In an interview to News X, Prime Minister Modi addressed the issue of toxic language in elections, explained why the Opposition frequently discussed him, and shared his views on job creation. He criticized the Congress' tax plans and appeasement politics.

Rishabh Gulati: A very warm welcome to the viewers of NewsX and India News. I’m Rishabh Gulati and with me is Aishwarya Sharma of The Sunday Guardian and Rana Yashwant. In today’s special episode, we proudly welcome a renowned ‘rashtra sevak’, and the Prime Minister of India in this Amrit Kaal, Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi. Mr Prime Minister, you took the time to speak to us, we are very grateful.

Prime Minister: Namaskar, my warm greetings to all your viewers.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, the first question that comes to mind is about the Opposition, and it seems that the biggest item on their poll agenda is Narendra Modi. Why, in your opinion, do they talk so much about Narendra Modi?

Prime Minister: To understand why they discuss Narendra Modi, we must first understand the Opposition. To understand them, one can examine the administration between 2004 and 2014.

The Opposition has not been able to play a strong role. Even as the Opposition, the way they are falling apart, they did not play a constructive role of any kind. Despite deep discussions, they haven’t been able to bring serious issues to the public attention. They thought that by their antics, taking up space in the media, they would be able to keep their boat afloat. Even in this election, I have seen that they make fresh attempts every day to acquire media space, be it by making videos, nonsensical statements, or behaving in a way that people don’t normally behave. So they do this to acquire space in the media. Now abusing Modi is one such antic, where, if nothing else, they are guaranteed publicity. Even a small-time politician, if he bad-mouths me, will get about an hour of media attention. Perhaps they see Modi as a ladder to climb up in their political career.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, the I.N.D.I. alliance is talking about wealth redistribution. Do you think this is possible, and will the voters of the country be influenced by such a scheme?

Prime Minister: You can’t examine this in isolation. You must look at their overall thought process. When their (Congress) manifesto was released, I had said the manifesto had the imprint of the Muslim League. There was a statement made by Dr Manmohan Singh… I had attended the meeting in which he said that ‘Muslims have the first right to India’s resources.’ Now when I raised this in public, their media ecosystem raised a storm saying that ‘Modi is lying,’. So two days later, I brought Manmohan Singh’s press conference forward and put it in front of them. Then they stopped talking. So this was one example. Now in their Manifesto, they have said that they will give reservation (to Muslims) even when allotting government contracts.

So today, when a bridge is to be built somewhere, what is the criteria for awarding the contract? The company bidding is evaluated based on how resourceful they are, their experience, their capability, their ability to deliver on time, all these things. Now they say that they want to give reservations to the minorities, to the Muslims, in this process as well. It all adds up. Now when they say that they will impose inheritance tax, it means that taxes that go to the government, who will stand to benefit from it? It’s the same people that Manmohan Singh ji talked about. If you join the dots, this is the logic that comes from it. How will the country accept this? Secondly, has any developing country in the world indulged in such madness? Today, India needs to work hard to rise above its problems. We have made this attempt and pulled 25 crore people out of poverty. Where there used to be a few hundred start-ups, there are now over 1.25 lakh start-ups, and there are Unicorns. You must go among the people and work with energy, and that will bring the right result.

 

Rana Yashwant: Mr Prime Minister, the Ram Mandir has been built in Ayodhya, the consecration of Ram Lalla took place and there was joy among the people. In all this, there is Iqbal Ansari, who has fought the legal battle, and is an important person. He comes, holding a placard that says ‘Modi ka Parivaar’. Today, the minority community identifies with your policies and welfare schemes. Your opinion?

Prime Minister: Since you’ve brought up Ram Mandir and Iqbal Ansari, I will narrate an incident. Ram Mandir should have been built right after Independence. In all these years, it wasn’t built because they (Congress) felt it would affect their vote bank. Attempts were made in the Courts till the very end to stop it. It is a fact that Congress hindered the building of the Ram Mandir. Despite this, when the Supreme Court judgment came through, the Court constituted a trust, and the trust members, let go of all past differences and went to invite the Congress Party members to the consecration ceremony. They rejected the invitation. The same people went to invite Iqbal Ansari. The ironic thing is, that Iqbal Ansari, who fought the Babri Masjid case his entire life, respected the Supreme Court’s verdict and attended the ‘Shilanyas’ and the ‘Pran Prathistha’ ceremony as well. This is what I think, as far as Iqbal Ansari is concerned.

Now if you want to talk about secularism, it is my very serious allegation, that for over 75 years, through a very well-crafted conspiracy, a false narrative has been fed to the nation. It has been embedded in the nation from before our birth. Sardar Patel was targeted by this narrative, and maybe, today it may be my turn, tomorrow someone else… Why do they cry out ‘secularism’ over and over again? It’s because they want to divert the world’s attention from their communal activities.

They cry ‘thief’ over and over when they have defrauded the people, and they do this because they think crying ‘thief’ will divert the public’s attention. This is their ploy. I have called them out in front of everyone, that they are the ones who are communal. India’s constitution does not allow you to indulge in such sectarian acts, and I have brought out several such examples, like I mentioned earlier that they called the Muslims the rightful inheritors of India’s wealth. I am exposing them. They (Congress) hide behind their politics of appeasement and instead accuse me of being communal. I am talking about those communal parties that wear the ‘nikab’ of secularism and indulge in hardcore communalism. I find three things common among these people. They are hardcore sectarians, they are extremely casteist, and they are hardcore dynasts. They are so full of these three things that they can’t come out of it.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have spoken about lifting 25 crore people out of poverty. 80 crore poor people are receiving ration – it is necessary now and will be so in the future as well. What do you have to say about how crucial it will be in the future?

Prime Minister: When Manmohan Singh ji was the Prime Minister, news was rife with reports of food grains getting spoilt. So, the Supreme Court asked the government as to why the grains were not being distributed among the poor. Manmohan Singh ji, who was the Prime Minister then, stated on record that they could not distribute the grains and that it was impossible to do it. That is the consequence of his thinking. I faced the same issue, especially during COVID-19. My first goal was to ensure that a stove should be lit in every poor household. So, I started working on it. I have stated this for the next five years as well because in the lives of those who come out of poverty…

For example, one returns home from the hospital. The treatment has been done but precaution is necessary. A doctor advises you to take rest for a particular duration after returning home, tells you what to eat and what to refrain from consuming, and what to take care of. Why? The illness has already been addressed, but if anything is jeopardized then the condition of the person would return to what it was. That is why poor people who escape poverty need handholding. They should not return to that state in any condition. Once they escape poverty, they should be empowered to stand strong. In my understanding, in the next five years, those who have escaped poverty should be able to firmly stand on their feet. Any unfortunate incident in their family, should not push them to poverty again. And only then will the country eradicate poverty.

 

Aishwarya Sharma: Mr Prime Minister, our country is the youngest country. Under your tenure, 10 lakh government jobs have been filled. Now, the Opposition has vowed to fill 30 lakh government jobs. In your third term, how do you plan to boost employment opportunities for the youth?

Prime Minister: You must have read the SKOCH report that was released. I hope your TV channel studies the SKOCH report in detail and conducts a TV debate on this. They have analysed some 20 to 22 schemes of the government. They have published statistics about how many person-year-hours have been obtained. They have revealed how many hours it takes to build 4 crore houses and how many people it employs. They have published data for about 22 different parameters.

They have stated that 50 crore people have accrued benefits. Secondly, we brought the Mudra Yojana. We give bank loans without any guarantee. We have disbursed loans worth Rs 23 Lakh Crore. 80% of those who have received these loans are first-timers. Some have started their businesses and have employed a few people in this process. Start-ups used to be in the thousands and now they are in lakhs. People have been employed in this process, right? Consider that a 1000-kilometre road is being built and think about how many jobs are created. So, if a 2000-kilometre road is being built more people will be employed, right? Today, road and rail construction has doubled, electrification has doubled, and mobile towers are reaching every corner of India. All this is being created by people who have received jobs. That is why a lie is being peddled.

 What’s important is that we must move towards creating jobs for ourselves. The youth in this country are in the mood to do something and be productive and we must help them. We must encourage them. Our Mudra Yojana does exactly that. We also run the SVANidhi scheme. There are countless street hawkers, who are poor people. But today, they are taking money from the bank to run their businesses. Due to this, they can save money and expand their business. Earlier, a street hawker would sit on the footpath and now his goal is to buy a lorry. One who would owned a lorry earlier now wishes to provide home delivery services. Their aspirations are rising. This is why I believe that while people receive the benefits of government schemes, which will eventually result in development, we must also focus on several other areas.

 

Rana Yashwant: Prime Minister, your government works on the principle of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’. Beneficiaries avail welfare schemes without any discrimination – caste, religion, or community. Yet, the Opposition maintains that Muslims do not accrue the same benefits from these welfare schemes.

Prime Minister: You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. The unique aspect of my government, in terms of delivering welfare schemes, has not raised any questions regarding discrimination.

 

Rana Yashwant: The Opposition has to say this.

Prime Minister: Even the Opposition does not say this. You are the first person from whom I’ve heard this. I have never heard this from anybody because everyone knows… and Muslims themselves say that they receive all benefits.

The primary reason is that I have two principles. First, 100% saturation. For example, if poor people must be given houses, complete delivery must take place. If 100% delivery is the goal, then where does the scope of discrimination even arise? Whether it is providing gas connections, building toilets, ensuring tap water connections, I believe in 100% delivery. Yes, some people will receive the benefits in January, some in April and some in November, but the scheme will apply to all and 100%. I believe that true secularism is when 100% delivery is done. Social justice is when 100% is done. So, if my mission is 100% saturation… and nobody has made this charge yet. They don’t have the courage to say it. I have lived in Gujarat as well, and on this topic, nobody can prop up any charges against me.

 

Rishabh Gulati: Mr Prime Minister, you have taken out time to sit with us and relay your ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Thank you so much. Best of luck for the polls ahead.

Prime Minister: I thank you all. I have been campaigning day and night…

 

Rana Yashwant: You are constantly on the move. We see you morning until night on the run…

Rishabh Gulati: Today, you had a big rally at 8 in the morning.

Prime Minister: I started my day at 6 am and went to Jagannath Puri temple to offer my prayers. Since then I have been traveling and have at last got time to meet you.

 

Rana Yashwant: Where ever you go, Jagannath or Kashi, there is a sea of people that comes to greet you. You have experienced it yourself.

Prime Minister: I realise that my responsibilities are now increasing. I also see that the public has taken ownership of elections. Political parties are not fighting the elections. The public has taken ownership of this election. And the results will be as desired by the public.

Thank you!

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PM address on International Day of Yoga 2024 in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir
June 21, 2024
“The number of people practicing Yoga is growing worldwide”
“The atmosphere, energy and experience from Yoga can be felt in Jammu & Kashmir today”
“Today the world is seeing a new Yoga economy emerging”
“The world is looking at Yoga as a powerful agent of global good”
“Yoga helps us live in the present moment, without baggage of the past”
“Yoga is scripting new pathways of positive change in society”
“Yoga helps us realize that our welfare is related to the welfare of the world around us”
“Yoga is not only a discipline but also a science”

The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the 10th International Day of Yoga (IYD) event in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir today. The Prime Minister led the celebrations of International Yoga Day and took part in the Yoga session.

Addressing the occasion, the Prime Minister expressed gratitude for being present in Jammu & Kashmir, the land of Yog and Sadhna, on the occasion of International Day of Yoga. “The atmosphere, energy and experience from Yoga can be felt in Jammu & Kashmir today”, Shri Modi said. He conveyed his best wishes on the International Day of Yoga to all citizens and those practicing Yoga in different parts of the world.

Noting the 10th anniversary of International Yoga Day, the Prime Minister recalled that a record 177 countries endorsed India’s proposal in the UN. He also mentioned subsequent records made in the context of IYD such as 35,000 people doing yoga on Kartavya Path in 2015 and More than 130 countries participating in the Yoga event led by the Prime Minister at the UN Headquarters last year. He also expressed happiness that more than 100 institutes in India and 10 major foreign institutes have been recognized by the Yoga Certification Board formed by the Ministry of Ayush.

The Prime Minister underlined that the number of people practicing yoga is growing worldwide while its attraction is constantly on the rise. He highlighted that yoga’s utility is also being recognized by the people and stated that there is barely any world leader who has not discussed yoga during his interactions. “All world leaders show a keen interest in Yoga during their interactions with me”, he said. He asserted that yoga has become a part of daily life in every corner of the world. Throwing light on the growing acceptance of yoga around the world, the Prime Minister recalled inaugurating a Yoga Center during his visit to Turkmenistan in 2015 and that Yoga has become extremely popular in the country today. He further informed that State Medical Universities in Turkmenistan have included Yoga therapy, Saudi Arabia has made it a part of their education system and Mongolian Yoga Foundation is running many yoga schools. Informing about the acceptance of Yoga in Europe, the Prime Minister said that so far, 1.5 crore German citizens have become Yoga practitioners. He also recalled India awarding a Padma Shree this year to a 101-year-old French yoga teacher for her contributions to yoga even though she had not visited India even once. He further added that yoga has become a topic of research today and multiple research papers have already been published.

Touching upon the changing notions about yoga due to its expansion in the last 10 years, the Prime Minister talked about a new Yoga Economy. He mentioned the growing attraction for yoga tourism and people's desire to visit India to learn authentic Yoga. He also mentioned yoga retreats, resorts, dedicated facilities for yoga at airports and hotels, yoga apparels and equipment, personal yoga trainers, and companies carrying out yoga and Mindfulness wellness initiatives. All these are creating new avenues of employment for the youth, he added.

Talking about the theme of this year’s IYD -‘Yoga for Self and Society’, PM Modi said that the world is looking at yoga as a powerful agent of global good and it enables us to live in the present without the baggage of the past. PM Modi emphasized, “Yoga helps us realize that our welfare is related to the welfare of the world around us. When we are peaceful within, we can also make a positive impact on the world.”

Stressing the scientific aspects of Yoga, the Prime Minister highlighted its importance for coping with information overload and maintaining focus as, he said, concentration is the greatest power. That is why, the Prime Minister explained, yoga is being incorporated in fields ranging from army to sports. Astronauts are also being trained in yoga and meditation. Yoga is also being used in prisons to spread positive thoughts among the inmates. “Yoga is scripting new pathways of positive change in the society”, PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister expressed confidence that inspiration derived from yoga will give positive energy to our efforts. The Prime Minister lauded the enthusiasm of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, especially Srinagar, towards yoga and said that it provides a platform to boost the tourism of the Union Territory. He also praised the spirit of the people to come out and show their support despite the rainy weather conditions. “Association of 50,000 to 60,000 people with yoga program in Jammu & Kashmir is huge”, he added. The Prime Minister concluded his address by thanking the people of Jammu & Kashmir for their support and participation and conveyed his best wishes to all Yoga enthusiasts from around the world.

Background

On the occasion of the 10th International Day of Yoga (IDY) on 21st June 2024, the Prime Minister led the International Yoga Day Celebrations at SKICC, Srinagar. This year's event underscores yoga's profound impact on young minds and bodies. The celebration aims to unite thousands in the practice of yoga, promoting health and wellness on a global scale.

Since 2015, the Prime Minister has led the International Day of Yoga (IDY) celebrations at various iconic locations, including Kartavya Path in Delhi, Chandigarh, Dehradun, Ranchi, Lucknow, Mysuru and even the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

This year’s theme ‘Yoga for Self and Society’ highlights the dual role in fostering individual and societal well-being. The event will encourage grassroots participation and the spread of Yoga in rural areas.