Diversity keeps us united, Kovind tells Arunachal MLAs

By TheHindu on 20 Nov 2017 | read

Addressing the Arunachal Pradesh legislative Assembly on Sunday, President Ramnath Kovind said the people of India have different food habits, clothing, religious beliefs and traditions, and this diversity was the country’s strength.

“We are all citizens of this country, which is culturally rich and diverse. In India, we find different kinds of food habits, clothes, traditions and religious beliefs. This diversity is our strength and it unites us,” Mr. Kovind said.

Over the last two years, food habits in India have come under sharp focus, with cow vigilante groups in different parts of the country sometimes targeting people, particularly of minority communities, on suspicion of storing beef or carrying cattle purportedly for slaughter.

Mr. Kovind added that Arunachal Pradesh — where different tribes co-existed and also conserved their own traditions — expressed India's unity in diversity beautifully.

“I respect from the bottom of my heart the rich traditions of the people of Arunachal Pradesh and hope that the members here would strive to protect and preserve these age-old traditions,” he added.

He added that the border State presented a unique opportunity for trade with neighbouring countries and expressed the hope that it would help in extending business relations with ASEAN nations as per the Act East Policy.

This was Mr. Kovind’s first visit to the State — which China claims is part of Tibet — after becoming President.

He commended the Centre for its “effective steps” to step up development in the State, making specific mention of a Shatabdi train being extended to Itanagar and the construction of the Trans-Arunachal highway.

He said that the State had immense potential for organic farming, horticulture and tourism.

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