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What President Mukherjee said in his last address to the nation?
On the eve of demitting office as the 13th President of India on July 24, in his address to the nation, President Pranab Mukherjee said, "A modern nation is built on some essential fundamentals – democracy or equal rights for every citizen, secularism or equal freedom to every faith, equality of every region, and economic equity. For development to be real, the poorest of the land must feel that they are a part of the nation's narrative."

"I have received much more from the country than I have given. For that, I will remain ever indebted to the people of India," he added while congratulating and extending a warm welcome to the in-coming President Ram Nath Kovind.

Some of the prominent one- and two-liners from his address are as follows:

A modern nation is built on some essential fundamentals – democracy or equal rights for every citizen, secularism or equal freedom to every faith, equality of every region, and economic equity.

For development to be real, the poorest of the land must feel that they are a part of the nation's narrative.

The soul of India resides in pluralism and tolerance. India is not just a geographical entity. It carries a history of ideas, philosophy, intellect, industrial genius, craft, innovation and experience.

The multiplicity in culture, faith and language is what makes India special. We derive our strength from tolerance. It has been part of our collective consciousness for centuries.

The capacity for compassion and empathy is the true foundation of our civilisation.

Only a non-violent society can ensure the participation of all sections of the people, especially the marginalised and the dispossessed in the democratic process.

Protection of the environment is essential for our survival. Nature has been kind to us in its bounty. But when greed exceeds need, nature lets loose its fury.

Education is the alchemy that can take India to its next golden age. A reordering of society is possible through the transformative power of education.

Our universities should not be a place for rote-memorising but an assembly of inquisitive minds. Creative thinking, innovation and scientific temper have to be promoted in our institutions of higher learning. It calls for application of logic through discussion, argument and analysis.

We must empower the poorest of the poor and ensure that the fruits of our policies reach the last person in the line.

Happiness is equally the outcome of economic and non-economic parameters. The quest for happiness is closely tied to the quest for sustainable development, which is the combination of human well-being, social inclusion and environmental stability.

Winding up his address he said, "We are all equal children before our mother and India asks each one of us in whatever role we play in the complex drama of nation building to do our duty with integrity, commitment and unflinching loyalty to the values enshrined in our Constitution."

"When I speak to you tomorrow, it will not be as the President but as a citizen – a pilgrim like all of you in India's onward march towards glory," he concluded as stated in an official release with full text of his address.

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