‘Entire country with the people of J&K; communalism a poison; chalta hai attitude needs to change to badal sakta hai’
New Delhi: Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort on India’s Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that neither bullets nor abuses will help resolve the problem of Kashmir, but “embracing” Kashmiris will.
He also slammed violence in the name of faith, saying it was “not acceptable” and that communalism and casteism were a “poison” that would do no good to the country.
During his hour-long speech, Modi asserted that India was capable of tackling any kind of security challenge, be it on the seas or at the borders.
Modi started his speech on a sombre note, speaking of the natural calamities in different parts of the country and the deaths of children in a state-run hospital in Gorakhpur.
Addressing the nation for the fourth time from the Red Fort, he spoke about his three-year-old government’s achievements and the major decisions taken, particularly referring to the GST rollout and demonetisation.
He said national security was a priority for his government and there would be no soft approach towards terrorists.
Referring to Kashmir, he said, “Na gaali se, na goli se, parivartan hoga gale lagaane se… samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se.”
He said that only a handful of separatists were creating problems in the state.
Modi said that the entire country was with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in helping them realise their dreams of development.
He said the government was committed to restoring the lost glory of Kashmir and to make it again “heaven on earth”.
“Violence in the name of faith is not acceptable in the country,” Modi said, invoking Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha.
“Bharat Jodo” (connect India), he said, should be the slogan now, like “Bharat chhodo” (Quit India) was during the freedom struggle.
He also referred to the issue of ‘triple talaq’, saying he was moved by the plight of women who had to lead a pitiable life because of it and he had started a movement against the practice.
He said abolition of inter-state check posts after the implementation of GST had reduced time for movement of goods by 30 percent and saved thousands of crores of rupees.
He said demonetisation had helped bring over Rs 3 lakh crore of unaccounted wealth into the banking system.
He said more than Rs 1.75 lakh crore had been deposited in banks and more than 18 lakh people with disproportionate income were under scrutiny.
“Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today,” he said, vowing to continue the crackdown on black money.
Modi also asked the countrymen to shed ‘chalta hai’ attitude and instead adopt an approach of ‘badal sakta hai’ (change is possible).
Invoking Bal Gangadhar Tilak’s slogan of swaraj (self- rule), he said now the motto should be ‘su-raj’ (good governance).
In ‘new India’, he said, “Tantra se lok nahin, lok se tantra chalega (people will drive the system, not the other way round).” He lamented that democracy had been confined to ballots.
The nation had shown its collective strength between 1942 and 1947 to liberate India, he said, asking people to show the same resolve to create a ‘new India’ by 2022.
He emphasised that everyone was equal in the nation and together they could bring about a qualitative transformation.
Highlighting the problems in work culture, he said while the nation had the capability of sending ‘Mangalyaan’ (mission to Mars) in nine months, on the other hand a rail track project had been pending for over four decades.
Concluding his speech, he called for a new India where the poor would have houses and access to water and electricity, where farmers would be free from worry, and youth and women would get ample opportunities to fulfil their dreams.