Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday delivered his farewell address as President. The 76-year-old was served at the top post from 2017 to 2022. He will be succeeded by tribal-rooted Droupadi Murmu, who will take oath on Monday. 

Kovind in his maiden address as President had spoken about democracy, diversity and culture of India. Five years later, the former lawyer spoke onthe same lines. 

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The first Dalit President of the country said that he firmly believes that India is getting equipped to own the 21st century. He further saluted the ‘power of vibrant democratic system’ of India and said staying connected to one’s roots is the specialty of Indian culture.

“Ram Nath Kovind, who grew up in a very ordinary family in Paraunkh village of Kanpur Dehat district, is addressing all of you countrymen today, for this, I salute the power of the vibrant democratic system of our country,” said President Kovind.

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Kovind further expressed his deep gratitude to citizens for fully coorperatingand supportin him throughout the five-year tenure. 

“Staying connected to our roots is the specialty of Indian culture. I would request the younger generation to continue this tradition of being associated with their village or town and their schools and teachers,” he added.

Like his first address, Kovind spoke about the contributions of great minds like Lokmanya Tilak, Bhagat Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru. 

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“From Tilak and Gokhale to Bhagat Singh and Netaji, from Jawaharlal Nehru, Sardar Patel and Shyama Prasad Mukherjee to Sarojini Naidu and Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay – nowhere in the history of humankind have so many great minds come together for a common cause.”

“There were many uprisings across the country in the nineteenth century. The names of many of the heroes who brought hopes of a new dawn have long been forgotten. Contributions of some of them have come to be appreciated only in recent times,” he added.

Ram Nath Kovind also called or protests to always be conducted in the “Gandhian mould”. 

“Citizens and political parties have many constitutional avenues open to them, including protests. After all, the father of our nation employed the weapon of satyagraha for that purpose. But he was equally concerned about the other side. Citizens have a right to protest and to press for their demands, but it should always be in the peaceful Gandhian mould,” he said.