Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan has urged people to move towards a day "when our nation emerges as a spectrum of pluralism" and "a day when all human beings will be equal."
He also asked the people to join hands to build a new India by "upholding the constitutional values".
Vijayan, who has gone into self-quarantine after he came in the primary contact list of Malappuram district Collector who tested COVID-19 positive on Friday, urged people to move towards a day when the nation emerges as "a spectrum of pluralism".
In his independence day message posted on his official Facebook page late Friday night, he asked the people to join hands to build a new India by "upholding constitutional values".
"Let us work together to build a new India by strengthening secularism, ensuring social justice, defending civil and democratic rights while resisting imperialistic movements and upholding the constitutional values and protecting the constitutional institutions," he said.
"Let's move towards a day when our nation emerges as a spectrum of pluralism. Let us move towards a day when all human beings will be equal," Vijayan added.
The Chief Minister was unable to attend the independence day celebrations and receive the guard of honour after he went into self-quarantine.
Vijayan, six ministers, the Speaker P Sreeramakrishnan, the Chief Secretary, the state police chief and other officials who held a meeting with the Malappuram Collector after the Air India Express tragedy on August 7, were asked to go into self-quarantine.
In Vijayan's absence, Tourism Minister Kadakampally Surendran had earlier in the day hoisted the national flag at the independence day celebrations at the central stadium in the capital city.
In his message, the chief minister said the world was facing an unprecedented situation due to the pandemic and in Kerala, people have stood together with the government in fighting COVID-19.
"It is the policy of the state government that none should remain hungry during the lockdown and we were able to become a model in this regard for the whole country," he added.
Vijayan said the state had taken steps to ensure that the education for children was not halted even during the lockdown.
"Education is the path for the upliftment of society and based on this vision, we ensured that the studies and examination of our children are not disrupted due to COVID-19 lockdown.
We ensured the continuation of classes through online education and we are proud to say that everything was possible with the support of the people," Vijayan said.
The Chief Minister said the society will have to live with COVID-19 for some more time and "we need to work together" to fight the pandemic.
"We need to move forward by uplifting the weaker, backward, Dalit and minority sections of society. We can't achieve progress without bringing into the mainstream those who became disadvantaged due to historical reasons," Vijayan said.
(With inputs from PTI)