Dear Fellow Citizens
- I offer you my greetings on the eve of our 73rd Independence Day. This is a happy and emotional day for all children of Mother India, whether living at home or abroad. Weremember with gratitude the countless freedom fighters and revolutionaries who struggled, strived and made heroic sacrifices to win us our freedom from colonial rule.
- We complete 72 years as a free nation at a very special juncture. In a few weeks from now, on October 2nd, we will celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of the Father of ourNation, Mahatma Gandhi, the guiding light of our successful effort to liberate our nation and of our continuing effort to reform our society of all inequities.
- Contemporary India is very different from the India in which Mahatma Gandhi lived and worked. Even so, Gandhiji remains extremely relevant. In his advocacy of sustainability, ecological sensitivity and living in harmony with nature, he anticipated pressing challenges of our times. When we design and deliver welfare programmes for our disadvantaged fellow citizens and families, when we seek to harness the power of the sun as renewable energy, we put Gandhian philosophy into action.
- This year also marks the 550th birth anniversary of one of the greatest, wisest and most influential Indians of all time – Guru Nanak Devji. He was the founder of Sikhism, but the reverence and respect he commands go far beyond just our Sikh brothers and sisters. They extend to millions of others in India and across the world. My best wishes to them on this pious occasion.
- The illustrious generation that led us to freedom did not perceive independence only in terms of transfer of political power. They considered it a stepping stone in a longer and larger process of nation building and national welding. Their objective was to improve the life of each individual, each family and of society as a whole.