Delivering the fifth Dr BR Ambedkar Memorial Lecture on the ‘Vision of India in 21st Century as Envisaged by Dr Ambedkar‘, the President said it was the responsibility of the citizens to realise the dreams of the principal architect of the Indian Constitution.
Stressing on the need for having an egalitarian society, he called on citizens to ensure that untouchability is not practised anywhere in the country, in any form.
“We must ensure that untouchability or any form of discrimination based on caste, creed, religion or sex is not practised in any part of the country,” he said.
At the same time, he also reminded the fellow citizens of the journey we have travelled so far and what lies ahead of us in order to become an egalitarian society without any discrimination between man and man.
Pointing at the challenges before the country, he drew attention to a large number of Indians still living in poverty and deprivation. Casteism, too, sadly remains a phenomenon the country is yet to fully wipe out, Mukherjee added.
The President’s remarks come in the wake of reports last week in Tamil Nadu of discrimination against Dalits and other caste Hindus who were allegedly served with separate cups in some villages.
Six tea-shop owners were arrested for engaging in the practice. Highlighting the contributions of Ambedkar, the President said his commitment towards the creation of strong institutions and constitutional methods had taken many interesting modern manifestations.
Earlier, speaking on the occasion, Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment, Thawar Chand Gehlot, said that an international institution named after Ambedkar would be soon set up in Delhi.