Shri Modi was speaking at an interactive session on “Proud to be Indian” organized by the Young FICCI Ladies Organization (YFLO) here in New Delhi.
The Chief Minister provided key insights on the intrinsic and timeless relevance of India's ancient ethos and values which remains germane to good governance. “India must leverage its unique legacy and learnings from history to govern itself and carve out a distinct presence on the world map. We are best positioned to create an Indian paradigm for the world by judicious use of our historic and cultural values on one hand and our emerging socio-economic stature on the other. It is an opportunity that is India's alone”, said Shri Narendra Modi, whilst stating that tolerance, acceptance and respect are the hallmarks of Indian society and emphasized on the need for “modernization without westernization”.
Shri Modi spoke at length on importance of women empowerment and said that part of the problem has been a fact that women have not demanded their rights vociferously and at times, have submitted to oppression, but the awareness has risen now particularly among the younger women. He highlighted few examples of the steps taken in Gujarat including incentivizing property rights for women through lower stamp duty on property registered in the name of women. He added that, after the earthquake, the Gujarat government had allotted the new houses in the name of women alone. The Chief minister also said that in the past 2 and a half years, 25 lakh women in rural areas have organized themselves into 200,000 Self Help Groups/ Sakhi Mandals, with a financial commitment of about US $ 4 billion promising assured livelihood to women in rural Gujarat over a period of 3–5 years. He gave the example of one woman in Gujarat who sold milk worth of Rs.76 lakh and his Government had duly honoured her.
Shri Modi also spoke about the importance of the newly created Indian Institute of Teachers Education (IITE) with the objective to create teachers of tomorrow with transformative knowledge of Indian tradition and usher in a new era of teacher education, focusing upon the integral development of teachers. It was his dream to see the institute blossom to a level of international excellence. He added that everyone should be encouraged to learn languages Asian languages as Asia would be the next big superpower in the world and that our children should not miss the arising opportunities due to the handicap of language.
The Chief Minister also offered condolences to the victims of the Mumbai serial blasts and prayed for the strength and unity of the country in the fight against terrorists.
In her welcome address, Ms. Avantika Dalmia, Chairperson, YLFO, appreciated the progress made by the Gujarat under the inspiring leadership of Shri Narendra Modi while preserving |Indian ethos and values. She said that Shri Modi has given a clean, responsive and corruption-free Government which has taken growth and development an entirely new level.