New Delhi, Aug 14: President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday asserted that contentious issues and extraneous debates should not be allowed to distract us at a "pivotal moment" when the country is at the cusp of achieving many long-awaited goals.
In his televised address to the nation on the eve of India's 72nd Independence Day, Kovind recalled Mahatma Gandhi's "most noble mantra" on the power of ahinsa (non-violence) being far greater than the power of hinsa (violence), remarks that come against the backdrop of incidents of lynching and mob violence in some parts of the country.
Touching upon a range of issues, the president also said women were entitled to a life of their choice and security to fulfil their potential, amid concerns over their privacy and safety.
Emphasising that Independence Day is always special, Kovind said this year there is an unusual significance attached to it as in a few weeks, on October 2, India will begin the commemoration of the 150th birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. "Mahatma Gandhi Everywhere, across continents, Gandhiji is mentioned, cherished and remembered as an icon for all humanity. He is the embodiment of India," the president said.