I pay my respectful tributes to Late Harmohan Singh Yadav ji on his death anniversary. I am also thankful to Sukhram ji for inviting me with such great affection to this event. Moreover, it was my desire to come to Kanpur for this programme to be present amidst you all. But today, it is also a huge occasion for our country’s democracy. Today our new President has been sworn in. For the first time since independence, a woman President from the tribal society is going to lead the country. This is a living example of the power of our democracy and inclusiveness. Various important events are being organized in Delhi today on this occasion. My presence in Delhi for constitutional obligations is quite natural and also necessary. Therefore, I am joining you today through video conferencing.
We have a belief that life is perpetual even after death. Lord Krishna has said the following in the Gita – नैनं छिन्दन्ति शस्त्राणि नैनं दहति पावकः। That is, the soul is eternal; it is immortal. That is why, those who live for the society and serve mankind remain immortal even after death. Be it Mahatma Gandhi in his fight for freedom or Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay ji, Ram Manohar Lohia ji and Jayaprakash Narayan ji after independence, the immortal thoughts of several great souls inspire us even today. Harmohan Singh Yadav ji carried forward the ideals of Lohia ji in his long political career from the soil of Uttar Pradesh and Kanpur. The contribution that he had made in the politics of the state and the country, the work he had done for the society, will continue to guide the generations to come.
Chaudhary Harmohan Singh Yadav ji had started his political career from Gram Panchayat. Gradually he had moved from Gram Sabha to Rajya Sabha. He became the Pradhan, then the member of the Legislative Council, and an MP. Once upon a time, UP’s politics used to get direction from Meherban Singh's Purva. Even after reaching this height in terms of politics, the priority of Harmohan Singh ji was still the society. He had worked to build a competent leadership for the society. He had taken the youth forward and carried forward the resolves of Lohia ji. We saw his robust personality in 1984 as well. Harmohan Singh Yadav ji not only took a political stand against the Sikh massacre, but had come forward to protect the Sikh brothers and sisters. Putting his life at stake, he had saved many innocent lives and Sikh families. The country also recognized his leadership as he was conferred the Shaurya Chakra. The ideal example set by Harmohan Singh Yadav ji in social life is incomparable.
Harmohan ji had worked in the Parliament during the era of leaders like the revered Atal ji. Atal ji used to say- "Governments come, and governments go, parties will be formed and dissolved, but this country should survive and democracy should remain there eternally." This is the soul of our democracy. "A party is bigger than an individual, and a country is bigger than a party!" As parties exist because of democracy, and democracy exists because of the country. Most of the parties in our country, especially all the non-Congress parties have also followed this idea and the idea of cooperation and coordination for the country. I still remember, when the Indo-Pak war was fought in 1971, every major party stood shoulder to shoulder with the government. When the country conducted the first nuclear test, all the parties stood firmly with the government of that time. When the country's democracy was crushed during the Emergency, all the major parties came together and fought to save the Constitution. Chaudhary Harmohan Singh Yadav ji was also one of the soldiers who fought during that struggle. That is, the interests of our country and society are bigger than ideologies.
However, in recent times, the practice of putting ideology or political interests above the interest of the society and the country has begun. Sometimes, some opposition parties put obstacles in the work of the government because they could not implement the decisions themselves when they were in power. Now if these decisions are implemented, they oppose it. The people of the country do not like this mindset. It is the responsibility of every political party to ensure that the opposition from a party or an individual does not turn against the country. Ideologies have a separate place, and should be kept separate. There may be political ambitions. But the country should be prioritized; the society should be prioritized; and the Nation comes first.
Lohia ji believed that socialism is the symbol of equality. He cautioned that the collapse of socialism could lead to inequality. We have seen both these situations in India. We have seen that the society was not taken into consideration in the debates and discussion on the core principles of India. For us, society is the basis for our unity and co-operation. For us, society is our culture and culture is our nature. That is why, Lohia ji used to talk about the cultural potential of India. He prepared the ground for our heritage and emotional unity by starting the Ramayana Mela. He had thought about the conservation of sacred rivers like Ganga, decades ago. Today the country is fulfilling that dream through the Namami Gange campaign. Today the country is reviving the cultural symbols of its society. These efforts are awakening the cultural consciousness of the society, the energy of the society and strengthening our interconnectedness. Similarly, for a new India, the country is going beyond its rights and talking about duties today. When this sense of duty is strong, the society automatically becomes strong.
For the service of the society, it is essential that we accept and adopt the spirit of social justice. Today, when the country is celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav on 75 years of its independence, it is very important to understand this and move in this direction. Social justice means that every section of the society gets equal opportunities and no one is deprived of the basic necessities of life. When we uplift the Dalits, Backward classes, Adivasis, Women, and Divyang, only then the country will move forward. Harmohan ji considered education as paramount for this change. The work he did in the field of education shaped the future of several youngsters. Sukhram ji and brother Mohit are carrying forward his legacy today.
The country is also moving ahead with the mantra of "empowerment through education", and "education is empowerment itself". That is why, today campaigns like 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' for daughters are becoming so successful. The country has started Eklavya schools for children living in tribal areas. Under the new National Education Policy, provision for education in mother tongue has also been made. It is being ensured that children from poor families and villages are not left behind because of English. Efforts and schemes like Housing for all, electricity connection to all, clean water to all under Jal-Jeevan Mission, Samman Nidhi for farmers, are giving wings to the dreams of the poor, backward and dalit-tribals, as well as strengthening the ground for social justice in the country. The next 25 years of Amritkal are the years to ensure complete fulfilment of these resolutions of social justice. I am sure we all will play our part in these campaigns of the country. Once again my humble tribute to the revered Late Harmohan Singh Yadav ji! My heartiest thanks to all of you!