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Dear Friends,

26th January 1950 was a very special day in the life of our nation. It was the day we gifted ourselves one of the most elaborate Constitutions in the world. Under the stewardship of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar we enshrined in the Constitution our ideals, values and aspirations. This year we also mark the 60th anniversary of the first General Elections in independent India. Right from the beginning we showed the world that we were not only a vibrant democracy but also one that diligently followed the principle of Universal Adult Franchise. It took Britain centuries after the signing of the Magna Carta and a series of Reform Acts to embrace twin principles on ‘one man one vote’ and ‘one vote for all’. USA conferred voting rights to women in the early 20th century and to African Americans as late as 1964! Due to the foresight of our forefathers in the Constituent Assembly our democracy was considerably evolved and totally equitable from the very beginning.

Co-operative, not Coercive Federalism for Strong Republic

In their great wisdom, the makers of our Constitution envisioned a federal structure of Government in which the states would be treated as equal stakeholders of India’s development. It is not without reason that the phrase ‘Federal in Structure, Unitary in Spirit’ is used to describe the Indian state.A vast and diverse country such as ours cannot survive without a vibrant and functional federal structure. Sitting in New Delhi, the Centre may not always be able to do justice to the potential and needs of various states across India. By virtue of being closer to the people, State Governments can respond much better in understanding and fulfilling the expectations of the people through good governance.

It is, however, a matter of great concern that the federal structure of our Republic has come under increasing strain, contrary to the spirit of our Constitution, merely to suit the whims and fancies of the rulers inDelhi. What we are witnessing today is the systematic disruption of our country’s federal structure both in letter and spirit. A Republic such as ours cannot be run in the form of a family run corporation - it will simply lead to chaos and destruction.

The systematic onslaught on the federal structure has taken various forms. It is most unfortunate that the Centre has shown tremendous weakness in areas where it must show maximum courage. The country is suffering due to the menace of Naxalism and terrorism but the Centre has been delaying key initiatives that would be beneficial. The Gujarat Assembly thrice passed the GUJCOC bill but the Centre has kept it waiting for four years now. This despite the fact that law and order is a matter clearly in the State List. What better to expect from a Government that thrives on the evil of votebank politics?

Paradoxically, the rulers in New Delhi have repeatedly flexed their muscles in areas where they should ideally be friendly and co-operative with the states. In order to do so, they have not sparred any Constitutional office. There are many instances of non-UPA states being targeted through the office of the Governor. Several other bodies are also being misused by the Centre to weaken the states ruled by the Opposition in order to score political brownie points. Chief Ministers are not consulted on crucial appointments. Rather, appointments are being thrust down violating the spirit of the laws of the land.

Prime Minster Indira Gandhi appointed the Sarkaria Commission which called for a mechanism of consultation between the states and the Centre on matters pertaining to the Concurrent List. But even decades after these reports were submitted their recommendations have not seen the light of the day. The Communal Violence Bill was conceived by the NAC without consulting the states. It does not matter to those in power that such bills will destroy the peaceful fabric of India. These issues can be dealt better if the states are consulted and allowed to handle it themselves.

There is even larger destruction of the federal structure in fiscal areas. In the name of ‘public good’ or ‘people’s rights’, more and more funds are making their way to New Delhi. The Finance Commission allocated substantially lesser resources to the states keeping a lion’s share of funds with the Centre. The Centre has become adept at passing populist schemes but there is no financial support given to the states for their execution. Adequate central funds are not an obligation from New Delhi but the right of every state to pursue development.

Today our economy is weak and the country is reeling under the ill effects of rampant hunger and price rise but the Centre has even played politics in this. To uncover stored food grains, raids were launched across the country but most of them were in non-UPA states even though UPA rules some of India’s largest states and those that witnessed highest farmer suicides in recent times!

These concerns I am sharing today are not only as a Chief Minister but also as a common citizen of India. Why is it that Chief Ministers cutting across party lines are expressing serious apprehensions on these repeated attacks on India’s federal structure? It is high time the Centre realizes that giving to the states what rightfully belongs to them will not weaken the Centre. The states must co-ordinate with the Union Government and not remain subservient to it. Co-operative and not coercive federalism must be the norm in our country.

Friends, I take this opportunity to extend my good wishes on the occasion of Republic Day. On this day, let us all resolve to shape a real federal India, which will embody the real spirit of ‘Unity in Diversity’. Let us all work towards realizing Gandhiji’s dream of Surajya with the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. This is the most fitting tribute to the makers of our Constitution.

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Fulfilling Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya ji’s dream of a developed and just India
September 25, 2015
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Dear Friends,

Today we bow to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya ji, on his birth anniversary. This year the occasion is even more special as it marks the beginning of Deendayal ji’s centenary year.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya is our inspiration. From his life we learn how an individual completely devoted himself to the wellbeing of the nation and the service of the poor. As a political organiser, his work was legendary. Without getting trapped into the lure for power he continued to work, selflessly.

Deendayal ji gave us the Mantra of ‘Integral Humanism’, which has been our guiding principle. This Mantra of ‘Integral Humanism’ stands out as a clear way of thought firmly rooted in the Indian tradition. ‘Integral Humanism also stands out for its emphasis on decentralization and attaches immense importance to the economic progress of every human being.

When I say that the Government of India is a government for the poor, it is deeply inspired by Deendayal ji’s idea of Antyodaya or serving the very last person in the society. India’s progress is dependent on how quickly we can free our nation from the clutches of poverty and provide every Indian a life of dignity, opportunity and aspiration.

For years, the poor of India figured prominently in rhetoric of politicians but when it came to delivery on the ground, there was a wide gap. Our government has been laser focused on bridging this gap. All our key initiatives, from Swachh Bharat, to ensuring that the poor have bank accounts, to creating a social security and pension framework to 24/7 electricity and housing for all are aimed at bringing a qualitative difference in the lives of the poor. The scope and scale of these initiatives is wide and unprecedented but we are confident that we will complete them and deliver the desired results.

Exactly on this day last year, the ‘Make in India’ initiative was launched. We believe that India is the ideal destination for companies from across the world to invest in. Our demographic dividend is ideally suited to drive this change and make India a hub for manufacturing, cutting edge research and innovation. With industry will come greater employment and learning opportunities for our youth, which will ignite the lamp of progress and prosperity in their lives.

A year on, I am meeting with top business leaders and investors in the United States, building on the ground we had covered last year. Wherever I am travelling, I have seen renewed enthusiasm towards investing in India. We, on our part are doing everything possible to further this spirit. We have made doing business easier, are working to make our tax structures more predictable, stable and competitive. We are simplifying procedures and removing regulations that are unnecessary. We are placing enormous focus on technology as well.

I am confident these efforts will directly benefit the poor of India and provide them the windows of opportunity they deserve.

Today, I will be addressing a UN Summit on adoption of post-2015 Development Agenda. The world is taking note of the menace of climate change and it must be highlighted that the greatest sufferers of the adverse consequences of climate change will be the poor. It is in a way a manifestation of Antyodaya that today the global community, from leaders to individuals and organisations are coming together to find ways to mitigate this adversity. I am hopeful we will draw up a clear roadmap on Climate Change Mitigation and towards Sustainable Development that will directly benefit the poor and the marginalised.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya always said, ‘Charaiveti, Charaiveti.’ This was an inspiring call to keep pursuing your mission without being overcome by any obstacles, to establish a system of sacrifice and hardwork. Let us follow the path shown by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and work together to fulfil his dream of a developed and just India, where the poorest of the poor is taken care of.

 

Yours,

Narendra Modi