Vice President's Secretariat
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Text of the Vice-President’s speech - Conferment of the Assam Civilian Awards in Guwahati (Excerpts)

Posted On: 13 FEB 2024 7:24PM by PIB Delhi

At the outset I must indicate that I am grateful to both the Hon’ble Chief Minister and former Chief Justice of India for being kind enough to accommodate me. Because of the Parliament Session, I could not make it on the day when I should have been here.

Grateful for this honor and privilege, I will ever remember this honour and privilege. What I have seen from last an hour and so is an amazing function with total commitment to societal growth. I am really honoured to confer and witness the highest civilian awards of the state - Assam Baibhav, Assam Saurav and Assam Gaurav.

Conferment of the highest state civil award of Assam is beyond being just a celebration of individual achievement. It is also a reflection of the rich tapestry of Assam, its people and their invaluable contribution to the progress and cultural diversity of a great Nation.

Friends, I thought awards will be given to the people who will be deserving, but I didn’t even imagine the variety will be so deep, so touching, so emotive. People being conferred are those who really deserve it, they have been discovered and honoured. Congratulations to the government.

Assam is often referred to as the 'Gateway to the Northeast,' is a land of enchanting landscapes and diverse cultures, and a history that spans centuries. Its fertile plains, lush green hills, and meandering rivers make it a jewel in the crown of our great nation. The Ashtalakshmis of the North East are blessed with this wholesome and sublime confluence of nature and culture. Look East - Act East Policy is fructifying in exponential phenomenal infrastructure and connectivity growth of Ashtalakshmi.

State’s cultural mosaic, with influences from various communities, adds to the uniqueness that is Assam. I have seen it here from my own eyes. From the Bihu dance that reverberates during the harvest festival to the soul-stirring tunes of the traditional Assamese music, every aspect of this land tells a story – a story of resilience, unity, and harmony. In this remarkable land- Assam- we find the essence of unity in diversity, a concept that is the cornerstone of our great nation.

‘Act East’ policy announced in 2014 is bearing rich dividends. Owing to the government initiatives and policies, the north-eastern region of Bharat is assuming its rightful place in the national and historical narrative. North East in recent years witnessed large scale international events for the first time during India’s year-long G20 presidency. This will have a tremendous positive impact for the future of this region!

Today's awards, Assam Baibhav, Assam Saurav, and Assam Gaurav, symbolize the acknowledgment of outstanding contributions in various fields. Friends, I could never imagine that the fields will be so diversified, that the recipients will be spread across the strata of society. Amazing work done by the persons concerned. We have noticed in recent times, there is a transformational change in the Padma Awards to the “People’s Padma”. We know the days when part patronage used to be the driving force, event management used to secure Padmas. But I see here such a massive, genuine, authentic transformational mechanism in giving awards. Congratulations to those who have done it.

This year, the Assam Bhaibav award the highest Assam civilian award- the state's premier civilian honor, is being befittingly conferred on eminently deserving former CJI and the first one from the North East to occupy the highest judicial pedestal -Justice Ranjan Gogoi.

Sri Ranjan Gogoi, a luminary in the field of Law & Justice, has been instrumental in shaping the legal landscape of our nation. As a former Chief Justice of India and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, Justice Gogoi has exemplified the highest standards of integrity, wisdom, and commitment to justice. His contributions are not only limited to the courtroom but extend to the legislative realm, where he continues to contribute to the betterment of our nation.

I vividly recall his maiden address in the House of Elders on August 7, 2023. The distinguished awardee Justice Gogoi, Former CJI, a sitting member of Parliament reflected in his maiden address, I quote - “Sir, I have to say something about the basic feature... my view is that the doctrine of the basic structure of the Constitution has a debatable, a very debatable jurisprudential basis.” This is tribute to his erudition and deference to the Doctrine of Separation of Powers.

In the realm of sports, we have the privilege of honoring a young and dynamic athlete, Hima Das, with the Assam Saurav award. Hima Das has brought glory to Assam and the nation with her outstanding achievements in athletics. Her journey from the rice fields of Assam to the international sporting arena is a testament to the power of perseverance and determination.

May the spirit of Assam continue to inspire us all and may these Awards serve as a beacon of hope and encouragement for the generations to come. I have no doubt in three years, which is hardly a time period to generate impact, the awards are being looked up upon with absolute deference, credibility and respect.

In Amrit Kaal, firm foundations of a developed Bharat at 2047 have been laid. We all have seen this spectacle on 75th Republic Day on 26th of January at Kartavya Path. The entire world watched in disbelief at the emergence of women's power in this country. Something we never imagined, something we never thought of... That was the greatest accomplishment, indication of a big change that is in the country at the moment.

मैं इस कार्यक्रम से इतना प्रभावित हुआ हूं कि मैं आपका दो बातों की ओर ध्यान आकर्षित करना चाहूंगा. आर्थिक राष्ट्रवाद! समय आ गया जब हर भारतीय राष्ट्रवाद की चिंता करे. विदेश से हम कौन सी चीज मंगाते हैं – कैंडल, दिये, पतंग, फर्नीचर- क्या यह मंगवाने की चीज हैं? जब विदेश से आयात करते हैं तो हमारा फॉरेन एक्सचेंज बाहर जाता है। जब हम आयात करते हैं तो हमारे लोगों के हाथों से हम काम छीन रहे हैं। जब हम आयात करते हैं तो हम एंटरप्रेन्योरशिप को ब्लंट कर रहे हैं यदि अगर हम सब संकल्प ले ले कि we will follow the principal given to us by the Hon'ble Prime Minister i.e. 'Be vocal about local', इससे क्रांतिकारी परिवर्तन आएंगे.

दूसरा - कच्चा माल हमारे देश से बाहर क्यों जाता है? उद्योगपतियों को... जो भी लोग व्यापारी है उनको सोचना चाहिए. हो सकता है कच्चा माल बाहर भेजने से आपको कुछ फायदा हो जाए पर कच्चे माल को आप बाहर भेजते हैं तो दो बातें एकदम से सामने आ जाती हैं - एक तो इसमें हम वैल्यू ऐड नहीं कर सकते हैं, और दूसरी कि – दूसरा वैल्यू ऐड कर सकता है। ऐसा नहीं होना चाहिए।

I therefore make a statement here which is absolutely essential. क्या हमारी आर्थिक ताकत यह तय करेगी कि हम नेचुरल रिसोर्सेस का कैसे उपयोग करें? हर कोई कह देगा मैं तो पेट्रोल का कंजप्शन कर सकता हूं, चाहे जितना कर सकता हूं, मनमर्जी से कर सकता हूं क्योंकि मेरी पॉकेट allow करती है. नो! We are the trustees of natural resources, we have to optically use the natural resources, we have to conserve the natural resources.

हमारी 5000 साल की जो संस्कृति है जो विरासत हमें मिली है, उसमें हमें सिखाया गया है कि हमें ऐसी स्थिति में क्या करना चाहिए. हमें दुनिया को रास्ता दिखाना है और हम दुनिया को रास्ता दिखाने के काबिल हैं क्योंकि देश में हालत अब ऐसे हो गए हैं कि जो लोग हमें राय देते थे बहुत पहले आज वह हमसे राय मांगते हैं. दुनिया की बड़ी संस्थाओं को देखो हम कहां से कहां आ गए हैं. जो दुनिया की बड़ी संस्थाएं वर्ल्ड बैंक इंटरनेशनल मोनेटरी फंड जो हमें कहते थे आप तो fragile five हो नीचे से five में हो, दुनिया पर बोझ हो, चिंता का कारण हो। आज हम ऊपर से पांच है. दो-तीन साल में टॉप तीन पर पहुंच जाएंगे.

This is not an occasion for me to say more. I am greatly touched. I am going with a great feel good factor. These awards will create great credibility and inspire other states also - an award that can be secured by patronage, friendship, event management is not an award when there is no credibility. Each one of the recipients, analyse them on any yard stick, any parameter you will find that they deserve it. Congratulations to all the awardees!



(Release ID: 2005690) Visitor Counter : 723

Read this release in: Urdu , Hindi , Assamese