All Key Posts Now Held By those From Hum­ble Back­ground, Says PM

I salute all who sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing & gave us a Con­sti­tu­tion that en­sures any­body can be­come Pres­i­dent, PM, SC judge, says Azad

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics -

New Delhi: Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi has said that those hold­ing the high­est ex­ec­u­tive posts in the coun­try to­day come from poor fam­i­lies who feel for the down­trod­den. Modi’s re­marks came dur­ing his wel­come speech in the Ra­jya Sabha to fe­lic­i­tate vice-pres­i­dent M Venka­iah Naidu.

How­ever, Leader of the Op­po­si­tion Ghu­lam Nabi Azad coun­tered the PM’s per­ceived barb at the Nehru-Gandhi fam­ily by hail­ing the con­tri­bu­tions of Congress lead­ers Ma­hatma Gandhi, Moti­lal Nehru and his son Jawa­har­lal Nehru and oth­ers who sac­ri­ficed their wealth for In­dia’s free­dom.

“Venka­iah is the son of a farmer. I have had the good for­tune of work­ing with him for sev­eral years. He has minutely stud­ied the is­sues con­cern­ing vil­lages, the poor and farm­ers and keeps giv­ing his in­put… Th­ese is­sues are dear to his heart be­cause of his child­hood and fam­ily back­ground,” Modi said.

He ap­plauded Naidu’s role in the JP Move­ment as a stu­dent leader and his long years in Par­lia­ment. “Our democ­racy is so ma­tured to­day and the strength of the Con­sti­tu­tion, given by our great men, is that all those who are oc­cu­py­ing top con­sti­tu­tional of­fices (in the ex­ec­u­tive), come from poor, ru­ral and or­di­nary fam­i­lies. They did not come from wealthy fam­i­lies. That peo­ple of such back­grounds are oc­cu­py­ing the high­est of­fices for the first time in its own way shows the dig­nity of the Con­sti­tu­tion and the ma­tu­rity of In­dian democ­racy. Each of the 1.25 bil­lion In­di­ans is proud of this,” Modi said.

Azad re­called his long as­so­ci­a­tion with Naidu as a par­lia­men­tar­ian and re­called that de­spite dif­fer­ences over is­sues they got along well.

How­ever, he un­der­lined that there were sev­eral peo­ple on both sides of the po­lit­i­cal aisle who have come up from weak back­grounds.

“The big­gest suc­cess of our democ­racy is that it is not a ques­tion of be­ing rich or poor. There are many peo­ple in high posts to­day who were not za­min­dars, cap­i­tal­ists or whose fam­ily mem­bers were not well­read. They did not get many op­por­tu­ni­ties and rose to high posts with the toil and ded­i­ca­tion. But be­hind all this is a force we should not for­get and that is of our democ­racy and our Con­sti­tu­tion. I salute crores of labour­ers, youth and the poor who made this pos­si­ble. But I also salute those who were crorepatis, cap­i­tal­ists and za­min­dars at that time. I would like to men­tion Moti­lal Nehru here who was an ad­vo­cate... Gand­hiji’s fam­ily back­ground was very good, he was a good lawyer. That is why he could go to South Africa to fight a case. He sac­ri­ficed clothes and he sac­ri­ficed his fam­ily. We should not for­get those who were wealthy and well ed­u­cated but sac­ri­ficed them­selves, their wealth, their chil­dren and their fam­ily for the free­dom of the coun­try,” Azad said.

He said no­body can for­get Jawa­har­lal Nehru, who spent 14-15 years in jail dur­ing the free­dom move­ment. Azad also lauded the role of Subash Chan­dra Bose, Sar­dar Pa­tel, Maulana Azad and Lok­manya Ti­lak in the free­dom strug­gle. “Th­ese were peo­ple who were wealthy but sac­ri­ficed ev­ery­thing and gave us a Con­sti­tu­tion that en­sures that any­body can be­come Pres­i­dent, vice-pres­i­dent, prime min­is­ter, a Supreme Court judge or the Army gen­eral. I salute all of them,” Azad said.

PTI

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