Youth should observe non-violence when fighting for a cause: President Kovind

NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said that the people, particularly youth, should not forget the "gift of ahimsa (non-violence)" given by Mahatma Gandhi when fighting for a cause.

In his address to the nation on the eve of Republic Day, he said Gandhiji's talisman for deciding whether an act is right or wrong also applies to the functioning of the country's democracy.
Kovind also cited Bharat Ratna Dr BR Ambedkar to emphasise constitutional methods for achieving social and economic objectives.

He said that the government and opposition should move in tandem while giving expressions to their political ideas.

His remarks have come amid acrimony between the government and the opposition on various issues and violence during protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in some parts of the country.

The President said that government and opposition both have important roles to play.

"While giving expression to their political ideas, both must move forward in tandem to ensure that development of the country and welfare of its people are promoted consistently," he said.

"When fighting for a cause, people, particularly the youth, should not forget the gift of ahimsa Gandhiji gave to humanity," he added.

He cited Ambedkar saying that `if we wish to maintain democracy not merely in form, but also in fact, what must we do? The first thing in my judgment we must do is to hold fast to constitutional methods of achieving our social and economic objectives'.

"These words have always lighted our path. These words will continue to show us the way ahead to new glories," said the President.

He said Mahatma Gandhi's ideals remain relevant in nation-building efforts. "It should be part of our daily routine to introspect on Gandhiji's message of truth and non-violence, which has become all the more necessary in our times," Kovind said.

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PTI