Modi, Kalam and Advani
July 08, 2012
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In his blog dated July 8th 2012, Shri LK Advaniji comprehensively quotes from Chapter 9 of President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s book ‘Turning Points’ that contains references to Gujarat. The extract in its entirety is completely different from what the media has reported it to be.

 

Here is the extract from Advani ji’s blog:

Last week, the media carried some select news items based on a book of memoirs titled ‘Turning Points’, written by former Rashtrapati Dr. Kalam. I was surprised to find reports supposed to be based on the book about Gujarat in which Vajpayeeji was being found fault with for trying to protect the Narendra Modi Government. Dr. Kalam’s book has not been released as yet. But I have been able to procure Chapter Nine of this book captioned “My Visit to Gujarat”. Dr. Kalam says that his visit to Gujarat in August 2002 was his “first major task” after taking over as President.  He adds:

“As no president had ever visited an area under such circumstances, many questioned the necessity of my visit to the state at this juncture. At the ministry and bureaucratic level, it was suggested that I should not venture into Gujarat at that point of time. One of the main reasons was political. However, I made up my mind that I would go and Rashtrapati Bhavan was in full swing to make this my first visit as President. Vajpayee asked me only one question, ‘Do you consider going to Gujarat at this time essential ?’ I told the PM, ‘I consider it an important duty so that I can be of some use to remove the pain, and also accelerate the relief activities, and bring about a unity of minds, which is my mission, as I stressed in my address during the swearing-in-ceremony.”

What Dr. Kalam goes on to add after this is even more significant.  He writes:

“Many apprehensions were expressed, among them that my visit might be boycotted by the chief minister, that I would receive a cold reception and that there would be agitations from many sides. But, to my great surprise when I landed at Gandhinagar, not only the chief minister, but his whole cabinet colleagues and a large number of legislative members and administrators including the public were present at the airport. I visited twelve areas – three relief camps and nine riot-hit locations where losses were high. Narendra Modi, the chief minister, was with me throughout the visit. In one way, this helped me, wherever I went, the type of petitions and complaints and as he was with me I was able to suggest to him that actions be taken as quickly as possible.”:

I have often felt that in India’s political history no political leader has been as systematically and viciously maligned as Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Bhai Modi. Do not these reports also reveal a conscious effort at vilification: the Prime Minister’s casual query “Do you consider going to Gujarat at this time essential” as the P.M. wanting to stop the President from going to Gujarat? Dr. Kalam has also referred to apprehensions he had heard that his visit may be boycotted. Dr. Kalam’s actual experience was totally different. Modi and his government enthusiastically cooperated with Dr. Kalam. Yet no newsman thought it worthwhile to report these complimentary observations of his!

L.K. Advani

New Delhi, 8 July, 2012

You can read Advaniji’s complete blog here.

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.