In a letter to former President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he set the highest standards of principles, probity and performance, and of sensitivity and service. Kovind on Tuesday shared the letter written by the Prime Minister on his last day in the office. “This letter from Prime Minister @narendramodi has deeply touched me. I take his kind and heartfelt words as a reflection of love and respect fellow citizens have showered on me. I am sincerely grateful to you all,” Kovind said.
In a two page letter dated July 24, Prime Minister Modi said, “As your term draws to an end, I join the entire nation in saluting you and extending our deepest gratitude for your outstanding service as the President of our Republic and for a long and distinguished career in public life. You set the highest standards of principles, probity and performance, and of sensitivity and service.”
The Prime Minister also mentioned his journey from a small village to Rashtrapati Bhavan. “As we approach the 75th anniversary of Independence, your remarkable personal journey, from a small village deep in the heartland of our country to Rashtrapati Bhavan, has been a parable for our country’s evolution and development, and an inspiration for our society,” he wrote.
Prime Minister noted that through his life and career, former President Kovind has persevered with determination and dignity, with a deep commitment to the morality and integrity that is at the core of the Indian ethos, and with the highest regard and responsibility towards the principles of our Constitution. “In turn, as the highest authority of our country, you upheld and reinforced the ideals of our Constitution and the vitality of our democracy with sound judgement, great dignity and extraordinary statesmanship – and always with the best interests of our Republic as your compass,” the Prime Minister said.
Talking about pandemic, Prime Minister said, “As the Head of State at a time of unprecedented stress of the pandemic and a world caught in turbulence and conflict, you were a source of calmness, unity and reassurance at home, and a persuasive advocate of India’s values and interests abroad.” “You were the First Citizen of the country, but I always found you unwavering in your compassion and concern for the welfare of the weakest citizen. Even as you reached the highest office in our land, you remained firmly and proudly rooted in its soil and connected with the people; happy in their company, sensitive to their problems, perceptive about their expectations, and acutely aware of the needed change.”
The Prime Minister further mentioned that the former President was a steadfast and passionate champion of social transformation and inclusion, speaking for the poor, the historically excluded and oppressed, and the marginalised, with special attention to the status and role of women. “During your presidency, in your numerous actions, interventions and speeches, you have represented and carried the best of India to all corners of our country and the world,” he said.
Pointing towards his interaction with Kovind beyond Presidency, Prime Minister said, I have seen you toil among people during your political career. As a Member of Parliament, you made a mark as an effective Parliamentarian who often raised issues pertaining to social welfare and education. Your gubernatorial tenure in Bihar was outstanding. You made unparalleled efforts to make the Raj Bhavan into a Lok Bhavan, which is accessible to the common people. I have always been deeply touched by your humility, grace and generosity.”
Remembering their recent visit to Kovind’s village in Kanpur, Prime Minister said, “I will never forget our visit to Paraunkh a few weeks ago. I was particularly touched to see how you had donated your family residence to help others, especially those belonging to the poor and marginalised sections of society. It was equally heartening to see you retain the deep connect with your roots and the affection the people showered upon you.” “Your special gesture of coming to receive me at the helipad will remain etched in my memory forever. Equally special was your gesture of visiting my mother and talking to her on several issues. It showed your deep-rooted commitment to the value-systems integral to our land,” Modi said.
Modi noted that it has been privilege working as his Prime Minister. “You have always been generous with your time and counsel to me over the past five years, and I will continue to turn to you for advice. It has been a real privilege to work with you, Rashtrapati Ji, as your Prime Minister. I join fellow citizens in wishing you a long and healthy life ahead,” Prime Minister Modi added.