Prez invokes nationalist Assamese poet to describe how country can achieve success when united

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New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind invoked nationalist Assamese poet Ambikagiri Raichaudhuri in his address in Parliament on Friday to describe how the country achieves success even in seemingly unattainable goals whenever it is united and said challenges like COVID-19 or border tension with China were faced with fortitude by everyone together.

Addressing the joint sitting of both houses of Parliament on the first day of the Budget session, Kovind also said that the Narendra Modi government is fully committed to the overall and balanced development of eastern India.

He said whenever India has remained united, it has been able to attain even seemingly unattainable goals and this solidarity and Mahatma Gandhi's inspiration had given us freedom from hundreds of years of colonial rule.

'Echoing the same spirit, Assam 'Kesari' Ambikagiri Raichaudhuri, the nationalist poet, had said – 'Om tatsat Bharat Mahat, Ek chetonaat, Ek Dhyanot, Ek Sadhonaat, Ek Avegot, Ek Hoi Jaa, Ek Hoi Jaa' (India's grandeur is the ultimate truth. In one single consciousness, one thought, one devotion, one inspiration, let us unite; let us unite),' he said.

Raichaudhuri (1885–1967), known as the lion of Assam for his firebrand nationalist character, was a freedom fighter and won the Sahitya Akademi Award in 1965. He was also the President of Asom Sahitya Sabha in 1950.

The President said the unity and dedication of Indians has enabled the country to overcome multiple adversities.

He said the country has faced every crisis with fortitude, be it the coronavirus pandemic, floods, earthquakes or major cyclones in several states, locust attack or the bird flu. The recent past also saw an unprecedented escalation in tension along the border.

'The nation stood together, battled crises on multiple fronts and surmounted every challenge. During this period, we all have also witnessed the unparalleled courage, endurance, discipline and spirit of service of our countrymen,' he said.

Kovind said the central government is fully committed to the overall and balanced development of eastern India and a policy for rapid development of the Northeast while preserving its unique geographical, cultural and linguistic characteristics and its social identity is being implemented.

'For Assam and Northeastern states, river Brahmaputra is the 'Jibondhara' (lifeline). Making this lifeline the basis for economic activity, work on operationalising several national waterways is in progress. This will benefit all sections of people in the Northeast, including farmers, youth and entrepreneurs,' he said.

Kovind said by developing the integrated national waterways under the 'Artha Brahmaputra' programme, efforts are underway to transform Brahmaputra and Barak rivers as streams of development.

'The policy of my government for bringing enduring peace to the Northeast, based on sensitivity and collaboration, has started showing clear results now. Today extremism in Northeast is on the wane and there is a sharp decline in the number of violent incidents. The youth who went astray on the path of violence are now returning to the mainstream of development and nation building,' he said.

The President said the rehabilitation of Bru refugees is being completed in a peaceful and harmonious manner.

'Similarly, a historic Bodo peace accord has been signed which has been implemented successfully. After the accord, this time the elections to the Bodo Territorial Council have also been held successfully,' he said. PTI ACB ZMN