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My Brothers and Sisters,

Vande Mataram!

15th August is a day that remains forever etched in the memory of our glorious nation, as the day when India forever bid farewell to almost 200 years of colonial subjugation and injustice. I extend my salutations to the people of India as well as the large community of overseas Indians on Independence Day.

On Independence Day, it is imperative that we pay our rich tributes to all those men and women who toiled for years and devoted their entire lives to the cause of making our Motherland free from the yoke of imperialism. Can you imagine the love they had for India that inspired these brave individuals to spend the prime of their youth in prisons, to face the gallows so that generations of future Indians could live a life of freedom, liberty and dignity?

Gujarat shares an unbreakable bond with the freedom struggle. What can be a matter of greater pride for us that we inhabit the same land and speak the same language as that of two strong pillars of the Independence movement- Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel! Shyamji Krishna Varma, who deeply inspired the revolutionary nationalists, is a proud son of Gujarat. When such distinguished individuals associated with the Independence movement have consecrated our land, our responsibility is even greater to live up to their ideals and realize their dreams!

And Gujarat has indeed risen to the occasion with determined efforts that will do our Tricolour extremely proud. The Indian flag has three colours. The first colour is Saffron, which signifies energy! By ushering in a revolution in energy sector, Gujarat has complemented the very feel of the colour Saffron. When 60 crore people and 19 states were in darkness, Gujarat was lit, sparklingly with brightness.

The second colour is White and Gujarat has realized the meaning of this colour in true sense by taking a lead in the White Revolution! Be it milk production, salt production or cotton production, Gujarat has indeed made the colour White brighter with development!

The third in the Tricolour is Green. Despite being a state struck by the issues of water shortage, Gujarat with Green Revolution has shown to the World what agriculture growth is! At a time when the nation’s agriculture is growing at 3%, Gujarat’s agriculture is growing more than 10%!

In this way, Gujarat salutes the Tricoloured Indian flag, the symbol of India’s dignity & pride by making it brighter with the colours of development!

On 15th August 1947 India was blessed with Swarajya but was not an end in itself. For our distinguished founding fathers, freedom did not mean stopping at Swarajya but to attain Surajya! 15th August cannot merely be commemorated as a day when our Flag changed or when our colonial rulers paved way for Indian administrators. It should be a call to make determined efforts towards the attainment of Surajya.

A question that comes to the mind is- are we moving towards Surajya today?  The colossal failures of the Congress-led UPA Government make me think otherwise. How can we say we are moving towards Surajya when the common man of India is more burdened than ever before, reeling under severe inflation? Is a policy paralysis of the severest form a movement towards Surajya? Apart from routinely making statements, has the Prime Minister taken any concrete step to tackle the challenge of malnutrition? The nation’s internal security is facing newer and tougher challenges by the day but we have yet to see any concrete effort on the part of the Centre to tackle them. Even the darkness that the people of India have been living in under the UPA transcended from the metaphorical to the literal when half of India was plunged into darkness for 2 days!

It is for the first time in the history of Independent India that we have a Government that is without a definitive Neta (leader), Niti (policy) or Niyat (Intention)! The ambitious promises the Congress promised during the 2004 and 2009 Elections now seems like a cruel joke played on the people of India.

Going a step ahead, the Congress is adding salt to the wounds by repeatedly insulting the people of India by appropriating accolades that have been achieved by tireless dedication and hard work of the people themselves! Take a look at the Congress Manifestos of 2004 and 2009 you would know how the Congress has bypassed all instances of people’s participation for petty self-gains. For instance, the manifestos state that it was the Congress that won the nation freedom, nurtured parliamentary democracy and made our Constitution possible! What can be a greater insult that the hard work of the entire nation is being snatched merely to glorify the Congress. How can the Congress in its manifestos claim that it was they who ushered in the IT Revolution and it was due to them that India went nuclear? The Congress proudly claims that the middle class is a ‘proud creation of the Congress’- if so why is it leaving no stone unturned in giving them enormous economic difficulties today?

The list of canards does not stop there! The Congress manifestos say it was they who brought in the Green and White Revolutions in India, giving prosperity to our farmers. Why is every instance of Jan Shakti being repackaged as the “creation” of the Congress?

Over and above this, the biggest casualty of the Congress misgovernance is the blatant attack on the federal structure of India. On many occasions, I have written to the Prime Minister on this extremely serious issue. This mistrust between the Centre and the States will be extremely detrimental to the progress of India.

Friends, our great forefathers gave up their lives for the cause of Swarajya. Our forefathers were blessed to have got an opportunity to die for the nation and today, the time has come when we require individuals who will live for the nation and realize the grand vision our founding fathers has for India.

One of the biggest strengths of our nation is our vibrant youth population. More than 65% of our population is under the age of 35 years. With such strengths, the sky is the limit! Stalwarts Shri Aurobindo, Swami Vivekananda and Swami Dayananda Saraswati dreamt of a ‘Jagad Guru Bharat’, an India that is at the pedestal of the world leadership. Our youth can be the drivers of this change and turn the vision of these great men into reality. But, we need to strengthen them with the relevant skills.

On this day let us resolve to work towards realizing the dreams of Surajya that our forefathers envisioned for India! Let us affirm to be partners in the development of India. Our Mantra is- Gujarat’s development for the development of India. As proud sons of Bharat Mata, we remained determined to work towards an India that is not only a land of Swarajya but also the torchbearer of Surajya.

Once again, my salutations to my entire fellow Indians on Independence Day!

 

Bharat Mata Ki Jai!  Jai Hind!

 

Yours,

Narendra Modi

 

 

 

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Why India and the World Need Gandhi
October 02, 2019
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The great leader envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity.

Upon reaching India in 1959, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. remarked, “To other countries I may go as a tourist, but to India I come as a pilgrim”. He added, “Perhaps, above all, India is the land where the techniques of nonviolent social change were developed that my people have used in Montgomery, Alabama, and elsewhere throughout the American South. We have found them to be effective and sustaining — they work!”

The guiding light whose inspiration got Dr. King to India was Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the Mahatma, the Great Soul. On Wednesday, we observe his 150th birth anniversary. Gandhi Ji, or Bapu, continues to give courage to millions globally.

Gandhian methods of resistance ignited a spirit of hope among several African nations. Dr. King remarked: “When I was visiting in Ghana, West Africa, Prime Minister Nkrumah told me that he had read the works of Gandhi and felt that nonviolent resistance could be extended there. We recall that South Africa has had bus boycotts also.”

Nelson Mandela referred to Gandhi as “the Sacred Warrior” and wrote, “His strategy of noncooperation, his assertion that we can be dominated only if we cooperate with our dominators, and his nonviolent resistance inspired anticolonial and antiracist movements internationally in our century.”

For Mr. Mandela, Gandhi was Indian and South African. Gandhi would have approved. He had the unique ability to become a bridge between some of the greatest contradictions in human society.

In 1925, Gandhi wrote in “Young India”: “It is impossible for one to be internationalist without being a nationalist. Internationalism is possible only when nationalism becomes a fact, i.e., when peoples belonging to different countries have organized themselves and are able to act as one man.” He envisioned Indian nationalism as one that was never narrow or exclusive but one that worked for the service of humanity.

Mahatma Gandhi also epitomized trust among all sections of society. In 1917, Ahmedabad in Gujarat witnessed a huge textile strike. When the conflict between the mill workers and owners escalated to a point of no return, it was Gandhi who mediated an equitable settlement.

Gandhi formed the Majoor Mahajan Sangh, an association for workers’ rights. At first sight, it may seem just another name of an organization but it reveals how small steps created a large impact. During those days, “Mahajan” was used as a title of respect for elites. Gandhi inverted the social structure by attaching the name “Mahajan” to “Majoor,” or laborers. With that linguistic choice, Gandhi enhanced the pride of workers.

And Gandhi combined ordinary objects with mass politics. Who else could have used a charkha, a spinning wheel, and khadi, Indian homespun cloth, as symbols of economic self-reliance and empowerment for a nation?

Who else could have created a mass agitation through a pinch of salt! During colonial rule, Salt Laws, which placed a new tax on Indian salt, had become a burden. Through the Dandi March in 1930, Gandhi challenged the Salt Laws. His picking up a small lump of natural salt from the Arabian Sea shore led to the historic civil disobedience movement.

There have been many mass movements in the world, many strands of the freedom struggle even in India, but what sets apart the Gandhian struggle and those inspired by him is the wide-scale public participation. He never held administrative or elected office. He was never tempted by power.

For him, independence was not absence of external rule. He saw a deep link between political independence and personal empowerment. He envisioned a world where every citizen has dignity and prosperity. When the world spoke about rights, Gandhi emphasized duties. He wrote in “Young India”: “The true source of rights is duty. If we all discharge our duties, rights will not be far to seek.” He wrote in the journal Harijan, “Rights accrue automatically to him who duly performs his duties.”

Gandhi gave us the doctrine of trusteeship, which emphasized the socio-economic welfare of the poor. Inspired by that, we should think about a spirit of ownership. We, as inheritors of the earth, are responsible for its well-being, including that of the flora and fauna with whom we share our planet.

In Gandhi, we have the best teacher to guide us. From uniting those who believe in humanity to furthering sustainable development and ensuring economic self-reliance, Gandhi offers solutions to every problem.

We in India are doing our bit. India is among the fastest when it comes to eliminating poverty. Our sanitation efforts have drawn global attention. India is also taking the lead in harnessing renewable resources through efforts like the International Solar Alliance, which has brought together several nations to leverage solar energy for a sustainable future. We want to do even more, with the world and for the world.

As a tribute to Gandhi, I propose what I call the Einstein Challenge. We know Albert Einstein’s famous words on Gandhi: “Generations to come will scarce believe that such a one as this ever in flesh and blood walked upon this earth.”

How do we ensure the ideals of Gandhi are remembered by future generations? I invite thinkers, entrepreneurs and tech leaders to be at the forefront of spreading Gandhi’s ideas through innovation.

Let us work shoulder to shoulder to make our world prosperous and free from hate, violence and suffering. That is when we will fulfill Mahatma Gandhi’s dream, summed up in his favorite hymn, “Vaishnava Jana To,” which says that a true human is one who feels the pain of others, removes misery and is never arrogant.

The world bows to you, beloved Bapu!