"You were the first Citizen of the country, but I always found you unwavering in your compassion and concern for the welfare of the weakest citizen," Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote on Monday. A day before Ram Nath Kovind demitted office, Prime Minister Modi penned a letter to the Rashtrapati, expressing gratitude to him for his outstanding service to the nation as the 14th President of India. In the letter, shared by former President Kovind, PM Modi discussed his rise from a small village deep in the heartland of India to the Rashtrapati Bhavan and called it a parable to the nation's evolution and development.
"Through your life and career, you have persevered with determination and dignity, with a deep commitment to the morality and integrity that is at the core of the Indian ethos, and with the highest regard and responsibility towards the principles of our Constitution. In turn, as the highest authority of our country, you upheld and reinforced the ideals of our Constitution and the vitality of our democracy with sound judgment, great dignity and extraordinary statesmanship- and always with the best interests of our Republic as your compass," PM Modi said in the letter.
"You were the first Citizen of the country, but I always found you unwavering in your compassion and concern for the welfare of the weakest citizen. Even as you reached the highest office in our land, you remained firmly and proudly rooted in its soil and connected with the people - happy in their company, sensitive to their problems, perceptive about their expectations, and acutely aware of the needed change," he added.
Highlighting President Kovind's commitment to giving back to the society, the Prime Minister discussed the former's numerous actions, interventions, and speeches, that represented and carried the beat of India to all corners of the country and the world. 'You made unparalleled efforts to make the Raj Bhavan into a Lok Bhavan,' PM stated.
"The themes and issues that you have prioritized - the civic duty in giving back to society, the commitment to an India that is a confluence of our ancient heritage as well as of modern science, and of sustainable social change driven by increasing and expanded access to education, especially for girl children have been well thought-out and meaningful, I am proud that my interaction with you goes beyond the Presidency," he said.
Sharing instances of their strong bond, PM Modi wrote that he will never forget the President's special gesture of coming to receive him at the helipad, a memory that will remain etched in his mind forever. In another interesting anecdote, PM Modi shared how the former President had visited his mother and discussed several issues with her.
"You have always been generous with your time and counsel to me over the past five years, and I will continue to turn to you for advice. It has been a real privilege to work with you, Rashtrapati Ji. I join fellow citizens in wishing you a long and healthy life ahead," Prime Minister Modi concluded.
This letter from Prime Minister @narendramodi has deeply touched me. I take his kind and heartfelt words as a reflection of love and respect fellow citizens have showered on me. I am sincerely grateful to you all. pic.twitter.com/8GBBMnwvYf— Ram Nath Kovind (@ramnathkovind) July 26, 2022
Ram Nath Kovind was voted as India's 14th President on July 25, 2017 and carried vast public, social and political experience to the Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Dalit leader first stepped into politics in 1994 after he was elected as a Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh. He served two consecutive terms for 12 years till March 2006. He then served as the Governor of Bihar between 2015–2017. Kovind was the second parliamentarian after K. R. Narayanan, from the Dalit community and the first from Uttar Pradesh to serve as the President of India.
With Kovind's tenure ending, Droupadi Murmu on Monday, July 25 took oath as 15th President of India to become the first-ever tribal and the second woman to hold the highest Constitutional post in the country.