New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Thursday said there is no place in India for bigotry and fanaticism, and asked the nation to stand against every act of injustice, intolerance and discrimination to truly cherish freedom.
In her message on the occasion of the 73rd Independence Day, she appealed to all to reinvigorate the principles of compassion, coexistence and inclusive development as the indelible features of polity, society and economy.
Extending greetings to fellow Indians after unfurling the national flag at the Congress headquarters here, she said India has surged ahead exponentially in all arenas but at the core are the founding principles of "truth, nonviolence, compassion and unwavering patriotism".
Sonia Gandhi, in her message, also said, "a democratic and resilient India at 73 has no place for bigotry, superstition, sectarianism, fanaticism, racialism, intolerance or injustice, yet millions of fellow citizens encounter discrimination every day."
"We must rise as a Nation to stand against every act of injustice, intolerance & discrimination to truly cherish our freedom," she said.
The Congress president said the baton of nation-building as also building a modern, equal, just and egalitarian society founded upon scientific temper, is in the hands of the youth.
Reminding the nation that independence was a result of immeasurable sacrifices of those who made India what it is today, the Congress chief called upon every citizen to observe the solemn duty of protecting and preserving the values of freedom, brotherhood, peace and equality.
While wishing all Indians at home and across the world, Sonia Gandhi said that "we must not forget the supreme sacrifice of our armed forces in protecting the integrity of India".
She also hailed the role of farmers, labourers, artisans, scientists, tradesmen, teachers, artists, writers and thinkers in nation-building.
Rahul Gandhi also took to Twitter to greet countrymen on independence Day.
Quoting Mahatma Gandhi, the former Congress chief said, "Complete Independence will be complete only to the extent of our approach in practice to truth and nonviolence".
"My best wishes to all of you on this our 73rd Independence Day," he tweeted.
The flag hoisting ceremony at the party headquarters was attended by senior Congress leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi, Ahmed Patel, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Kapil Sibal, Motilal Vora and Ghulam Nabi Azad.
The ceremony ended with the recital of the national anthem.
Congress Sewa Dal volunteers saluted to the national flag and a group of children present on the occasion greeted Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh who gave them sweets.
Sonia Gandhi also greeted the people on Raksha Bandhan.