Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Ayodhya to Covid, India is marching forward, says PM Modi in open letter to country

PM Modi wrote an open letter to India to mark the first anniversary of his second term, and addressed many pressing issues including the Covid crisis.

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi marked the first anniversary of his second term Saturday by writing an open letter to his countrymen, asserting that India has started traversing on the path to “victory” in its long battle against Covid-19 while acknowledging “tremendous suffering” of migrant workers among others.

He listed abrogation of Article 370, settlement of the Ram Temple issue, criminalisation of Triple Talaq and the amendment to the Citizenship Act among the key achievements during his second term, asserting that his government’s decisions in the last one year were aimed at fulfilling the dream of making India a global leader.

Modi’s highlights

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

“Article 370 (abrogation) furthered the spirit of national unity and integration,” he said. Referring to the Supreme Court’s unanimous judgement on the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Modi said it brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries.

“The barbaric practice of Triple Talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history,” Modi said in reference to the legislation last year that made giving instant oral triple talaq or talalq-e-biddat a criminal offence with provisions of jail term up to three years.

Referring to the amendment to the Citizenship Act, Modi said it was an “expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness”.

He also said 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, he said.

He acknowledged that there is a lot that needs to be done and many challenges and problems face the country. “I am working day and night. There could be deficiencies in me but there is nothing that our country lacks,” Modi said, adding, “I believe in you, your strength and your abilities even more than I believe in myself.”

“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 Rs 72,000 crore has been deposited in the accounts of over 9 crore 50 lakh farmers,” Modi said.

The Jal Jeevan Mission will ensure supply of potable drinking water through piped connections to over 15 crore rural households, he said. Modi further said a huge campaign for free vaccination is being conducted for better health of the country’s 50 crore livestock.

In times of Covid

Talking of the people’s sufferings, Prime Minister Modi said 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. We are working in a united and determined way to alleviate their troubles,” he said.

Referring to the post-Covid world, the prime minister said there is 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 coronavirus, there is a firm belief that we will also set an example in economic revival,” Modi asserted.

Pitching for self-reliance, he said it is the “need of the hour.” “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,” he said.

The recent Rs 20 lakh crore package given for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is a major step in this direction, he said. He had announced the package in his recent address to the nation. “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,” Modi pointed out.

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

Besides the facility of availing bank loans, a separate department has also been created for fishermen, the prime minister said, enumerating the steps taken by his government. Several other decisions have been taken to strengthen the fisheries sector which will boost the blue economy, he said.

“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 7 crore women attached to self help groups,” Modi said in his letter.

Recently the amount for loans without guarantee for self help groups has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh from the earlier Rs 10 lakh, he said.

Due to the pandemic this is certainly a time of crisis, he said, adding that for 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,” he said.

Referring to an ancient saying, the prime minister said that if people have action and duty on one hand, then success is assured on the other hand.

The good governance model

PM Modi in his letter said as Parliament’s productivity increased, breaking records, several key legislations were passed. As a result of the policies and decisions of the government, Modi said the rural-urban gap is shrinking.

“Keeping in mind the education of tribal children, we have begun the construction of more than 400 new Eklavya Model Residential Schools,” Modi said.

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

As a result of the policies and decisions of the government, the rural-urban gap is shrinking, Modi said, adding that “for the first time, the number of rural Indians using internet is 10 per cent 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,” Modi said.

Today, 130 crore people feel involved and integrated in the development trajectory of the nation, the prime minister said.

“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,” he said.

Recalling his return to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with a bigger mandate, he said this day last year began a “golden chapter” in the history of Indian democracy, as it was after several decades that people of voted back a full term government with a full majority.

Also read: Activism may be a dirty word in Modi’s India, but it still works. Here are 3 recent examples


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