Now no one can skip national anthem during President's events

Now no one can skip national anthem during President's events

President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday said the Rashtrapati Bhavan has made some changes in the schedules of events attended by him to ensure that guests remain present for the national anthem.

According to the changed schedule, the vote of thanks would precede the President's speech so that the audience would stay on for the national anthem.

"This is a little change that we have adopted on the basis of suggestions received from different quarters," he said at a civic reception hosted by the Kerala government to honour him.

"Normally, in such programmes, the vote of thanks is given after the speech of the chief guest. But during my three last months, Rashtrapati Bhavan has received so many suggestions. "They said that 'sir when you finish your speech, people stand up and do not even care for the national anthem and try to leave the place without listening to the vote of thanks," the President said.

"That way our people are not showing respect to the national anthem. So we decided.... let us have the vote of thanks before the speech of the President," he said.

"After I finish the speech, I will go to the seat and everybody will stand to honour the national anthem," he said.

Kovind, who began his address in Malayalam with 'sahodhari sahodaranmare (sisters and brothers), said all languages should be given thrust. The President said that historically, Kerala is a land of spiritualism, with a tradition of spiritual leadership and social reform, extending from Adi Shankaracharya to Sri Narayana Guru to Ayyankali and so many others.

Kerala's traditions and thinking have been humanistic, people-oriented and democratic, he said, adding that emphasis on human development and health-care and education in the southern state has set an example for the rest of the country.

The President said that not only are the people of Kerala educated and knowledgeable, they are willing to use that to venture out and to help build the nation and to contribute to the well-being and the prosperity of other regions.

"Kerala continues to attract the international community. This beautiful state is one of Indias leading tourism destinations," he said. He stated that just as outsiders have flocked to Kerala, Kerala's people too have ventured out of their home state and contributed to the world.

"The Malayalee migrant community is the backbone of the work force of so many Gulf States. And it faithfully sends back remittances to help in the development of Kerala and of India," he said. Remembering his predecessor K R Narayanan, the first Keralite to become the President, Kovind said he was happy to be in Kerala for the second time this month.

"And I am happier still to be here on the birth anniversary of Dr K R Narayanan, a distinguished son of Kerala and one of my honourable predecessors in the Presidential office."

Kovind earlier this month had launched various welfare schemes of Matha Amrithanandamayi Math at nearby Vallikavu in Kollam district. Earlier in the day, the President paid tributes to social reformer Ayyankali by garlanding his statue here.

Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said Kovind was a President who captured the hearts of the people of Kerala within a short span of him assuming office. With his last outing in Kerala, people have realised he is not a President who lives in 'dantha gopuram', (Malayalam phrase for a state of privileged seclusion ), Vijayan said.

Kovind will attend the valedictory function of the diamond jubilee celebrations of the Kerala High Court in Kochi tomorrow returning to Delhi.

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