacy and rights. Where we do not inconvenience our neighbours while celebrating a festival or while resorting to a protest or on any other occasion.

"Where one can disagree with another viewpoint - or even with a historical context - without mocking a fellow citizen's dignity and personal space. This is fraternity in action.”

The President also asked the rich to renew India's age-old culture of philanthropy by voluntarily giving up their entitlements for those with greater need.

He also spoke of the need to move ahead rapidly on sustainable development goals like housing for all and the obligation to eliminate the curse of poverty in the shortest possible time.

Kovind utilised the opportunity to stress on the need to reform, upgrade and enlarge the education system to make it relevant to 21st Century realities of the digital economy, genomics, robotics and automation.

He said a nation with a sense of selflessness is built by citizens and by a society that embraces selflessness not because anybody has asked them to but because of a call from within. 

"Where a better-off family voluntarily gives up an entitlement - it could be subsidised LPG today and some other entitlement tomorrow - so that another family, which has a greater need, can avail it.”

The President said the highest stage of India's nation building project lied in contributing towards building "a better world, a composite and cohesive world, a world at peace with itself and at peace with nature".

He said this was the ideal spirit of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - of the world being one family”.

He said the country needed to further improve the lives of its farmers who "like mothers toil to feed us".

Kovind said while India has achieved a lot as a nation but much remained to be done before the country turns a 70-year-old republic in 2020 and celebrates its 75th Independence anniversary in 2022.

"These are special occasions and we must strive, in the manner of the leaders of our national movement and the framers of our Constitution, to build the edifice of a better India - an India where each and every citizen will be able to realise his or her full potential. An India that will reach its deserved pedestal in the 21st century."