Naveen asks students to fight gender inequality, communalism

Bhubaneswar: Asking students to upkeep India’s secular credentials, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said they should raise voice against gender discrimination and other injustices.

“We have progressive policies for youths and women. I urge upon you (students) to raise voice against gender related violence as gender equality is most important for the development of the state and the nation,” Patnaik said while addressing a rally organised by ruling BJD’s student wing.

Stating that the country has a vast youth population in comparison to any other country, he said the students should also fight to keep in tact the secular values of the country. “Gender equality and secular credentials are essential as no nation can progress without these two values,” he said.

Patnaik, who was accorded a rousing reception at the gathering, asked the students to draw inspiration from the life of legendary Biju Patnaik who never feared anybody while fighting against injustice during the British Rule.

Citing the supreme sacrifices made by Odisha’s boy martyr Baji Rout and sculptor Dharama, the chief minister said young persons can do everything if they are determined.

“However, you (students) need to expand your knowledge base and become technology savy,” he said.

In his new year message to the students, Patnaik gave three mantras. “Your priority should be career, respect to your parents and most important is your roles in the society and nation building,” Patnaik said.

Though Patnaik did not name any political party, his focus was on BJP. “It is the young people like you who become the torch bearers of change. Therefore, you can decide where India will stand tomorrow,” he said.

Others who addressed the rally included Odisha’s Food and Supplies Minister Sanjay Dasburma and BJD students wing president Byamakesh Ray.