As NDA-2 marks 1 year in office, PM pitches for a self-reliant India
One year into his second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday listed abrogation of Article 370 and inclusion of Jammu & Kashmir into the mainstream, criminalising the practice of Triple Talaq, Citizenship Amendment Act, and cross-border air strikes as the “bold decisions” of his Government, which, he said, is on the path to overcoming the coronavirus pandemic with the collective resolve of 130 crore Indians.
Addressing the country through a letter, the PM said clearing of several administrative bottlenecks, major improvement of infrastructure, and freeing the country from the swamp of corruption in the first term had given the right momentum to the governance in the second term.
Modi took note of the fact that the coronavirus had suddenly put brake on the speed of development of the country which in comparison to nations with powers having great economic resources and state -of-the-art healthcare system is “besieged with problems amidst a vast population and limited resources.”
The PM, however, assured that the country was “on way to overcome the crisis created by the pandemic.” He said India must become self-reliant.
“Many feared that India will become a problem for the world when corona hits it. But today, through sheer confidence and resilience, you have transformed the way the world looks at us,” he said.
In his address, Modi, for the first time, specifically mentioned the troubles faced by the migrant workers due to the lockdown announced on March 24 to contain the pandemic with many walking on foot to their native destinations.
“In a crisis of this magnitude, it can certainly not be claimed that no one suffered any inconvenience or discomfort. Our labourers, migrant workers, artisans and craftsmen in small-scale industries, hawkers and such fellow countrymen have undergone tremendous suffering,” Modi said.
However, the PM said, “We have to take care to ensure that the inconveniences we are facing do not turn into disasters” and people have shown patience and followed rules and “this is one of the important reasons for India being safer and in a better state than many other countries”.
“This is a long battle but we have started traversing the path to victory, and victory is our collective resolve,” Modi said.
He short-listed feats of his Government in the last one year which also included “amicable solution” of the vexed and long-pending Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute by the unanimous SC verdict.
“The decision on Article 370 furthered the spirit of national unity and integration. The Ram Mandir judgment, delivered unanimously by the Supreme Court, brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries. The barbaric practice of Triple Talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history. The amendment to the Citizenship Act was an expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness,” he said.
Remembering BJP’s second successive victory in 2019 , Modi said “this day last year began a golden chapter in the history of Indian democracy. It was after several decades that the people of the country voted back a full-term Government with a full majority”.
Through the 2014 to 2019, he said back in 2014, the nation saw “how the administrative apparatus broke itself free of the status quo and from the swamp of corruption as well as misgovernance.”
Modi said from 2014 to 2019, India’s stature rose significantly, the dignity of the poor was enhanced and the nation achieved financial inclusion, free gas and electricity connections, total sanitation coverage, and made progress towards ensuring “Housing for All.”
“India demonstrated its mettle through the surgical strike and air strike. At the same time, decades-old demands such as OROP, One Nation One Tax and better MSP for farmers were fulfilled,” he said.
The Prime Minister said in 2019, the people of India voted not merely for continuity but also “with a dream – of taking India to new heights. A dream of making India a global leader”.
In his second term, he cited the creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff as a long pending reform that has improved coordination among the Armed forces. At the same time, India has stepped up preparations for Mission ‘Gaganyaan’, he said.
Modi said, “PM Kisan Samman Nidhi” now includes all farmers. In just one year, more than Rs 72,000 crore has been deposited in the accounts of over 9 crore 50 lakh farmers. The Jal Jeevan Mission will ensure supply of potable drinking water through piped connections to over 15 crore rural households.
A huge campaign of free vaccination is being conducted for better health of our 50 crore livestock.”
Again focussing on the coronavirus in his address, the Prime Minister said India has “surprised” the world with its resolve to tide over the crisis and is the need of the hour that “we must become self-reliant. We have to move forward based on our own abilities, in our own way, and there is only one way to do it -Aatmanirbhar Bharat or Self-reliant India”.
The recent Rs 20 lakh crore package given for Rs Aatmanirbhar Bharat AbhiyanRs , he said is a major step in this direction.
“This initiative will usher in a new era of opportunities for every Indian, be it our farmers, workers, small entrepreneurs or youth associated with start ups. The fragrance of Indian soil along with the sweat, hard work and talent of our workers will create products that will reduce India’s dependence on imports and will move towards self-reliance”, Modi said who signed off as “Pradhan sevak”.
Sunday, 31 May 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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