President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday greeted citizens on the 75th Independence Day, saying the world looks up at the miracle of India which reflects a plurality of traditions and yet is the biggest and most vibrant democracy.

In his address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, the President said India has reasons to be proud of the considerable distance travelled.
He said Mahatma Gandhi taught that slow and steady steps in the right direction are preferable to rapid strides in the wrong direction.

“It is a matter of great joy for me to wish all Indians, living in India and abroad, a very Happy Independence Day! This day has a special significance as it marks the beginning of the 75th year of India’s independence for which ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ is being celebrated. My hearty congratulations to you all on this momentous occasion!” the President said.

“Independence Day is a festival of freedom for us. This was made possible by generations of freedom fighters; some known, many unknown. They made great sacrifices. Today, you and I breathe under free skies thanks to their heroic deeds. I bow in respect to the pious memory of those brave martyrs,” he added.

The President said that Mahatma Gandhi and all other national heroes provided a blueprint to liberate the nation from colonial rule and also to rebuild it.

“Our nation, like many others, suffered great injustices and tyranny under foreign rule. What distinguishes India, however, is that the character of our nationalist movement, led by Mahatma Gandhi, was based on the principles of truth and non-violence. He and all other national heroes provided us with an invaluable blueprint to not only liberate the nation from colonial rule but also to rebuild it. Gandhiji’s struggle was for a return to Indian ethos and for human dignity,” he said.

“Now as we look back to the seventy-five-year journey of our republic, we have reasons to be proud of the considerable distance we have travelled. Gandhiji taught us that slow and steady steps in the right direction are preferable to rapid strides in the wrong direction. The world looks up at the miracle of India, home to the plurality of traditions and yet the biggest and most vibrant democracy,” he added.