Ram Nath Kovind who took charge as the fourteenth President of India on 25 July 2017 declared to his countrymen that he would be the representative of farmers and labourers. The former governor of Bihar is the second Dalit leader after K R Narayanan, to occupy the foremost position in the country.
Born in Paraukh village in UP’s Kanpur Dehat district as the son of Maikulal Kori, a landless weaver, Kovind exhibited a burning passion to surmount the harsh realities which surmounted him. Walking 6 kms a day from his mud hut to his school in the Khanpur, Sandalpur block and back home from the school, the little motherless boy put his heart and soul into his studies. Despite the poverty which would have daunted many other boys of his age from pursuing a scholastic career, Kovind managed to take a degree in law from a college in Kanpur. He passed the Civil Service exam but did not join the Civil Service since he did not get the job of his choice. Enrolling with the Bar Council of Delhi in 1971, Kovind served as a Central Government Advocate in Delhi High Court from 1977 to 1979. Between 1977 and 1978 he served as the personal assistant of the Prime Minister of India, Morarji Desai and at a later date became the standing counsel for the central government in the Supreme Court of India from 1980 to 1983. He practised in the Delhi High Court and Supreme Court until 1993.
Joining the BJP in 1991 he became the party’s leader in 1998 and continued in the position till 2002. His growing reputation as a leading advocate and social activist led to his being elected as a member of the Rajya Sabha from UP in 1994. During this period he served the Parliamentary Committee for welfare of Scheduled Castes and Tribes, Home Affairs, Petroleum and Natural Gas, Social Justice and Empowerment, Law and Justice. His contribution to the field of education need to be pointed out. His political power and connections enabled him to build new schools in the rural sections of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. He has served as member of the board of management of the Dr. B R Ambedkar University, Lucknow and also as a member of the Board of Governors of IIM, Kolkata. He was appointed the 36th Governor of Bihar on August 8, 2015 and served in the post till 20 June, 2017 when he was nominated as candidate for the Presidential election.
Honest and diligent in performing his duties, devoted to his country and people, humbled through life’s ordeals, determined to guide his country to a glorious future, Ram Nath Kovind is one the ideal person to hold the coveted position of President of the biggest democratic nations in the world.