LK Advani said he was happy to see a wave of national pride and self-confidence among Indians
Veteran BJP leader LK Advani said on Saturday that the essence of Indian democracy is respect for diversity and freedom of expression, and expressed the wish that all people should collectively strive in strengthening this "important democratic ingredient".
In a statement on the eve of India's 75th Independence Day, the former deputy prime minister and the longest serving BJP president lauded the theme of this Independence Day, which he noted is "Nation First, Always First", saying this echoes with the guiding principle of his own life and the party that is "Nation First, Party Next, Self Last".
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing that August 14 will be now observed as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day, the 93-year-old Mr Advani noted that the triumph of freedom in 1947 was accompanied by the tragedy of partition.
Having been a victim of it himself, he painfully recalls the physical and emotional trauma this tragedy caused to the displaced people on both sides of the border, the Karachi-born leader said.
Mr Advani said India has since blossomed into a strong, prosperous, and robust nation, despite many challenges, and its global profile has risen remarkably with the world looking to it for leadership in overcoming many pressing challenges -- from accelerating the global economy to meeting the climate change obligations.
"It has been my strong belief that the essence of Indian democracy is respect for diversity and freedom of expression. It is this that has contributed to India being a successful democracy. Hence it is my sincere desire that all of us should collectively strive in strengthening this important democratic ingredient," he said.
Greeting people, he also paid respectful homage to the sacred memory of hundreds of martyrs and heroes of the freedom struggle.
"This occasion brings to me vivid memories of my own school days in the 1930s, when the only dream and prayer we had, was to see our country liberated from foreign bondage and move rapidly towards "Param Vaibhav"- Pinnacle of Glory," he said.
Mr Advani said he was happy to see a wave of national pride and self-confidence among Indians of all walks of life.
He added, "I am also grateful that life gave me an opportunity to devote my life in service of the nation in the post Independence era and make my own humble contribution through the instrument of my party- The Bharatiya Janata Party, that was co-founded in association with some of the most dedicated and selfless patriots."