Ram Nath Kovind took oath as the 14th President of India on Tuesday. As comparatively less is known about him than some of his contemporaries at similar points, the speech he made in the Parliament's Central Hall offers a great opportunity to get to know the new President.
Here are some of the key points he made in his speech -
I've been in this Central Hall and being here now refreshes my memory. I've spoken to many of you here and sometimes we'd agree and sometimes disagree. Still, we've learnt how to respect each other's thoughts — that is the true meaning of Democracy.
On humble origins:
I've grown up in a small mud house in a small village. My journey has been long, but it's not been solely my own. Even our Nation's journey has been such.
On his predecessors:
I understand that I am going to be following in the footsteps of Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and Shri. Pranab Mukherjee, whom we call Pranabda.
On India's founding fathers. Anyone missing?:
Friends, our Independence was the result of thousands of freedom fighters working under the guidance of Mahatma Gandhi. Later, Sardar Patel made us united. Our Constitutions' principal drafter BR Ambedkar instilled in us human empathy and critical thinking. He wasn't satisfied with simply having political freedom. He wanted to realise the economic and social aspirations of crores of Indians.
On India's rise:
It's going to be 70 years now since Independence. We're in the second decade of the 21st Century — a century that we believe will belong to India and will see it play a big role in determining the direction and outcome of the era. We want to make an India which can help materially as well as with its moral ideals.