Republic Day speech: President Murmu calls Ram Mandir event 'historic', does not mention Manipur

President of India, Droupadi Murmu, delivers her address on the eve of Republic Day. Photo: X/@rashtrapatibhvn

President Droupadi Murmu called the recent consecration of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya "a landmark in India's continued re-discovery of its civilisational heritage". She made the remark while addressing the nation on the eve of the 75th Republic Day.

President Murmu also talked about the "many conflicts" raging around the world but did not specifically mention the ongoing tension in Manipur. The northeast state governed by the BJP has been embroiled in ethnic violence since May 3, 2023, and has claimed at least 175 lives and displaced tens of thousands. "There have been a series of humanitarian tragedies on a large scale, and we feel aggrieved over the human suffering. Let us hope that the regions embroiled in conflicts will find a peaceful way to resolve conflicts and bring about peace," she said.

Thousands of people turned up to pay their final respects to the departed souls amid prohibitory orders in Manipur's Churachandpur. Photo: Manorama

The President lauded India's advancements in several fields, particularly the initiatives of the national space agency, ISRO. President Murmu highlighted the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 on the lunar surface, the entry of India's solar mission, Aditya L1 into the halo orbit and the launch of XPoSat, India's first X-ray Polarimeter Satellite.

India's presidency at the G20 summit was hailed as an unprecedented achievement, by President Murmu, who also cherished the 'robust health of the economy'. "Our GDP growth rate has remained the highest among major economies in recent years," the President said.

Acknowledging the influence of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning in our society, President Murmu said that though there are numerous areas of concern, there are also exciting opportunities, especially for youngsters.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayers before the idol of Ram Lalla during the 'Pran Pratishtha' ceremony at the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on January 22. Photo: PTI

People's faith
President Murmu opened her speech with "an appeal to fellow citizens to abide by our Fundamental Duties enshrined in the Constitution". "These duties are essential obligations of every citizen towards making Bharat a developed nation when it completes 100 years of Independence... For this largest family in the world, co-existence is not an imposition of geography but a source of happiness, which finds expression in our Republic Day celebrations," the President said.

Thereafter, she touched upon the recent event of the Ram Mandir consecration ceremony in Ayodhya, which she did not attend. "We witnessed the historic consecration ceremony of the idol of Prabhu Shri Ram in the glorious new temple constructed at his birthplace in Ayodhya. When this event will be seen in a wider perspective, future historians will consider it a landmark in India's continued re-discovery of its civilisational heritage. The construction of the temple commenced after the due judicial process and the decision of the highest court of the land. Now it stands as a grand edifice, giving a befitting expression not only of people's faith but also as a testament to people's enormous trust in the judicial process."

The Ram Mandir construction began after a Supreme Court verdict in 2019. Ayodhya had a 16th-century mosque, which was demolished by Hindu fundamentalists in December 1992.

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