Disagree with a viewpoint, but don't mock someone's dignity, says President Ram Nath Kovind in Republic Day eve address

President on Thursday asked the rich to voluntarily giving up their entitlements for those with greater need.

Disagree with a viewpoint, but don't mock someone's dignity, says President Ram Nath Kovind in Republic Day eve address

New Delhi: In what can be construed as a veiled attack on the protests against Sanjay Leela Bhansali's film 'Padmaavat', President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said that disagreements should not mock a fellow citizen's dignity and personal space.

The President's remarks in his first Republic Day eve address to the nation came against the backdrop of violence in a couple of states by various Rajput groups, including the Karni Sena, who opposed the release of the film.

"A civic-minded nation is built by civic-minded neighbourhoods, whether in our cities or our villages. Where we respect the next-door person's space, privacy and rights. Where we do not inconvenience our neighbours while celebrating a festival or while resorting to a protest or on any other occasion," he said.

President Kovind added, "Where one can disagree with another viewpoint - or even with a historical context - without mocking a fellow citizen's dignity and personal space. This is fraternity in action."

On the other hand, the President also asked the rich to renew India's age-old culture of philanthropy by voluntarily giving up their entitlements for those with greater need.

At the same time, he spoke of the need to move ahead rapidly on sustainable development goals like housing for all and the obligation to eliminate the curse of poverty in the shortest possible time.

President Kovind further stressed on the need to reform, upgrade and enlarge the education system to make it relevant to 21st-century realities of the digital economy, genomics, robotics and automation.

He said a nation with a sense of selflessness is built by citizens and by a society that embraces selflessness not because anybody has asked them to but because of a call from within. 

"Where a better-off family voluntarily gives up an entitlement - it could be subsidised LPG today and some other entitlement tomorrow - so that another family, which has a greater need, can avail it," the President said.

He urged all citizens to collate privileges and entitlements and "then look at less-privileged members of a similar background, those who are starting off from where we once started off.

"And let each of us introspect and ask - : Is his need or her need greater than mine? The spirit of philanthropy and of giving is part of our age-old culture. Let us renew it," President Kovind said.

'Padmaavat' opens under security cover:

Meanwhile, 'Padmaavat' released on Thursday across the country under the shadow of security personnel and simmering tensions.

The tension was palpable with security personnel mounting a vigil at cineplexes and single screen halls but the day passed without any major incident despite violence in some places, including in Rajasthan, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.

In some parts of the country, multiplex owners took the precaution of not putting up posters to ward off trouble.

The Rs 150 crore film was released in 4,000 screens across the country.

The film stars Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh and Shahid Kapoor.

(With IANS and PTI inputs)

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