Our people not only builders of Republic, but its pillars President

New Delhi: In his first Republic Day eve address, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday chose to underline the significance of tolerance and the need to respect everybody’s views without hurting any individual’s dignity. The President’s thoughts could not have come at a better occasion when the controversy over the film Padmaavat has resulted in violent protests across the country, endangering the lives of people and even children.

Mr Kovind called for a “civic-minded” society where one can disagree with views even which had a historical context without mocking the other person’s dignity.

The President also said that institutions should be “disciplined and morally upright”, adding they are always “more important” than the individuals in office. The institutions should also respect their “fraternal relationship” with other institutions, he added.

Touching on other issues, Mr Kovind emphasised that it is “our sacred obligation” to eliminate the curse of poverty in the shortest possible time.

“This is non-negotiable for the Republic. A civic-minded nation is built by civic-minded neighbourhoods, whether in our cities or our villages. Where we respect the next-door person’s space, privacy and rights. Where we do not inconvenience our neighbours — while celebrating a festival or while resorting to a protest or on any other occasion. Where one can disagree with another viewpoint — or even with a historical context — without mocking a fellow citizen’s dignity and personal space. This is fraternity in action,” the President said.

The comments come at a time when several parts of the country have witnessed stiff opposition over Padmaavat.

“A disciplined and morally upright nation is built by disciplined and morally upright institutions. Institutions that respect their fraternal relationship with other institutions. Institutions that maintain the integrity, discipline and limits of their functioning, without compromising on excellence. Institutions that are always more important than the individuals located there. And institutions where the holders and members make every attempt to live up to the office they occupy as trustees of the people,” Mr Kovind said.