On the auspicious occasion of the 71st Independence Day of our great Nation, my wife and I take great pleasure in greeting the people of my beautiful state of Mizoram.
15th August occupies a place of immense importance in the annals of our history. It marks the culmination of a struggle spanning across centuries by all sections of the Indian society against oppression, tyranny and discrimination. Today, it is important that we ourselves do not fall prey to these vices. Instead, we must remember and continue to uphold the ideals of our freedom fighters; ideals such as democracy, secularism and brotherhood.
Seven decades after Independence, we continue to reap the benefits of the sacrifices made by our brethrens. The country is now the third largest economy in the world, and has become a key player in the current multipolar world. We should take it upon ourselves to keep the Indian flag flying high. Higher the better!
Mizoram has been my home for more than two years now. As I continue to meet talented people across all spectrums of the society, I become more convinced that Mizoram is truly punching well below its weight. Our most urgent need is the opening of our windows, and a willingness to incorporate the best practices of other cultures.
I am sure you will all agree that isolation will only prevent us from unlocking our true potential. Mizoram will turn from an “outpost” to a “Gateway” leading on to South East Asia and beyond, only if the barriers of isolation are broken.
Another problem which I have personally viewed very seriously is our unhealthy lifestyle habits. Our dubious distinction in the country in terms of high incidences of cancer and tobacco abuse are a testament to this fact. In this regard, I appeal to all the people of Mizoram to actively support and participate in the Healthy Mizoram Campaign, which was launched on 21st June of this year.
It requires all the tools and modes of health care to be put to use. I expect each one of us from all sections of society to partake in this mission without inhibitions. A Healthy Mizoram is a prerequisite for a prosperous Mizoram.
We should make concerted efforts to act upon the numerous strengths that Mizoram is endowed with. We have valuable peace here, a pleasant climate, and a strong community. However, let us never take these blessings for granted and sit idle. Instead we should grab this opportune moment. It is imperative that we exploit the peace dividend, and develop Mizoram as a ‘model state’ for others to emulate.
The recent havoc caused in different parts of the State by flash floods and landslides was unfortunate. This should serve as a reminder that all of us, as stakeholders, need to do much more. As responsible citizens, it is our duty to follow the different regulations and codes put in place for disaster-preparedness.
My Government is ready to help sincere and hard-working innovators. The New Economic Development Policy (NEDP) is a comprehensive growth strategy for this purpose. It is my desire that the educated youth of the State avail schemes such as the Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (EDS) to grow into successful enterpreneurs.
There will always be a way for those who are willing. I must tell you that there are many in the country and abroad, who are willing to make investments and help us grow economically.
In the field of cultural activities and sports, I am delighted to know that we continue to excel not only at the national level, but internationally as well. Our Mizo dance troupe won a prize at Lithuania, and a Mizo boxer won a gold medal at an international boxing event in Ukraine. These prove that we can became ‘world-beaters’ if we broaden our horizons.
The achievement of the Aizawl Football Club in the football arena is known all over, but what makes every Mizo proud is the feat of thousands of Mizo spectators, who cleaned up the entire stadium at Shillong after celebrating the victory!
An independent India has now become a global power. The country is marching towards even greater success under the strong leadership of Shri Narendra Modi, our Prime Minister. All of us, as citizens, have roles to play. Let us become catalysts for the success of government programmes such as the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, which is based on Gandhian ideals.
More importantly, we should hold steadfastly to the ideals of freedom, unity and integrity; ideals which our freedom fighters laid down their lives for.
On this 71st occasion of our Independence Day, let us make renewed efforts to become better citizens, and rededicate ourselves to the values which have brought greatness to this Nation. Let us endeavour to build a stronger and more prosperous India through our united efforts.
I wish you all a Happy Independence Day.
KA LOM E