NEW YORK, NY (TIP): Consul General ofIndia in New York Prabhu Dayal hosted areception to celebrate the 64th RepublicDay of India on January 26, 2013.The highlight of the reception was a readout of the address to the nation ofPresident of India, Mr. Pranab Mukherjeeon the eve of the nation’s Republic Day.This was Mr. Mukherjee’s first RepublicDay address to the nation after he took overas the 13th President of India July 25, 2012.Ambassador Dayal read out thePresident’s address to a gathering of about250 that included, besides the IndianAmerican community, a few consulsgeneral of friendly countries and otherdignitaries.The President said at the outset, “Indiahas changed more in last six decades thanin six previous centuries.
This is neitheraccidental nor providential; history shiftsits pace when touched by vision. The greatdream of raising a new India from theashes of colonialism reached a historicdenouement in 1947; more important,independence became a turning point foran equally dramatic narrative, nationbuilding.The foundations were laidthrough our Constitution, adopted on 26January 1950, which we celebrate each yearas Republic Day. Its driving principle was acompact between state and citizen, apowerful public-private partnershipnourished by justice, liberty and equality.
India did not win freedom from the Britishin order to deny freedom to Indians. TheConstitution represented a secondliberation, this time from the strangleholdof traditional inequity in gender, caste,community, along with other fetters thathad chained us for too long.”This inspired a Cultural Evolutionwhich put Indian society on the track tomodernity: society changed in a gradualevolution, for violent revolution is not theIndian way. Change across the knottedweaves of the social fabric remains a workin progress, impelled by periodic reform inlaw and the momentum of popular will.
“In the last six decades there is muchthat we can be proud of.”. The Presidentthen went on to describe the nation’sachievements in the past six decades. Hespoke of social and legal reforms to ensuregender equality. He referred to the recentviolence against a woman in Delhi andsaid, ” I speak to you when a grave tragedyhas shattered complacency. The brutal rapeand murder of a young woman, a womanwho was symbol of all that new Indiastrives to be, has left our hearts empty andour minds in turmoil. We lost more than avaluable life; we lost a dream. If todayyoung Indians feel outraged, can we blameour youth?There is a law of the land. But there isalso a higher law. The sanctity of a womanis a directive principle of that larger edificecalled Indian civilization.
The Vedas saythat there is more than one kind of mother:birth mother, a guru’s wife, a king’s wife, apriest’s wife, she who nurses us, and ourmotherland. Mother is our protection fromevil and oppression, our symbol of life andprosperity. When we brutalize a woman, wewound the soul of our civilization.It is time for the nation to reset its moralcompass. Nothing should be allowed to spurcynicism, as cynicism is blind to morality.We must look deep into our conscience andfind out where we have faltered. Thesolutions to problems have to be foundthrough discussion and conciliation ofviews.
People must believe that governanceis an instrument for good and for that, wemust ensure good governance.”The other issues he spoke aboutincluded menace of corruption, nation’sgrowing economy, military power and theparticipation of Indians in theinternational theater. He noted India’sinherent strength and vitality and said,”India’s most impregnable asset is selfbelief.Each challenge becomes anopportunity to strengthen our resolve toachieve unprecedented economic growthand social stability.
Such resolve must benourished by an avalanche of investment,particularly in better and greatereducation. Education is the ladder that canhelp those at the bottom to rise to thepinnacles of professional and social status.Education is the mantra that cantransform our economic fortunes andeliminate the gaps that have made oursociety unequal. So far education has notreached, to the extent desired, to thosemost in need of this ladder. India candouble its growth rate by turning today’sdisadvantaged into multiple engines ofeconomic development.”On our 64th Republic Day, there may besome reason for concern, but none fordespair.
If India has changed more in sixdecades than six previous centuries, then Ipromise you that it will change more in thenext ten years than in the previous sixty.India’s enduring vitality is at work.”In his brief remarks, Dayal commendedthe Indian-American community for itscontribution to strengthening U.S.-Indiarelations. He extended his congratulationsto Indian Americans on the 64thanniversary of the nation.Ambassador Dayal and Chandini Dayal,with consul generals from friendlycountries and other dignitaries present, cuta cake to celebrate the occasion.Mrs. Varsha Joshi, a well-known singerfrom New Jersey sang patriotic songs to athundering applause from an appreciativeaudience.