My Brothers and Sisters,
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!