Chennai: President Ram Nath Kovind asserted that the country’s armed forces are ‘adequately mobilised’ in a ’well-coordinated’ move to thwart any attempt to undermine national security, and recalled how its valiant soldiers foiled the ‘expansionist’ plans by China in Ladakh last year.
“Our national interest will be protected at all costs,” the President declared in his address to the nation on the eve of the 72nd Republic Day during which he also said every Indian saluted the farmers and sought to allay their fears over the three contentious farm laws.
Kovind’s remarks came amid the nearly nine-month-long military standoff with China in eastern Ladakh and the deadlock between the Centre and the farmer unions over the farm laws enacted in September.
“The path of reform at the initial stages may cause misapprehensions but the government is singularly devoted to the farmers’ welfare,” he said, as the protests by the farmer unions demanding repeal of the three laws continues at border points in Delhi.
On the country’s efforts to fight Covid-19, the President said an effective response to the pandemic would not have been possible without the Constitutional value of ‘Fraternity’ among the people of the country. He also took pride in the fact that India was called as ‘pharmacy of the world’ for supplying medicines to several countries to alleviate the sufferings across the globe.
He felt that after about a year of this ‘unforeseen ordeal’, India today stands ‘not despondent but confident’.
Also, he said the slowdown has turned out to be transitory as the economy has regained its dynamism.
Kovind urged people to utilise the ‘lifeline’ provided by the Covid-19 vaccine and get inoculated as per guidelines.
Paying tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers who laid down their lives at Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh last June during clashes with the Chinese troops, the President said the past year ‘was a time of adversity, and it came from many fronts’.
Kovind said the nation shall remain grateful to those brave soldiers.
Paying tributes to the farmers, the President said every Indian salutes our farmers who have made our vast and populous country self-reliant in food-grains and dairy products.
He said despite adversities of nature, numerous other challenges and the pandemic the farmers sustained the agricultural production.
He also spoke about the scientist community saying that by their contribution to food security, national security, protection against disease and disasters and to different areas of development they have strengthened the national endeavours.
He said the call of Atma-Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, or Self-reliant India Mission’ given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was for converting a crisis into an opportunity and is in line with the aspiration to shape a new India by the year 2022 when our country turns 75.