Indianness rooted in diversity, says Kerala Governor Khan in Republic Day address

PTI Thiruvananthapuram | Updated on January 26, 2020

Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan at the Republic Day Parade in Thiruvananthapuram on Sunday.   -  The Hindu

Leading the 71st Republic Day celebrations in the state, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan on Sunday said that ‘Indianness’ has been rooted in diversity and in acceptance of which the country has always sheltered the persecuted people of the world.

Khan unfurled the national flag at the state-level celebration at the Central Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, and inspected a parade in which armed and mounted police and others participated.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and some of his cabinet colleagues were among those present at the celebrations.

In his address on the occasion, Khan said the founding fathers of the nation considered democracy as a sacred trust and so they adopted a Constitution that fully reflects the eternal Indian ethos, values and traditions.

“Indianness has been rooted in diversity which implies both respect and acceptance of variety... It is in this acceptance of diversity that India has always sheltered the persecuted people of the world,” the Governor said.

His remarks came amid the opposition from different quarters to the Citizenship Amendment Act which will benefit persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

The day also saw Latin churches across the state reading out a pastoral letter against the CAA claiming the act was not just affecting one particular community and calling for observing January 26 as the day to “protect the Constitution” of the country.

Mosques under the Wakf Board and the Latin churches hoisted the national flag and read out the preamble to the Constitution after the routine prayer.

The Kerala assembly has passed a resolution seeking repeal of the amended act and the LDF government moved the Supreme Court seeking quashing of the CAA, contending that it was contradictory to the Constitutional ethos.

Kerala ‘model’

Khan, at loggerheads with the state government over its moves against the CAA including approaching the apex court, in his address praised Vijayan’s leadership as he reeled out achievements of the state in different areas. He said the “sweetness” of state’s achievement lies in the gravity of adversities faced during the consecutive floods in 2018 and 2019.

“Kerala’s development initiatives under the leadership of Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan have brought well deserved recognition to the state in many areas,” Khan said. He lauded the State for standing first in the Sustainable Development Goal Index developed by United Nations Organisation and NITI Ayog and emerging first in the Health and public education sectors as per NITI Ayog index.

“Being a model to the country in terms of welfare and gender equality are some examples of our progress,” Khan noted.

The Governor also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said he has been emphasising the vision for “transforming India by transforming education with the mantra of education for all, quality education”.

Noting the achievements of the state in various sectors like health, he said “the recording of lowest maternal mortality rate, National Quality Assurance Standards Certification to more government hospitals” merit special mention.

Khan said Kerala has offered the most liberal terms to entrepreneurs, energising the start-up ecosystem. “In tune with the national policy of leveraging the immense diplomatic potential of our non-resident citizens, Kerala has achieved the promise significant investment at the recently organised Loka Kerala Sabha,” Khan said.

State Ministers Mercykutty Amma, E Chandrashekharan, Kadakampally Surendran, MM Mani, AK Balan, K T Jaleel, VS Suni Kumar and others attended the Republic Day celebrations at different district headquarters.

Published on January 26, 2020

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