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Minister from UP government Sri Ahmad Hussain ji, the local representative from the area Sri Surendra Singh ji, our MLC Sri Kedar Nath Singh ji, respected sister Durga Devi ji, Sri Arvind ji and my dear brothers and sisters who have gathered here in large numbers. 

The government of India has envisioned a new programme - The Saansad Aadarsh Graam Project. I, being a parliamentarian need to take responsibility of a village under this plan too. I have been reading different versions in the newspapers about my decision to adopt Jayapur village for this plan. Each one gives some version and this baffles me. I am surprised at how some fertile brains are working to spread stories about my decision to adopt this specific village. Such reasons given are ones that even I am not aware of. Why I chose this village has a very simple reason and the reason is that when Bhartiya Janta Party chose me to contest elections from Banaras, that time a big tragedy occurred where 5 people lost their lives in a fire in Jayapur. The first ever name that I became aware of after being selected for the Banaras constituency was that of Jayapur. That too I heard in a moment of crisis. Though I was neither the MP nor we had a government here, I called up the government officials, I called up my party workers and asked them to reach here for help. So this is the reason Jayapur occupied a place in my mind and my heart. So our relationship started in a moment of crisis and those relationships that spring from crisis often last a lifetime. So this is the reason for my association with Jayapur. I consider this as a fortunate association. Rest all the stories being spread are false and they have no basis. None that I am aware of. 

Now some people are writing that the Prime Minster is adopting a village. Well, this scheme is such where it is the other way round i.e. the villages are adopting a parliamentarian. Whatever position we may hold, either that of Minister, Chief Minister or even a Prime Minister, nothing can be compared to the learning that we can receive from the villagers. If I intend to become a good people’s representative, if as a public representative I want to understand people and their problems, learn something worthwhile then I cannot do so by sitting with clerks and officers. I can gather this knowledge only by interactions with the learned and experienced people of the village. They might not have been to school or had college education but what they have is a vast store of knowledge and experience. They have such a vast body of experience that they know practical ways of resolving issues, which can be a great learning experience for the public representative. This is why I have chosen Jayapur and I request you to adopt me in return and teach me ways to resolve your issues. Even after so many years of Independence our villages remained where they were then. Why so? It is now your turn to say that for the past 60 years you sat in your offices at Lucknow and Delhi and made endless policies and spent millions to no avail. Now listen to us and do what we think is better for us. 

I am also witnessing that the villages are competing to be adopted for this scheme. They are expecting the Parliamentarian to choose their village for adoption. The reason for this is a misconception among the villagers that if the parliamentarian adopts their village, a lot of money is going to flow in. Well this scheme has no money. This scheme does not involve money for if there is money, and then there will definitely be a corrupt person to pocket that money. The reason for launching this scheme was that despite running several schemes and spending lots of money, there was no change in lives of the villagers. The idea of this scheme is to find answers to these very questions. 

A few days back I invited the senior bureaucrats for tea during Diwali. These are those top notch officials who practically run the country. All of them are so highly placed that a common citizen cannot possibly approach them. I called them and gave them a job. I asked them to visit the place of their first posting. That very place where they must have been posted for around a year, where they started their careers and received their initial training. I asked them to revisit those places with their children and families. Tell them how you started as a fresher, how you functioned out of your first office and try and remember those people who helped you. Take your families to meet your acquaintances there. I asked them to spend at least three days in that very same location. And think how far they have reached in these 30-40 years whereas the village you started in remained where it was. Go and see for yourself and show the same to your family also. I want to create sensitivity, something that invokes some kind of proactive thought, where they think that it is their responsibility to bring to the forefront all those who supported them when they were new. The public representatives need to think to bring development to all those who have been instrumental in bringing them onto the national political scene. Hence it is my vision to go among these very people, work along with them and see that the government policies designed for them are fully implemented. See if there is the desired change in the village. If there is a difficulty in launching these programmes, then whatever policy level changes need to be made can be decided. If the MP is successful in achieving this, then the entire machinery of the government will get accustomed to working for people. 

I want to create an environment where the residents of Jayapur feel empowered about taking a decision for their well being. I have been seeing that Jayapur is in limelight these days a lot. Many government officials have visited the place. The village was cleaned, roads repaired. On asking why these special efforts are being made, it was the preparation for Modi ji’s visit. The villagers held the view that if Modi ji visits the village frequently it will become very clean. Are you correct in thinking this way? Now that the village has been cleaned, I would appreciate that you take a call that now all of us work together to keep the village clean. Isn’t this the beginning of an ideal village? I want you to think about the oldest tree in the village. Have you ever spared it a thought? Has the village school master ever thought of taking his students to that tree and tell them about its age, that it is some 150-200 years old, that generations from grandparents to parents to these children have played under this tree? This will foster a bonding with that tree. Today no village might know about its oldest tree. Why is this so? Are we no longer fond of them? Do we think about the elders of the village, how many are above 100 years of age, how many are above 75 years or more? How many children of the village sit with these elders and talk about the old days, about the childhood of their elders. How was their school, how were their teachers, what were the food habits at that time, how did they cope with the changing seasons. Have you ever tried this? Sadly, the closed and family like environment so common in a village scenario has suddenly started shrinking. Can we work together to bring back this environment? 

Let me ask you. Do you know the day when your village was established? There must be a day when this village came into existence. If you do not know then go to the government offices and find out when this village found existence in government records. If no record exists then decide upon a day which would be celebrated as the day when this village was born, like we celebrate our birthday. All those who have left the village in order to earn their living will also come back that day. All the senior people of the village who have attained 75, 80 or 90 years should be honoured. Tell me, on such a day, will you not clean the village? Will there be change in the mindsets or not? If someone from the village has gone out, and one day if he returns, on finding the school fan missing, he will donate one? 

How do we make our village an ideal one, not with the help of the government, but by awakening the collective strength of the society. We will decide that no child in the village would eat without first washing their hands. Tell me, do we need the government for this kind of a job. I was reading a report about a neighboring country where 40 out of 100 children die because of diseases related to not washing hands. Means 40 children out of hundred died because they did not wash hands. How much do we love our children? If the kids fall sick everyone feels sad. So let us all decide that no child from this village will ever eat anything without first washing his hands. You will not expect a prime minister to be talking about these issues. There must be some mistake. Well our leaders in the past were so accustomed of talking tall, that it never changed the ground realities. I am not here to talk big. I have to achieve a larger goal by these small targets. 

I want to ask the people of this village, some must have passed 10th, some must have passed 12th grade, some might be graduates, people of different age groups like 50 or 60 years old- have you ever been to the school where your child goes to study? Have you seen the school? Do you check if the teacher comes or not? Is the drinking water clean or dirty, if there is a toilet or a library in the school, if the computers in the school are in a working condition or not. Have we ever taken an interest in these issues? What we have done is admitted our children in school, dumped our child there at the mercy of the teacher and left him to his fate. This attitude doesn’t work. We have to be more proactive. We can decide to make a committee of the members of one neighborhood who will go each day and supervise the functioning of the school. Tell me then, our school, however small it might be, will truly turn into a temple of learning or not. It is such an easy job. 

I often tell the poor families in the villages to celebrate the birth of the girl child. But do we really celebrate the birth of a girl. Some families often end up feeling sad if a girl child is born. The daughter in law of the household has to face everybody’s ire. Will our Jayapur village celebrate the birth of a girl child? The goddess of wealth enters our household, so this should be celebrated or not, should we not be equally proud of our daughters. See, how few girls are being born in comparison to the number of boys. The reason of this is that the daughters are killed in the womb itself. If we kill the girl child in the womb itself so how will the social cycle function. If 1000 boys are born and only 800 girls are there, 200 boys will remain unmarried. What then will happen to our villages, our society? And is this the job of the government? Isn’t this our responsibility as a society to protect and honour our women? That is why I am here today, in Jayapur. We have decided whatever we were doing is past, now we have to think of a new way forward. I even say this that if you have a farm or a small piece of land, sow five plants when your daughter is born to celebrate the occasion. The girl will grow up and so will the trees. When she is old enough to get married, sell those trees and you will get the money to marry her off. 

We have to work together to develop new social structure. When the village celebrates its inception day, there will be no room for casteism. All will live in unity, casteism will not survive and once free of this social ill, no one can stop you from being a force so strong beyond everyone’s imagination. Hence this entire Aadarsh Gram Yojana involves implementing government schemes properly, on time and effectively. We have to implement it in a fashion that optimum results are obtained. The MP will provide necessary guidance and the work will gather momentum. Once the government officers realize how the work is to be done in the village, others too will follow soon. 

I have an intense desire to do many things for this village and the district of Banaras which are now under my responsibility. But I do not intend to work in the usual format of the governmental set up utilizing the funds of the government treasury. I want to use the people’s power by encouraging people’s participation. 

A while back our Village Pradhan, Durga Devi ji was giving her speech. I asked her about her qualification? She informed that she had studied till the eighth standard. Now see, how high was her confidence level because of her education. I felt proud; I was truly impressed by the manner in which she expressed her views. Don’t we want our daughters to be educated? If our Pradhan is educated, so shall be all the daughters of this village. 

Why is it so, that even for taking polio drops someone from the government office has to come to call us? Shouldn’t the youth of the village take the responsibility to see that all children receive polio drops, that no child should be inflicted by polio, that there is no one who is handicapped? The government can bring you the polio drops but it is your responsibility to see that the children receive it. So we will take this responsibility, won’t we? 

I have spent time with you, interacted with party workers and officials to understand your problems. I am confident that people in the administration which is primarily being run by the state government, will see to it that the tasks are undertaken and duly taken to their culmination. What the government needs to do and what as villagers we need to do… we will decide now. And I repeat, the MP will not adopt the village, rather the village has to adopt the MP. We have to work in a new direction and create an ideal village. I am grateful to the people of Jayapur. Naturally if I have made inquiries about the works being done, the organizational functioning, then I will try to find new ways too. But I do not wish to discuss this on the stage here. I will raise these issues at the necessary forums. At the same time I expect you people to sit together and decide what works you can undertake and to work on your own collective strengths. 

I have heard that there is a water crisis in this village. The government will do what it needs to do. But let us decide that we will not allow even a single drop of rainwater to go waste. There will no longer be water crisis. But all of us have to work together for this. Whatever we have been doing is past. Now we have to think of a new way forward. We have to march ahead with our social strength. We will no longer wait for the government to do something for us. We will work together as a force and involve our neighbouring villages too. I have seen this happening in some villages. The people have done it and so will Jayapur do it. 

I express my gratitude for the love and respect showered by you and I want to assure you that we will work together as a team to create a new Jayapur, a better Jayapur. 

With this belief in my heart, I express my sincere gratitude to you all. Thank You! 

(The original speech was in Hindi, this is the English rendering. Original speech remains the authoritative version) 

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In May 2014, people of India ushered in a New Normal. People spoke in one voice to entrust my Govt with a mandate for change: PM
Every day at work, my ‘to do list’ is guided by the constant drive to reform & transform India: PM
The multi-polarity of the world, and an increasingly multi-polar Asia, is a dominant fact today: PM
The prosperity of Indians, both at home and abroad, and security of our citizens are of paramount importance: PM
For me, Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas is not just a vision for India. It is a belief for the whole world: PM
In the last two and half years, we have partnered with almost all our neighbours to bring the region together: PM
Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India: PM

 

Excellencies,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies & Gentlemen,


Today seems to be a day of speeches. Just a while ago we heard President Xi and Prime Minister May. Here I am with my words. Perhaps an overdose for some. Or a problem of plenty for 24/7 News Channels.

It is a great privilege to speak to you at the inauguration of the second edition of the Raisina Dialogue. Excellency Karzai Prime Minister Harper, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, it is a pleasure to see you in Delhi. Also, a warm welcome to all the guests. Over the next couple of days, you would hold numerous conversations on the state of the world around us. You would debate its certainty and prevailing flux; its conflicts and risks; its successes and opportunities; its past behaviours and likely prognosis; and its potential black swans and the New Normals.

Friends,

In May 2014, the people of India also ushered in a New Normal. My fellow Indians spoke in one voice to entrust my government with a mandate for change. Change not just of attitudes but of mindsets. Change from a state of drift to one of purposeful actions. Change to take bold decisions. A mandate in which reform would not be enough unless it transforms our economy and society. A transformation that is embedded in the aspiration and optimism of India’s youth, and in the boundless energy of its millions. Every day at work, I draw on this sacred energy. Every day at work, my ‘to do list’ is guided by the constant drive to reform and transform India, for prosperity and security of all Indians.

Friends,

I am aware that India’s transformation is not separated from its external context. Our economic growth; the welfare of our farmers; the employment opportunities for our youth; our access to capital, technology, markets and resources; And, security of our nation all of them are deeply impacted by developments in the world. But, the reverse is also true.

The world needs India’s sustained rise, as much as India needs the world. Our desire to change our country has an indivisible link with the external world. It is, therefore, only natural that India’s choices at home and our international priorities form part of a seamless continuum. Firmly anchored in India’s transformational goals.

Friends,

India is pursuing its transformation in unsettled times, which is equally the result of human progress and violent turmoil. For multiple reasons and at multiple levels, the world is going through profound changes. Globally connected societies, digital opportunities, technology shifts, knowledge boom and innovation are leading the march of humanity. But, sluggish growth and economic volatility are also a sobering fact. Physical borders may be less relevant in this age of bits and bytes. But, walls within nations, a sentiment against trade and migration, and rising parochial and protectionist attitudes across the globe are also in stark evidence. The result, Globalization gains are at risk and economic gains are no longer easy to come by. Instability, violence, extremism, exclusion and transnational threats continue to proliferate in dangerous directions. And, non-state actors are significant contributors to the spread of such challenges. Institutions and architectures built for a different world, by a different world, are outdated. Posing a barrier to effective multilateralism. As the world begins to re-order itself a quarter century after the strategic clarity of the Cold War, the dust has not yet settled on what has replaced it. But, a couple of things are clear. The political and military power is diffused and distributed The multi-polarity of the world, and an increasingly multi-polar Asia, is a dominant fact today. And, we welcome it.

Because, it captures the reality of the rise of many nations. It accepts that voices of many, not views of a few should shape the global agenda. Therefore, we need to guard against any instinct or inclination that promotes exclusion, especially in Asia. The focus of this conference on Multilaterism with Multipolarity is thus timely.

Friends,

We inhabit a strategically complex environment. In the broad sweep of history, the changing world is not necessarily a new situation. The crucial question is how do nations act in a situation where the frames of reference are shifting rapidly. Our choices and actions are based on the strength of our national power.

Our strategic intent is shaped by our civilizational ethos of:

· यथार्थवाद (realism),
· सह-अस्तित्व (co-existence)
· सहयोग (cooperation),तथा
· सहभागिता (partnership).

This finds expression in a clear and responsible articulation of our national interests. The prosperity of Indians, both at home and abroad, and security of our citizens are of paramount importance. But, self interest alone is neither in our culture nor in our behavior. Our actions and aspirations, capacities and human capital, democracy and demography,and strength and success. will continue to be an anchor for all round regional and global progress. Our economic and political rise represents a regional and global opportunity of great significance. It is a force for peace, a factor for stability and an engine for regional and global prosperity.

For my government, this has meant a path of international engagement focused on:

· Rebuilding connectivity, restoring bridges and rejoining India with our immediate and extended geographies.

· Shaping relationships networked with India’s economic priorities.

· Making India a human resource power to be reckoned with, by connecting our talented youth to global needs and opportunities.

· Building development partnerships that extend from the islands of the Indian Ocean and Pacific to the islands of the Caribbean and from the great continent of Africa to the Americas. · Creating Indian narratives on global challenges.

· Helping re-configure re-invigorate and rebuild global institutions and organizations. · Spreading the benefits of India's civilizational legacies, including Yoga and Ayurveda, as a global good. Transformation, therefore, is not just a domestic focus. It encompasses our global agenda.

For me, Sab Ka Saath; Sab Ka Vikas is not just a vision for India. It is a belief for the whole world. And, it manifests itself several layers, multiple themes and different geographies.

Let me turn to those that are closest to us in terms of geography and shared interests. We have seen a major shift towards our neighbours captured in our determined "Neighbourhood-first" approach. The people of South Asia are joined by blood, shared history, culture, and aspirations. The optimism of its youth seeks change, opportunities, progress and prosperity. A thriving well-connected and integrated neighbourhood is my dream. In the last two and half years, we have partnered with almost all our neighbours to bring the region together. Where necessary, we have shed the burdens of our past for the progressive future of our region. The result of our efforts is there to see.

In Afghanistan, despite distance and difficulties in transit, our partnership assists in reconstruction, by building institutions and capacities. In the backdrop, our security engagement has deepened. The completion of Afghanistan's Parliament building and the India-Afghanistan Friendship Dam are two shining examples of our dedication to forge developmental partnership.

With Bangladesh, we have achieved greater convergence and political understanding, through connectivity and infrastructure projects, and significantly, the settlement of the land and maritime boundaries.

In Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives, our overall engagement in infrastructure, connectivity, energy and development projects is a source of progress and stability in the region.

My vision for our neighbourhood puts a premium on peaceful and harmonious ties with entire South Asia. That vision had led me to invite leaders of all SAARC nations, including Pakistan, for my swearing in. For this vision, I had also travelled to Lahore. But, India alone cannot walk the path of peace. It also has to be Pakistan's journey to make. Pakistan must walk away from terror if it wants to walk towards dialogue with India.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Further west, we have redefined, in a short span of time, and despite uncertainty and conflict, our partnerships with Gulf and West Asia, including Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Qatar and Iran. Next week, I will have the pleasure to host His Highness the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, as the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day. We have not just focused on changing the perception. We have also changed the reality of our ties.

This has helped us protect and promote our security interests, nurture strong economic and energy ties and advance the material and social welfare of around 8 million Indians. In Central Asia too, we have built our ties on the edifice of shared history and culture to unlock new vistas of prosperous partnership. Our membership of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization provides a strong institutional link to our engagement with Central Asian nations. We have invested in all round prosperity of our Central Asian brothers and sisters.

And, have brought about a successful reset to longstanding relationships in that region.To our east, our engagement with South East Asia is at the centre of our Act East Policy. We have built a close engagement with the institutional structures in the region such as the East Asia Summit. Our partnership with ASEAN and its member countries has served to enhance commerce, technology, investment, development, and security partnerships with the region. It has also advanced our broad strategic interests and stability in the region. In our engagement with China, as President Xi and I agreed, we have sought to tap the vast area of commercial and business opportunities in the relationship. I see the development of India and China as an unprecedented opportunity, for our two countries and for the whole world. At the same time, it is not unnatural for two large neighbouring powers to have some differences. In the management of our relationship, and for peace and progress in the region, both our countries need to show sensitivity and respect for each other's core concerns and interests.

Friends,

Prevailing wisdom tells us that this century belongs to Asia. The sharpest trajectory of change is happening in Asia. There are large and vibrant pools of progress and prosperity that spread across the landscape of this region. But, rising ambition and rivalries are generating visible stress points. The steady increase in military power, resources and wealth in the Asia-Pacific has raised the stakes for its security. Therefore, the security architecture in the region must be open, transparent, balanced and inclusive. And, promote dialogue and predictable behavior rooted in international norms and respect for sovereignty.

Friends,

Over the past two and a half years, we have given a strong momentum to our engagement with the United States, Russia, Japan and other major global powers. With them, we not only share a desire to cooperate. We also hold converging views on opportunities and challenges that face us. These partnerships are a good fit with India's economic priorities and defence and security. With the United States, our actions have brought speed, substance and strength to the entire spectrum of our engagement. In my conversation with President-elect Donald Trump, we agreed to keep building on these gains in our strategic partnership. Russia is an abiding friend. President Putin and I have held long conversations on the challenges that confront the world today. Our trusted and strategic partnership, especially in the field of defence has deepened.

Our investments in new drivers of our relationship, and the emphasis on energy, trade, and S&T linkages are showing successful results. We also enjoy a truly strategic partnership with Japan whose contours now stretch to all fields of economic activity. Prime Minister Abe and I have spoken of our determination to intensify our cooperation further. With Europe, we have a vision of strong partnership in India’s development, especially in knowledge industry and smart urbanization.

Friends,

India has for decades been at the forefront of sharing our capacities and strengths with fellow developing countries. With our brothers and sisters in Africa, we have further strengthened our ties in the last couple of years. And, built meaningful development partnerships on the solid foundation of decades of traditional friendship and historical links. Today, the footprint of our development partnership stretches all across the globe.  

Ladies and Gentlemen,

India has a long history of being a maritime nation. In all directions, our maritime interests are strategic and significant. The arc of influence of Indian Ocean extends well beyond its littoral limits. Our initiative of SAGAR - Security And Growth for All in the Region is not just limited to safe-guarding our mainland and islands. It defines our efforts to deepen economic and security cooperation in our maritime relationships. We know that convergence, cooperation, and collective action will advance economic activity and peace in our maritime region. We also believe, that the primary responsibility for peace, prosperity and security in the Indian Ocean rests with those who live in this region. Ours is not an exclusive approach. And, we aim to bring countries together on the basis of respect for international law. We believe that respecting Freedom of Navigation and adhering to international norms is essential for peace and economic growth in the larger and inter-linked marine geography of the Indo-Pacific.

Friends,

We appreciate the compelling logic of regional connectivity for peace, progress and prosperity. In our choices and through our actions, we have sought to overcome barriers to our outreach to West and Central Asia, and eastwards to Asia-Pacific. Two clear and successful examples of this are the tripartite agreement with Iran and Afghanistan on Chabahar; and our commitment to bring on line the International North South Transport Corridor. However, equally, connectivity in itself cannot override or undermine the sovereignty of other nations.

Only by respecting the sovereignty of countries involved, can regional connectivity corridors fulfill their promise and avoid differences and discord.

Friends,

True to our traditions, we have shouldered the international burden of our commitments. We have led assistance and relief efforts in times of disaster. We were a credible first responder during the earthquake in Nepal, evacuation from Yemen and during humanitarian crises in the Maldives and Fiji. We have also not hesitated in shouldering our responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. We have increased collaboration on coastal surveillance, white shipping information and fighting non-traditional threats like piracy, smuggling and organized crime. We have also shaped alternative narratives on long standing global challenges. Our strong belief in delinking terrorism from religion, and rejecting artificial distinctions between good and bad terrorism, are now a global talking point. And, those in our neighbourhood who support violence, encourage hatred, and export terror stand isolated and ignored. On the other pressing challenge of global warming, we have moved into a leading role. We have an ambitious agenda and an equally aggressive target to generate 175 giga watts from renewable energy. And we have already made a good start. We have shared our civilizational traditions to promote harmonious living with nature. We also brought the international community together to create an International Solar Alliance, to harness the energy of sun to propel human growth. A high point of our efforts has been the revival of international interest in the cultural and spiritual richness of India’s civilizational stream. Today, Buddhism, yoga and Ayurveda are recognized as invaluable heritage of humanity as a whole. India will celebrate this common heritage every step of the way. As it builds bridges across countries and regions and promotes overall well-being. 

Ladies & gentlemen,

In conclusion, let me say this. In connecting with the world, our ancient scriptures have guided us.

Rig Veda says,

आ नो भद्रो : क्रत्वो यन्तु विश्वतः Means: "Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions”.

As a society, we have always favoured needs of many over the want of one.And, preferred partnerships over polarization. We hold the belief that success of one must propel the growth of many. Our task is cut out. And, our vision is clear. Our journey of transformation begins at home. And, is strongly supported through our constructive and collaborative partnerships that span the globe. With resolute steps at home, and expanding network of reliable friendships abroad, we will grasp the promise of a future that belongs to over a billion Indians. And in this endeavor, you will find in India, my friends, a beacon of peace and progress, stability and success, and access and accommodation.

Thank you.

Thank you very much.