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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

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Tribute to a great unifier: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel can justly be regarded as the maker of modern India
October 31, 2018
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The first half of 1947 was a critical period in India’s history. The end of colonial rule was certain and so was India’s Partition, but what was uncertain was whether there would be more than one division. Prices were rising, food shortages were common but over and above everything else, the unity of India was under severe strain.

It was in these circumstances that the States Department came into being in June 1947. Among the chief aims of this department was to give impetus and top priority to negotiations vis-à-vis India’s relationship with the over 550 princely states, which were as diverse as they could get, be it in size, population, terrain or economic situation. No wonder Mahatma Gandhi remarked, “The problem of the states is so difficult that YOU alone can solve it.”

In vintage Sardar Patel style, he went about his work with precision, firmness and administrative efficiency. Time was less and the task was herculean … but this was no ordinary person, it was Sardar Patel, who was determined not to let his nation down. One by one, he and his team negotiated with the princely states and ensured that they all became a part of free India.

Illustration: Ajit Ninan

It was due to round-the-clock effort of Sardar Patel that the map of India is what it is today!

Once freedom was won, VP Menon, it is said, wanted to retire from government service, only to be told by Sardar Patel that this was neither the time to rest nor the time to retire. Such was Sardar Patel’s firm resolve. VP Menon was made the Secretary of the States Department. In his book ‘The Story of the Integration of Indian States’, he writes about how Sardar Patel led from the front and inspired the entire team to work assiduously. He also writes that Sardar Patel was clear – first and foremost came the interests of the people of India, there would be no compromise on that.

On August 15, 1947, we celebrated the dawn of a new destiny but the work of nation building was far from complete. As independent India’s first home minister, he set the stage for an administrative framework that continues to serve the nation be it in matters of day to day governance or protecting the interests of the people, particularly the poor and marginalised.

Sardar Patel was a veteran administrator. His own experience in governance, particularly in the 1920s when he served the Ahmedabad municipality, was extremely handy when he worked towards strengthening independent India’s administrative framework. While in Ahmedabad, he did commendable work in furthering cleanliness in the city. He ensured clean and functioning drainage systems across the city. He also focussed on other aspects of urban infrastructure such as roads, electricity and education.

Today, if India is known for a vibrant cooperative sector, a large part of the credit goes to Sardar Patel. The roots of Amul can be traced back to his vision for empowering local communities, particularly women. It was Sardar Patel who also popularised the idea of cooperative housing societies, thus ensuring dignity and shelter for many.

Two traits synonymous with Sardar Patel are trust and integrity. The farmers of India had unparalleled faith in him. After all, he was a kisan putra, who led from the front during the Bardoli satyagraha. The working class saw him as a ray of hope, a leader who would speak up for them. Traders and industrialists preferred to work with Sardar Patel because they felt here was a stalwart who had a vision for India’s economic and industrial growth.

His political peers too trusted him. Acharya Kripalani remarked that whenever they faced an issue and if Bapu’s guidance was not available, they would turn to Sardar Patel. When political negotiations were at their peak in 1947, Sarojini Naidu called him “the man of decision and man of action”. Everyone trusted him, his words and his actions. Sardar Patel continues to be respected across caste, creed, faith, age!

This year’s Sardar Jayanti is even more special. With the blessings of 130 crore Indians, the Statue of Unity is being inaugurated today. Situated on the banks of the Narmada, the ‘Statue of Unity’ is the tallest in the world. ‘Dharti Putra’ Sardar Patel will stand tall in the skies, to guide us and inspire us.

I congratulate all those who have worked day and night to ensure that this grand statue in tribute of Sardar Patel becomes a reality. My mind goes back to October 31, 2013, when we laid the foundation stone for this ambitious project. In record time, a project of such scale has become ready and this should make every Indian proud. I urge you all to visit the Statue of Unity in the times to come.

The Statue of Unity is a symbol of both the unity of hearts and the geographical integrity of our motherland. It is a reminder that divided, we may not be even able to face ourselves. United, we can face the world and scale new heights of growth and glory.

Sardar Patel worked with astonishing speed to dismantle the history of imperialism and create the geography of unity with the spirit of nationalism. He saved India from Balkanisation and integrated even the weakest of limbs into the national framework. Today, we, the 130 crore Indians, are working shoulder to shoulder to build a New India that is strong, prosperous and inclusive. Every decision is being taken to ensure that the fruits of development reach the most vulnerable, without any corruption or favouritism, just as Sardar Patel would have wanted it.