India

Changes to J&K will bring benefits: Ram Nath Kovind

President Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday said the recent changes to Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Ladakh will bring “immense benefits” to the people by allowing them to enjoy the same rights and privileges as citizens in the rest of the country, including progressive laws like abolition of triple talaq and the Right to Education (RTE).

In his address to the nation on the eve of the 73rd Independence Day — the first since the Centre took away J&K’s special status by anulling Article 370 — President Kovind said the illustrious generation who fought for India’s freedom did not view Independence as “mere transfer of power but as a stepping stone in a longer and larger process of nation building and national welding”.

“In this backdrop, I am confident that the recent changes made in Jammu-Kashmir and Ladakh would be of immense benefit to those regions,” he said.

“They will enable the people to access and enjoy the same rights, same privileges and same facilities as their fellow citizens in the rest of the country,” he said.

“These include progressive, egalitarian laws and provisions related to the Right to Education; accessing public information through the Right to Information; reservations in education and employment and other facilities for traditionally deprived communities; and justice for our daughters by abolishing unequal practices such as instant triple talaq,” the President added. In an address where the President talked about the relationship between the State, its citizens and the government, he said, “India’s history and destiny, India’s legacy and future, are a function of coexistence and conciliation, of reform and reconciliation — of expanding our hearts and embracing the ideas of others.”

President Kovind also expressed the confidence that “India will never lose its capacity to listen to the feeblest voice; that it will never lose sight of its ancient ideals; that it will forget neither its sense of fairness nor its sense of adventure.”

”We Indians are a people who dare to expl

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