A year of his­toric firsts, says Naren­dra Modi

Modi salutes demo­cratic ethos of In­dia, says lives of mil­lions have been trans­formed and In­dia’s global sta­tus has risen

Hindustan Times (Jalandhar) - - FRONT PAGE -

“Back in 2014, the peo­ple of the coun­try voted for a sub­stan­tive trans­for­ma­tion... the na­tion saw how the ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­pa­ra­tus broke it­self free of sta­tus quo and from the swamp of cor­rup­tion as well as mis­gov­er­nance... In 2019, the peo­ple of In­dia voted not merely for con­ti­nu­ity but also with a dream— of tak­ing In­dia to new heights...The de­ci­sions taken in the last one year are di­rected at ful­fill­ing this dream,” says PM Naren­dra Modi in an open let­ter to the ci­ti­zens.

My fel­low In­dian,

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.

Once again, I bow to the 130 crore peo­ple of In­dia and the demo­cratic ethos of our na­tion.

Dur­ing nor­mal times, I would have been in your midst. How­ever, the present cir­cum­stances do not per­mit that. That is why I seek your bless­ings through this let­ter.

Your af­fec­tion, good­will and ac­tive co­op­er­a­tion have given new en­ergy, and in­spi­ra­tion. The way you have show­cased the col­lec­tive strength of democ­racy is a guid­ing light for the whole world.

Back in 2014, the peo­ple of the coun­try voted for a sub­stan­tive trans­for­ma­tion. In the last five years, the na­tion saw how the ad­min­is­tra­tive ap­pa­ra­tus broke it­self free of sta­tus quo and from the swamp of cor­rup­tion as well as mis­gov­er­nance. True to the spirit of ‘An­ty­o­daya’ the lives of mil­lions have been trans­formed.

From 2014 to 2019, In­dia’s stature rose sig­nif­i­cantly. The dig­nity of the poor was en­hanced. 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- GST, bet­ter MSP for farm­ers were ful­filled.

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. The de­ci­sions taken in the last one year are di­rected at ful­fill­ing this dream.

To­day, 130 crore peo­ple feel in­volved and in­te­grated in the de­vel­op­ment tra­jec­tory of the na­tion. The light of ‘Jan Shakti’ and ‘Rash­tra Shakti’ has ig­nited the en­tire na­tion. Pow­ered by the Mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vish­was’ In­dia is march­ing for­ward in all spheres.

My fel­low In­dian,

In the last one year, some of the de­ci­sions were widely dis­cussed and re­main etched in pub­lic dis­course.

The de­ci­sion on Ar­ti­cle 370 fur­thered the spirit of na­tional unity and in­te­gra­tion. The Ram Mandir judg­ment, de­liv­ered unan­i­mously by the Honourable Supreme Court of In­dia, brought an am­i­ca­ble end to a de­bate per­sist­ing for cen­turies. The bar­baric prac­tice of triple ta­laq has been con­fined to the dust­bin of his­tory. Amend­ment to the Cit­i­zen­ship Act was an ex­pres­sion of In­dia’s com­pas­sion and spirit of in­clu­sive­ness.

But there have been many other de­ci­sions that have added mo­men­tum to the na­tion’s de­vel­op­ment tra­jec­tory.

The cre­ation of the post of the Chief of De­fence Staff was a long pend­ing re­form that has im­proved co­or­di­na­tion among the armed forces. At the same time, In­dia has stepped up prepa­ra­tions for Mis­sion Ga­ganyaan.

Em­pow­er­ing the poor, farm­ers, women and youth has re­mained our pri­or­ity.

PM Kisan Sam­man Nidhi now in­cludes all farm­ers. In just one year, more than ₹72,000 crore has been de­posited in the ac­counts of over nine crore fifty 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.

For the first time in our coun­try’s his­tory, farm­ers, farm labour­ers, small shop­keep­ers and work­ers in the un­or­gan­ised sec­tor are as­sured the pro­vi­sion of reg­u­lar monthly pen­sion of ₹3,000 af­ter the age of 60 years.

Be­sides the fa­cil­ity of avail­ing of bank loans, a sep­a­rate depart­ment has also been cre­ated for fish­er­men. Sev­eral other de­ci­sions have been taken to strengthen the fish­eries sec­tor. This will boost the blue econ­omy.

Sim­i­larly, it has been de­cided to con­sti­tute a Vya­pari Kalyan Board for timely res­o­lu­tion of the prob­lems of the traders. Higher quan­tum of fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance is be­ing pro­vided to more than seven crore women at­tached to self help groups. Re­cently the loans with­out guar­an­tee for self help groups has been dou­bled to ₹20 lakh from the ear­lier ₹10 lakh.

Keeping in mind the ed­u­ca­tion of tribal chil­dren, we have be­gun the con­struc­tion of more than 400 new Ekalavya Model Res­i­den­tial Schools.

Sev­eral peo­ple friendly laws have been ush­ered in dur­ing the last year. Our Par­lia­ment has bro­ken the decades-old record in terms of pro­duc­tiv­ity. As a re­sult, whether it be the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Act, the amend­ment to the Chit Fund Law or laws to pro­vide more pro­tec­tion to women, chil­dren and Divyang, their pas­sage in Par­lia­ment was ex­pe­dited.

As a re­sult of the poli­cies and de­ci­sions of the gov­ern­ment, the ru­ral-ur­ban gap is shrink­ing. For the first time, the num­ber of ru­ral In­di­ans us­ing the in­ter­net is 10% more than the num­ber of ur­ban In­di­ans.

The list of such his­toric ac­tions and de­ci­sions taken in na­tional in­ter­est would be too long to de­tail in this let­ter. But I must say that every day of this year, my gov­ern­ment has worked round the clock with full vigour, tak­ing and im­ple­ment­ing these de­ci­sions.

My fel­low In­dian,

As we were mov­ing ahead at a fast pace in the ful­fil­ment of hopes and as­pi­ra­tions of our coun­try­men, the coro­n­avirus global pan­demic en­gulfed our coun­try as well.

While on one hand are pow­ers with great eco­nomic re­sources and state-ofthe-art health care sys­tems, on the other hand is our coun­try be­sieged with prob­lems amid a vast pop­u­la­tion and lim­ited re­sources.

Many feared that In­dia will be­come a prob­lem for the world when the coro­n­avirus hits In­dia. But to­day, through sheer con­fi­dence and re­silience, you have trans­formed the way the world looks at us. You have proven that the col­lec­tive strength and po­ten­tial of In­di­ans are un­par­al­leled com­pared even to the pow­er­ful and pros­per­ous coun­tries of the world. Be it clap­ping and light­ing a lamp to hon­our Corona War­riors by In­dia’s armed forces, Janta Cur­few or by faith­ful ad­her­ence to rules dur­ing the na­tion­wide lock­down, on every oc­ca­sion you have shown that Ek Bharat is the guar­an­tee for Shrestha Bharat.

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 ad crafts­men in small scale in­dus­tries, hawk­ers and such fel­low coun­try­men have un­der­gone tremen­dous suf­fer­ing. We are work­ing in a united and de­ter­mined way to al­le­vi­ate their trou­bles.

How­ever, we have to take care to en­sure that in­con­ve­niences that we are fac­ing do not turn into dis­as­ters. Hence, it is very im­por­tant for every In­dian to fol­low all rules and guide­lines. We have dis­played pa­tience so far and we should con­tinue to do so. 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 on the path of vic­tory, and vic­tory is our col­lec­tive re­solve.

In the last few days, a su­per cy­clone has wreaked havoc in parts of West Ben­gal and Odisha. Here too, the re­silience of the peo­ple of these states is note­wor­thy. Their courage in­spires the peo­ple of In­dia.

Dear friends,

In such a time, there is also a wide­spread de­bate on how the economies of var­i­ous coun­tries, in­clud­ing In­dia’s, will re­cover. How­ever, given the way In­dia has sur­prised the world with its unity and re­solve in the fight against the coro­n­avirus, there is a firm be­lief that we will also set an ex­am­ple in eco­nomic re­vival. In the eco­nomic do­main, through their strength, 130 crore In­di­ans can­not only sur­prise the world but also in­spire it.

It 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 Selfrelian­t In­dia.

The re­cent ₹20 lakh crore pack­age given for Aat­manirb­har Bharat Ab­hiyan 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.

Dear friends,

In this jour­ney of the last six years, you have con­tin­u­ously show­ered me with love and bless­ings.

It is the strength of your bless­ings that has made the na­tion take his­toric de­ci­sions and progress rapidly in the last one year. How­ever, I am also aware that there is a lot that needs to be done. There are many chal­lenges and prob­lems that our coun­try faces. I am work­ing day and night. There could be de­fi­cien­cies in me but there is noth­ing that our coun­try lacks. So, I be­lieve in you, your strength and your abil­i­ties even more than I be­lieve in my­self.

The source of strength for my re­solve is you, your sup­port, bless­ings and af­fec­tion.

Due to the global pan­demic, this is cer­tainly a time of cri­sis but for us In­di­ans this is also a time for a firm re­solve.

We must al­ways re­mem­ber that the present and fu­ture of 130 crore will never be dic­tated by an ad­ver­sity.

We will de­cide our present and our fu­ture.

We will move ahead on the path of progress and vic­tory will be ours.

It is said that:

This means, if we have ac­tion and duty on one hand, then suc­cess is as­sured on the other hand. With prayers for our coun­try’s suc­cess, I bow to you once again. My hearti­est wishes to you and your fam­ily.

Stay healthy, stay safe!!!

Stay aware, stay in­formed!!! Your Prad­han Se­vak

Naren­dra Modi

AJAY AG­GAR­WAL/HT FILE

Pres­i­dent Ram Nath Kovind ad­min­is­ters the oath of of­fice to Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi on the fore­court of Rash­tra­p­ati Bha­van on May 30, 2019.

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