Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi presents ONE INDIA Award to Shri Nabam Atum for his remarkable work in the North East
Had Sardar Patel been alive a little longer, the nation would have stood integrated even further: Shri Modi
Shri Modi asks Centre not to take any issue relating to our borders lightly.
Freedom struggle was very active in North East. We still remember Rani Gaidinliu: Shri Modi
North East has been a victim of votebank politics: Shri Modi
On Monday 4th June 2012, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi strongly criticized the Centre for neglecting the unique culture and aspirations of the Border States, particularly the 8 eight North Eastern states. He was speaking while presenting the ‘ONE INDIA’ award to renowned social activist Shri Nabam Atum for his life long contribution towards working for the region. The function was organized by My Home India.
Speaking at the occasion, Shri Modi throw light on the need to integrate all people and regions of the nation. He spoke that it is truly unfortunate when people from the North East are asked questions such as which country they belong to. Despite this, it is extremely commendable that they continue to work for the nation, Shri Modi added. He said that had Sardar Patel lived a little longer, there would not be any need for a My Home India kind of movement because he would have integrated and inspired the nation even further. But, there are some events in history that either alter our direction or halt us at the tracks- Sardar Patel’s demise was one such time.
Shri Modi stressed on the fact that issues relating to our border areas cannot be taken lightly. He cited instances such as mobile connectivity, where Tibet gets mobile connectivity from China, In Gujarat border areas many times it becomes difficult to give mobiles to the Jawans as the signal and channel comes from Pakistan. But, despite his repeated attempts to highlight the issue to the Centre, nothing has happened. Even in case of the North East, there is only one transit point of Siliguri. The Chief Minister said that we can give the benefit of doubt before 1962 but after the rude shock of 1962 the Governments of the day still didn’t take remedial action. Shri Modi referred to Mr. Nabam’s movement against Chinese presence in 2010 that actually woke up a sleeping Government.
The Chief Minister talked about how the Colonial Rulers shrewdly tried to divide the nation and in this, the North East became a part of their design. After 1857, they labeled North East as Mongoloid, South Indians as Dravdians etc. Shri Modi emphasized on the need to undo these sins but observed that the current establishment in Delhi is such that there is no pride for the nation. He narrated how he had shared the idea of cultural exchanges of police officials from the North East to Gujarat as a means to bridge cultural barriers and strengthen national integration but till now noting has happened.
Talking about the rich history of the North East, Shri Modi stated that the Freedom Struggle was very active even in the North East. There were many people who went to jail for the nation and the example of Rani Gaidinliu is very well known. But, Shri Modi asked why was she not adequately remembered after Independence? He said that the answer lies in the fact that if some people who went to the gallows, inspired the youth then what will happen to one particular family? It is for that they have unturned the pages of history.
Remembering the success at Kargil, Shri Modi shared that few people knew that when the Jawans from Nagaland got the task to capture the crucial Tiger Hill, there was panic in the Pakistan Army. It was these Jawans who captured Tiger Hill and made Kargil win possible. He reminded the people that it was during the reign of Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee that a special Ministry for North East was carved out. Had Atal ji’s rule stayed longer, the incomplete work of Sardar Patel would have completed through the NDA Government.
The Chief Minister pointed out that PM Dr. Manmohan Singh from Assam in Rajya Sabha but he remembered in 2008 we need a vision document for the region and till date he is still reading it only. Despite him representing the North East for long, little has happened from the Centre for their cultural and developmental aspirations.
Shri Modi said that there is great potential in the North East. Due to great water flow, there is a potential for hydropower. Infact, he pointed out that even Nepal and Tibet are embracing it in a big way but our Government is slow. The North East has potential for uranium but it is unfortunate that the PM is busy strengthening the dollar and asking USA to perform these functions of providing key resources, Shri Modi pointed out.
He talked about how the North East has been one of the worst victims of votebank politics. In the name of secularism, there were leaders who promised ‘Bible Raj’ and such politics has brought only distances nothing else. Shri Modi said that the thought in the find of these followers of votebank politics is- there are only handful of seats from North East so why bother?
Shri Modi concluded by saying that we need to win the hearts of the people of the North East and address their grievances. He said that things like Krishna worship in Manipur could be great tools of integration with the region. He once again thanked the organizers and congratulated Nabam ji before ending his speech.