Ram Nath Kovind also termed Kerala the digital power house of the country. (File photo)
President Ram Nath Kovind on Friday termed Kerala the global face and digital power house of the country, lauding its achievements in the sectors of health, education, sanitation and IT. The President's praise for Kerala comes in the wake of the BJP alleging that the southern state has become a fertile land for political violence and jihadi terror.
Mr Kovind, on his second tour to Kerala after assuming the office, attended two functions in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, wherein he said the emphasis on development, health care and education in the state is an example for the rest of the country.
Congratulating the CPI(M)-led LDF government in the state in expanding Internet connectivity, he said it would remove the digital divide in the society.
"I understand that the government is making efforts to bridge the digital divide and provide free Internet connections to two million poor families by using a new optic fibre network," he said after launching the state's ambitious Technocity project at Pallippuram near here.
Kerala ranked eighth in the IT sector in the country, he said, adding that the sector provides direct employment to one lakh people.
"This is only the tip of the iceberg. There is immense capacity to make these numbers grow," he said.
Mr Kovind praised the state's tradition and said its thinking has been "humanistic, people-oriented and democratic".
"In sanitation, your achievements are praiseworthy. In local self-government and panchayati raj, again Kerala has deepened our democracy," he said.
Calling Kerala as the "land of spiritualism", he said that over centuries, the state has been the home of some great religions.
"Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Jewish cultures are age-old and have existed in close proximity here. They have given space to each other. It is important to keep that tradition of harmony alive even today," he said.
Mr Kovind praised the hardworking and pleasing nature of Keralites, especially in the field of health care and hospitality.
"Here the local people of Kerala - across the socioeconomic spectrum - deserve to be congratulated for having created a remarkable hospitality industry and I would say hospitality culture. This is a role model for many parts of India," he said.
Hospitals and medical centres in and outside the country cannot function without the "ever smiling and ever attentive sisters from Kerala", he said, adding health care workers from the state, both men and women, are internationally sought after.
Mentioning the valuable contributions by the Malayalee migrant community in other countries, the President said they are the backbone of the work-force of so many Gulf nations.
"God's Own Country (Kerala) has an uncommon and important identity as a global face of India. This is true in so many ways," he said.
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had recently attacked the state for its "poor healthcare" facilities and Goa Chief Minister Manohar Pairkkar stating that Kerala is being ruled by "rogues".