Casteism breaks social harmony, get rid of it: Kovind

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New Delhi, April 14 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday said that the country should get free from casteism which disturbs the country’s social harmony, which is essential not only for economic development but for all kinds of happiness and peace.

“We have to get rid of casteism as it breaks the social harmony of the country,” the President said at the launch of book “Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar: Vyakti Nahin Sankalp” at Rashtrapati Bhawan here. The book was released by Vice President Venkaiah Naidu.

Targeting politics of selfishness over its harmful trend of creating battlefields in the society, he said that people must work on the mindset of “don’t break but integrate the relations”.

Expressing his happiness that that Ambedkar’s 125th birth anniversary was commemorated at the United Nations in 2016, the President said that Ambedkar, like Martin Luther King Junior, is an inspiring figure for all humanity. “There is need to do justice to his legacy,” he said.

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Kovind said the book that he had been presented was a slim volume but was an accessible resource to understand Ambedkar, covering his life of Ambedkar and several dimensions of his ideas and personality, including how Prime Minister Narendra Modi had been inspired by Ambedkar’s life and message.

He expressed hope that thoughts compiled in the book would reach more and more citizens and motivate them to work together in peace and harmony.

Earlier on the day Kovind, visited Madhya Pradesh’s Mhow, the birthplace of Ambedkar, and garlanded his statue in the presence of Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot.

The three-day celebration in Mhow — also known as Dr Ambedkar Nagar — to mark the birth anniversary of Ambedkar kicked off on Thursday, an official said.

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Addressing the gathering, the President said that the greatest contribution of the Constitution, created under Ambedkar’s guidance, was to make all Indians equal citizens, irrespective of social or economic background.

“This Fundamental Right ensured that every Indian has the right to a dignified life. In parallel, the Constitution introduced universal franchise and gave every citizen, irrespective of social background or economic status, the right to vote.

“These two rights have special significance for the poor, the traditionally disadvantaged and the weaker sections of our society. These rights, along with the importance of education that Ambedkar underlined, are crucial for the proper exercise of all other rights granted to citizens by our Constitution.”

Ambedkar believed that this was our country, for all of us, and that whatever needed to be done to bring justice to the weaker sections of society could be achieved by adhering to social harmony, he added.

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–IANS

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