Gender equality is the key to a united India, with the family being its foundation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday as he addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 76th Independence Day.
Speaking on the significance of a united nation, Modi said India has much to teach the world on the concept of unity which begins with the family structure.
"We should celebrate the diversity of India....At home too, the roots or foundation of unity are sowed when both the son and the daughter are equal. If they are not, the mantra of unity cannot reverberate.
"If the family seeds gender discrimination across its generations then the spirit of unity can never be woven in society. Gender equality is our first stipulation. When we talk of unity, why not have only one parameter or standard -- that of India First. All my endeavours, everything that I am thinking, saying, envisioning or visualising is in accordance with India First. This way the path to unity can be opened for all of us," he said.
"Gender equality is a crucial parameter of unity," the prime minister said.
He also said the feeling of oneness is important for unity in the country and this is the mantra that the country needs to embrace to bind its people together.
"I have full faith that we can thus diminish the discrimination prevalent in our society. We endorse the value of 'Shramev Jayate' which means that it should be in our nature to respect the labourer," he said.
Modi said there was a need to pay attention to duties. He also described duties of citizens as one of the "Panch Pran" (five resolves) needed to fulfil the freedom fighters' dreams for the country by 100 years of India's independence in 2047.
"Fourth Pran which is equally important is unity and solidarity. Amongst 130 million citizens when there is harmony and bonhomie, unity becomes its strongest virtue. "Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat" is one of the unifying initiatives to actuate the dream of the fourth Pran," he said.
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