Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the presentation of Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. M Veerappa Moily



Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the presentation of Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. M Veerappa Moily
It is a great pleasure for me to be here this evening on the occasion of the presentation of the 24thSaraswati Sammaan. I am particularly happy to have the privilege of conferring this prestigious award on my fellow Parliamentarian and friend of mine for several decades, Dr. M. Veerappa Moily. I congratulate Dr. Moily for contributing to literature through his prolific writings along with having a successful political career.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The two great epics of India, Valmiki’sRamayanaand Vyasa’s Mahabharatahave had a major role in moulding the samskaras and sentiments of most Indians. There is hardly any Indian, regardless of his religion, caste or creed, who is not familiar with these grand epics. If the Mahabharata instilled in us the values of forbearance, generosity and familial virtues, the Ramayana gave us images of filial, conjugal, and fraternal love in a world that treasured the welfare of all human beings. It is a rare combination of political philosophy and spiritual discourse bringing high morality to practical situations of daily life. So also Moily ji has reflected upon virtually all facets of social and political life in India today. In his magnificent composition of 43,000 lines inspired by the original epic of Valmiki, Moilyji has shared with us his unique insight into contemporary situations. He has then addressed them through the prism of the eternal principles of good governance, high morality and righteousness. He has, no doubt, drawn from his own variety of experiences as a political leader and administrator. He has shared his belief that present day India has a lot to learn from the Ramayana – especially that our nation-building effort must be based on the strong foundation of tolerance, pluralism and inclusiveness. I laud Moilyji for selecting the effective medium of poetry and the timeless theme of the Ramayana to deliver this important message. I congratulate him for reminding us, through his powerful verse, that the challenges that our society faces today can be resolved if we follow our ancient value systems.

I am reminded of Gandhiji’s dream of ‘Ram Rajya’, in which he envisioned an ideal society - where justice, equality, idealism, renunciation and sacrifice are practiced. His Ram Rajya is a nation where peace, prosperity and tranquillity prevail. Gandhiji had once said that the Ram Rajya of his dreams meant, and I quote, "sovereignty of the people based on pure moral authority”. Just as good prevails over evil in the Ramayana - and Gandhiji’s words "Satyamev Jayete” remind us that truth alone triumphs, Moily ji’s epic brings to us such ageless values as compassion, self correction and discipline in thought and deed. I find, in his message, an echo of my own perceptions – that our democracy can only flourish if there is an active Parliament, if the representatives of the people have a clear vision, if their efforts are supported and supplemented by a diligent Government and an independent judiciary. Additionally, the system depends on a responsible media and a vigilant society.

Thus, our democratic rights come with responsibilities. We, the people of India are duty bound to make collective efforts to build our society, and contribute sincerely to the economic growth and inclusive development of our nation. Gandhiji stated once that it must be our endeavour to avoid the Seven Deadly Sins of "Politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity and worship without sacrifice”.I have no doubt that through his magnificent work, Shri Ramayana Mahanveshanam, Moily ji will help create a greater sensitivity to such values.

This composition can truly be called a milestone – not only in the realm of Indian literature; but in the tradition of the Ramayana.

I am very glad that the poem has been translated into Hindi, Telugu, Tamil and English and has thus become accessible to a larger readership.

I take this opportunity to congratulate the K.K. Birla Foundation for instituting the Saraswati Sammaan and encouraging creative literature.

I thank them for giving me this honour and wish the Foundation every success in its other similar initiatives.

With these words, I once again congratulate my old friend Dr. Veerappa Moily.

I thank you all.

Jai Hind!

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President of India presents Saraswati Sammaan to Dr. M Veerappa Moily
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee presented the 24th Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. M Veerappa Moily, Member of Parliament (Lok Sabha) today (August 10, 2015) in New Delhi. He received the award for his Epic ‘Sri Ramayana Mahanveshanam’ written in Kannada.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said he was happy to have the privilege of conferring the prestigious Saraswati Sammaan on his fellow Parliamentarian and friend of several decades, Dr. M. Veerappa Moily. He congratulated Dr. Molly for contributing to literature through his prolific writings along with having a successful political career.

The President said in his magnificent composition of 43,000 lines inspired by the original epic of Valmiki, Dr. Moily has shared with us his unique insight into contemporary situations. He has then addressed them through the prism of the eternal principles of good governance, high morality and righteousness. He has shared his belief that present day India has a lot to learn from the Ramayana – especially that our nation-building effort must be based on the strong foundation of tolerance, pluralism and inclusiveness.

The President said that just as good prevails over evil in the Ramayana - and Gandhiji’s words “Satyamev Jayete” remind us that truth alone triumphs, Moilyji’s epic brings to us such ageless values as compassion, self correction and discipline in thought and deed. In Dr. Moily’s message, an echo of his own perceptions – that our democracy can only flourish if there is an active Parliament, if the representatives of the people have a clear vision, if their efforts are supported and supplemented by a diligent Government and an independent judiciary. Additionally, the system depends on a responsible media and a vigilant society. The composition could truly be called a milestone – not only in the realm of Indian literature; but in the tradition of the Ramayana. 

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President of India addresses students and faculty of Institutes of Higher Learning through video conferencing
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee addressed the students and faculty of Institutes of Higher Learning from Rashtrapati Bhavan today (August 10, 2015) using the National Knowledge Network. The topic of the address was ‘Energizing the Higher Educational Institutes in India’.

Addressing students and faculty, the President said he was speaking to them in the shadow of an irreparable loss that we have suffered in the passing away of Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. He stated that his two illustrious predecessors, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan - a philosopher teacher and Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam - a scientist teacher have greatly influenced his thinking on the education sector.

The President said that to take our fascinating and vibrant democracy to greater heights, we need highly educated and skilled young men and women. That is the challenge before our higher education system. Converting information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom, calls for exceptional skills which we must impart in our students. They should be prepared for lifelong learning which now is easier because of digital technology. An inquisitive mind and research oriented approach has to be built in our students.

The President said that students must learn how to manage knowledge collectively. It is essential for the younger generation to learn how to use the latest technologies for aiding their learning process. Universities must create an eco-system with adequate hardware and software where ‘inspired teachers’ can be effectively used to propagate knowledge. Entrepreneurship is another quality which must be cultivated in our students from an early age.

The President said that value oriented education with deep understanding of the democratic governance structures and systems is a must for building leadership skills. “Yes, We Can” spirit has to be inculcated in formative years of our gen-next. They must have the disposition “to do the right thing” as well as “to do things right”.

The President said that urgent measures to improve academic management in higher level institutions are necessary. In two reputed international rankings of universities, there is not a single entry from India against the top 200 places. The rankings process should be taken seriously. A high rank can boost the morale of the academic community and open greater avenues of growth and placement for students. As a result of concerted efforts, India today has nine institutions in top 50 in the BRICS region, with the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore at the 5th position. He expressed the hope that the success in the BRICS rating will extend to other international ratings.

The President said that our universities and engineering and research institutions must make India a hub for technology-based products. They must build a research culture and promote research activity at all levels. Our institutes of higher learning must leverage their linkages with key stakeholders. Academic institutes in India must develop partnerships with reputed international institutions.

The President stated that an institution can draw the expertise and experience of some of their illustrious alumni for academic management through governing bodies. A higher educational institution should interact with the society at large. Adoption of some neighbourhood villages to effect holistic change and transform them into model villages can be a very good beginning.

The President interacted with students who raised many questions. Later, in his concluding remarks, the President said that teachers, mould the destiny of students, in turn shaping the fate of nations much like the soft and skillful hands of a potter. In his view, an inspired teacher was a value-oriented, mission-driven, self-motivated and result-oriented individual. He works towards impacting the environment in a positive manner through his own actions as well as by imparting knowledge amongst students to help them achieve their potential. An inspired teacher links the individual goals of the students to the societal and national goals. He said that we must attract talent to the academic profession. Teaching as a profession must receive the respect and recognition that it deserves. We must have the environment that fosters creativity and recognize merit.

Addressing students and faculty of Institutes of Higher Learning twice a year through video conferencing is a practice which the President started in January 2014. Through this e-platform, which has now been upgraded to twice its capacity, it is possible for the President to connect with a much larger audience from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, West to East and North-East. 

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President of India pays floral tributes to former President VV GIRI
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee paid floral tributes to Shri Varhagiri Venkata Giri, former President of India on occasion of his birth anniversary at Rashtrapati Bhavan today.

The President, officers and staff paid floral tributes in front of a portrait of Shri Varhagiri Venkata Giri in the Durbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan. 

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President of India’s message on the eve of Independence Day of Chad
The President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee has extended his greetings and felicitations to the Government and people of the Republic of Chad on the eve of their Independence Day (August 11, 2015).

In his message to His Excellency Mr. Idriss Deby Itno, the President of the Republic of Chad, the President has said, “On behalf of the Government, the people of India and on my own behalf, it gives me great pleasure to extend warm greetings and felicitations to you and to the people of the Republic of Chad on the occasion of your Independence Day.

I am confident that our close and friendly relations will continue to strengthen in the years ahead.

Please accept, Excellency, my best wishes for your continued well-being as also for the welfare and progress of the friendly people of the Republic of Chad.” 


Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the presentation of Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. M Veerappa Moily Speech by the President of India, Shri Pranab Mukherjee at the presentation of Saraswati Sammaan for the year 2014 to Dr. M Veerappa Moily Reviewed by Ajit Kumar on 10:30 AM Rating: 5

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