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President says country’s strength lies in its diversity

GUWAHATI: President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday said the country’s strength and unity lied in its diversity.

Addressing a special session of Arunachal Pradesh Assembly after inaugurating the newly-built Assembly building at Itanagar, Kovind said, “We are all citizens of a culturally rich and diverse country. There is such variety in food, clothing, customs and even religious traditions in India. And yet, this diversity is our strength and unites us. Whether it is Tirupati or Tarnetar or the Buddhist monastery of Tawang, it inspires every Indian and is a matter of pride for each of us.”

The President said that Arunachal Pradesh’s experience of “unity in diversity” expressed the country’s traditions beautifully. “There are many ethnic and religious communities in the state, and they live together in harmony. This is an ideal for all Indians,” He said.

The President commented that being a border state, Arunachal Pradesh offered a unique opportunity to trade and do business with neighbouring countries. He expressed hope that Arunachal Pradesh would become a driver of India’s trade and economic relations with ASEAN countries under the Act East Policy of Government of India.

Earlier, on his way to Itanagar, the President was given a warm welcome during brief stop-over at Lilabari Airport in Assam, by Assam governor Jagdish Mukhi, chief minister Sarbanada Sonowal and senior Cabinet Minster Dr Himanta Bishwa Sarma.

Addressing the legislators, the President urged them to remember that they had been elected as members of the Legislative Assembly to achieve the aspirations of the people of the State and to render public service. After election, they represented all citizens of their constituency, including those who may not have voted for them. As legislators, they are guardians of public interest and trust. It is their responsibility to make laws that improve the lives of people and to resolve issues of public concern.

The President also raced the valedictory function of the completion of 40 years of the Vivekananda Kendra in Itanagar. He lauded Vivekananda Kendra for commendable work in Arunachal Pradesh in the field of education. He was happy to note that the Vivekananda Kendra’s schools had kept alive the guru-shishya tradition through the Gurukul system.

The President noted that the Vivekananda Kendra schools were a happy synthesis of country’s traditional knowledge and values and of modern science and technology.

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