New Delhi: In her maiden address to the nation on the eve of Independence Day, newly-elected President of India Draupadi Murmu had a special mention for Rashtrakavi Kuvempu, the winner of the first Kannada Jnanpith.
She read out a quote from his work in Kannada, while appealing to youths to follow his ideals.
“The great nationalist poet Kuvempu, who enriched Indian literature through Kannada language, had written: Naanu alive, Neenu alive, Namma elubugal mele, Mooduvudu – Mooduvudu, Navabharatda leele. (Meaning: I will pass, so will you. But on our bones will arise. The great tale of a new India),” she said.
This is a clarion call of the nationalist poet for making total sacrifice for the motherland and upliftment of fellow citizens, the President said and appealed, “To follow these ideals is my special appeal to the youth of the country who are going to build the India of 2047.”
Kuppali Venkatappa Puttappa, popularly known by his pen name Kuvempu, is widely regarded as the greatest Kannada poet of the 20th century.
The President also appreciated the contributions made by Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi towards the country during India’s Freedom Struggle. “I believe this was not a coincidence. At the beginning of civilisation, saints and seers of this land had developed a vision of humanity that was defined by equality of all; indeed, oneness of all. The great Freedom Struggle and its leaders like Mahatma Gandhi re-discovered our ancient values for modern times. Then, it is no wonder our democracy has Indian characteristics. Gandhiji advocated decentralisation and power to the people,” she said.
The President said that Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is dedicated to the people of India. “For 75 weeks now, the nation has been commemorating these noble ideals that won us freedom. In March 2021, we began the ‘Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav’ with the re-enactment of the Dandi March. This way, our celebrations began with a tribute to that watershed event which had put our struggle on the world map. This festival is dedicated to the people of India,” she said.