Speaking on the occasion Shri Modi pointed, “We are born at a time when our nation is the most youthful nation in the world. 65% of our people are under the age of 35. Go to Europe and you will see old people everywhere. Even to see a young person running you must wait for a while. ” He said that our nation is filled with tremendous energy due to the youth. “Whatever future we want, we must keep the youth the centre. If we do this, we can surge ahead and no one can match us!” He stressed on the need of the youth getting the right opportunity in a conducive environment.
Paying tributes to Swami Vivekananda, Shri Modi affirmed, “This year we celebrate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. At the centre of Swami Vivekananda’s thoughts and vision were the youth. He said give me a thousand youngsters and I will change the world. This is the faith he had in the youth. It was seeing the youth that Swami Vivekananda said one day Bharat Mata would be Jagat Guru.” Shri Modi added, “As a society should we not embrace this dream of Swami Vivekananda? We cannot let his words get proven wrong.” The Chief Minister expressed confidence that if the youth is determined, the nation can scale immense heights.
Shri Modi talked at length about the formation of Gujarat in 1960 and the role played by the youth in that. He said, “Today when we are celebrating Gujarat’s Foundation Day, let us ask ourselves- did we get this Gujarat just like that? No, it is because people of your age, youngsters bore bullets, that is why we can celebrate this day today.” Shri Modi remarked, “Earlier, Gujarat’s Sthapana Divas was hardly remembered. This is because power went into the hands of those who did not want Gujarat. In the Congress office at Ahmedabad’s Bhadra area, bullets were fired on youngsters who asked for the formation of Gujarat. Congressmen were very angry. Despite being Chief Ministers, Ministers, which they could never have been earlier, the fired shots on youngsters. Someone else was martyred but those who fired the shots jumped onto power.”
He further said, “Then they want to forget this part of history. A demand was made for Shaheed Smarak but you would be sad to know that for years nothing happened. We cannot forget history. 1st May is as much about remembering the history of the Mahagujarat Movement.” Shri Modi affirmed that the youth of Gujarat is not selfish, they faced bullets not because they wanted something for themselves.” He shared that it was the youth of Gujarat that displayed courage and overthrew the corrupt Congress Government during the Navnirman Movement. Shri Modi avowed that in a time when the country is being looted in this manner, could the youth of the nation remain silent. “Our youth need to affirm that they will not let the nation be looted.”
Shri Modi spoke on the importance of skill development for the youth. He said, “Every leader from President Obama to Chinese, Japanese leaders are speaking the same language- a stress on skill development. Everyone is convinced that if we want progress we also need skills, only degrees will not do.” Shri Modi remarked that while on one hand the Congress leaders are defaming Gujarat while on the other hand the Central Government has given Gujarat an award of excellence for the state’s skill development initiatives.
On holding programmes such as Gujarat’s Foundation Day, Republic Day and Independence Day in different parts of Gujarat, Shri Modi pointed these are works of Samajh Sanskar. “This kind of Samajh Sanskar used to happen during the time of Gandhi ji but sadly after Independence it did not happen. I wonder why we left the path shown by Gandhi ji.”
At the same time, he took a dig at the UPA for their inability to adhere to their commitment of constricting a heritage path at Dandi, which is closely associated with Mahatma Gandhi’s historic Salt Satyagraha. He remarked, “It is not as if the Congress has left Gandhi ji’s way only. They want Gandhi ji to leave his own way too! Yes, the Congress wants Gandhi ji to change his path.” Elaborating further on the issue Shri Modi said, “In 2005 the Dandi March completed 75 years. That time celebrations happened where Congress leaders came, they all walked a kilometer or two to show their presence…even the Prime Minister came. He announced Rs 2500 crore would be allocated to construct a heritage path commemorating the Dandi March. That time they took the credit. How many years has it been since 2005? Yet there is no trace of the path. And now they write to us, saying if the Government road next to it can be made into the heritage path? Can anyone dare to do this? Are they not bothered? Do they not have any responsibility? The entire world bows to Gandhi ji. I want to tell the Congress- you are free to wander on any path but do not change Gandhi ji’s.”
Talking about the prize distribution, Shri Modi expressed joy that most of the students who were awarded the prizes were girls. He also stated that there is immense talent in our youth and one sees this through the exhibits seen on the occasion. He added that he seeing these exhibits including by children of tribal communities, one feels that the future of the nation is in secure hands.
Cabinet Minister Smt. Anandiben Patel spoke on the occasion. Cabinet Minister Shri Ganpat Vasava, former Minister Shri Mangubhai Patel, Chief Secretary Shri Varesh Sinha, ACS (Home) Shri SK Nanda, Shri CR Patil and other dignitaries present on the occasion.