Speech for Republic Day 2011:Republic Day Speech
My Dear Brothers & sisters,
It is my proud privilege to extend to all of you gathered here today my cordial greetings and best wishes on the occasion of the 61st Republic Day celebrations. It is our duty, on this day, to pay obeisance to our founding fathers who have made it possible for us to stand together to breathe the fresh air of freedom and democracy. Today we are enjoying the fruits of their labour. They shed their blood, sweat and tears so that we could sleep peacefully and awaken to a new morrow. The most important lesson that we should learn from them, which has become more relevant today than sixty years ago, is the lesson of tolerance. Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we develop the spirit of accommodation towards all religions, all nations, and all people. We should be proud to belong to a nation, which taught the world unity in diversity and universal acceptance. We believe in the world as one family – ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. We accept all religions as true .Our country has sheltered the refugees of many religions and nations. The affirmative, enduring and energising values that have been handed down to us by our forefathers need to be passed on to our children if we want them to grow up as good human beings and good citizens of India.
Republic Day is a joyous occasion to celebrate the formation of our Republic. It is also the day we need to step back and take a look at ourselves. We have to take stock of our achievements and failures. We have to examine closely the instances where we have gone wrong, so that the mistakes that we have committed do not get repeated either by us or by the future generations. Let us introspect so that history will not accuse us of having failed in our duty. Our grand children and great-grand children should be able to look back at us and laud us for the work we have done. We should not give them a reason to hang their heads in shame and humiliation. We should, in fact, instil in them a sense of pride and a sense of purpose. They should be proud to proclaim their lineage on the platform of the world.
There are many difficulties, which must and can be peacefully removed or remedied. It is the bounden duty of one and all to soothe the frayed nerves of those aggrieved and reassure them of our support and goodwill. We have to shed all feelings of hatred towards any community and caste and nurture a positive attitude. The wise and good people of all nations have come to the same conclusion after trial and experience, over and over again, namely, that it is necessary to forgive and forget and that the way of violence must be given up if the country is to progress and prosper. We should guard ourselves against the militant and divisive forces, which can tear the social fabric of our country apart.
Dear friends, let us all try to strive towards development and progress. The process of development will not be meaningful without the active involvement of the people in a democracy. Modern democracy aims at protecting the rights of the individual and sub-groups as well as ensuring loyalty to the nation. Democracy is undeniably and irrevocably connected to nationalism. Nationalism cannot be defined as loyalty to ethnic groups, race or religion. We should forget parochial and regional differences and concern ourselves with eradicating poverty, illiteracy, unemployment and other maladies. Let us all take a solemn pledge to work sincerely, selflessly and with dedication for the good of our nation on this auspicious occasion.