The President of India, Shri Ram Nath Kovind graced the centenary celebrations of Bihar Legislative Assembly and addressed the members of Bihar Legislature in Patna today (October 21, 2021). He also laid the foundation stone for Shatabdi Smriti Stambh and planted a sapling of Mahabodhi Tree in the premises of Bihar Legislative Assembly on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that the celebration of the centenary year of Bihar Legislative Assembly is a celebration of democracy. The enthusiastic presence of present as well as former members of Bihar Legislature is a good example of the healthy parliamentary tradition developed in our country.
Speaking about Bihar’s contribution in democracy, the President said that he is proud that Bihar has been the land of world’s first democracy. Lord Buddha taught wisdom and compassion to the early republics of the world. Also, on the basis of the democratic system of those republics, Lord Buddha set the rules of ‘Sanghas’. In his last speech in the Constituent Assembly, Babasaheb Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar made it clear that many of the rules of the Buddhist Sanghas continue to exist even in the present parliamentary system.
The President said that Bihar has been a land of talented people. A great tradition that made the whole country proud was established on this land by world class education centers like Nalanda, Vikramshila and Odantapuri, scientists like Aryabhata, policy makers like Chanakya and other great personalities. He said that people of Bihar have a rich legacy and now it is their responsibility to carry it forward.
Referring to the contribution made by the people of Bihar in the making of the Constitution of India, the President said that when the new chapter of our modern democracy was being created by the Constituent Assembly, the personalities of Bihar played an important role. Dr. Sachchidananda Sinha, the senior most member of the Constituent Assembly, was nominated as the Interim President and on the December 11, 1946, Dr Rajendra Prasad was elected as the permanent President of the Constituent Assembly. Other personalities from Bihar who made their valuable contributionsin the Constituent Assembly were Shri Anugrah Narayan Sinha, Shri Krishna Sinha, Maharaja Kameshwar Singh of Darbhanga, Shri Jagat Narayan Lal, Shri Shyam Nandan Sahay, Shri Satyanarayan Sinha, Shri Jaipal Singh, Babu Jagjivan Ram, Shri Ram Narayan Singh and Shri Brajeshwar Prasad. The President said that our democracy, built on the foundation of social and economic justice, freedom, equality and harmony, is flourishing by embracing the democratic values of ancient Bihar in a modern framework. The credit for this goes to the people of Bihar and their elected representatives.
Speaking about the ban on sale and consumption of liquor in Bihar, the President mentioned that Governor Sinha, in his address to the Legislative Assembly of 1921, had said that there should be a definite policy to prohibit the production and sale of intoxicating substances or liquor. In our Constitution, the duty of the State to improve public health is clearly mentioned under the ‘Directive Principles of State Policy’. This duty also includes the prohibition of the consumption of liquor and substances injurious to health. By giving the status of law to this Constitutional Article based on the principles of Gandhiji, the Bihar Legislative Assembly has taken a very good step in the interest of public health and society, especially in the favour of women from weaker sections.
Addressing the members of Bihar Legislature, the President said that the people of Bihar consider themselves to be the architects of their destiny. The President expressed hope that all MLAs would try to give reality to the aspirations of the people with their conduct and working. He was happy to note that members of Bihar Legislature have started a Sankalp Abhiyan to build the state of Bihar free from social problems which is blessed and looked up with respect. He wished that all the MLAs should implement the resolutions taken in this House and make continuous efforts to establish Bihar as a well-educated, well-cultured and well-developed state. He said that on the strength of such efforts, Bihar would be able to become a leading state on the parameters of ‘Human Development’ by the year 2047 i.e. the centenary year of the India’s independence. In this way, this celebration of the centenary of the State Legislature would prove to be meaningful in the true sense.
Conveying his Deepawali and Chhath Puja greetings in advance, the President said that Chhath Puja has now become a global festival. From Nawada to New-Jersey and from Begusarai to Boston, Chhath Maiya is worshiped on a large scale. This is a proof that the industrious people associated with the culture of Bihar have made their place on the world stage. He expressed confidence that in the same way the talented and hardworking people of Bihar would set new benchmarks of success in all aspects of local development.