Salute to the Mother Nation. I heartily wish the people of my nation on this auspicious occasion of Independence Day. Many many congratulations to you all. Today as we live and breathe in the air of Independence we again think of all those courageous men who laid down their lives, spent their youthful days in jail, those who didn’t mind hanging by the noose for the cause of India’s independence.
When we think of the struggle for independence of India the memories of the brave Gujaratis who played an active part in the struggle of independence is bound to come to the fore. There were two ways we fought for the independence. One the path of non-violence and the other the path of armed resistance. Both paths aimed to attain freedom for our motherland and it is a matter of great pride that both the paths were led by Gujaratis.
Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel emerged as the guardians of the freedom fight of not only India but the whole of humanity. In a similar manner the leaders of the armed struggle also came from the land of Gujarat. The likes ofShyamji Krishna Verma, Sardar Singh Rana and Madam Cama inspired many to fight for the freedom of India.
We feel proud that we are children of the same motherland and we today are lucky to unfurl the tricolor in honor of the nation. Brothers and sisters I want to ask you that we got independence but were the dreams of the freedom fighters fulfilled? Are we truly independent as yet? Is it not true that we still are living in state of mental slavery? Do you not feel that our age old thinking pattern does not allow us to progress and move ahead.
Are not we tired of listening to the same rehearsed old talk for over 60 years now. Has the static thought process not proven to be a hindrance for us to move on the path of progress. Today when we breathe the air of independence we also need to have the independence of thought. Today we are thinking about how do we get freedom from this state of mental slavery.
Brothers and sisters I was listening to the speech of the honorable President yesterday. I could understand the helplessness and pain he is feeling. President tried to give voice to the the issues faced by Indians. I do not know if the government of India will be able to give answer to the painful questions raised by the President. The president said that today the Parliament and the state assemblies have become like wrestling rings and battle grounds. Mr. President is justified if he is worried about it. I too feel the same for our Parliament and the state assemblies.
It is understandable that the opposition raises its voice against the policies and decisions of the government but the President is worried as for the first time the ruling party is not allowing the parliament to function and is creating hindrances. It is our duty to understand why the President is worried about the way the parliament and state assemblies are functioning and we should ensure that solution to his worries is found immediately.
We should put in efforts to ensure that the dignity and integrity of the state assemblies and the parliament house are maintained at all points in time. The President, yesterday, while mentioning Pakistan said that there is a limit to how much one can bear. The President has given a very grave indication in speech about the issue. I was hoping that Mr. Prime Minister would have given Mr. President an assurance.
Unfortunately I did not get to hear an assuring talk from the PM. I can understand that the PM has to be diplomatic and there is a check on how and what he can say on strategic issues. But then at the same time what PM says has a huge impact on the morale of our armed servicemen. The nation at least expects that PM talks in a way that introduces confidence in the defence personnel.
Five army men were killed. At such a point it was crucial that PM talks in a way that would help raise the spirits of the armed forces. I believe that the Red Fort is not the place from where PM should challenge Pakistan but yes it is the best place from where the PM could have boosted the confidence of the servicemen and the PM should have used the place and occasion to raise the confidence level of the defence forces.
Mr. President said there is a limit to how much one can bear but then I would like to say that the limit has to be set by the central government. There should be a definite line beyond which we should not bear. Today it is not the issue of Pakistan. The defence policy of India is in shambles. Look at what China did. They entered our territories and showed their strength as well as their intentions and the nation was a silent observer. Italian mariners killed our fishermen from Kerala; it is then the nation worries. When the Pakistani army beheads our soldiers then the nation worries, when the Pakistani army kills our soldiers then the nation worries.
Mr. President, when you have raised concern over how long we should remain silent over the actions against our armed staff and people, I too voice my concern along with you on the same. Brothers and sisters the President also raised his concerns over the rising corruption in India. It would have been good if we could have heard about the same from the Red Fort. Mr. PM is it not your prime duty to have addressed the concerns of the President, but today it was not to be.
Why can’t we try to curb corruption? Where do the roots of corruption lie? Will Indian nationals not ask for answers to these questions? I do not want to talk in a political way on it but yes it is one of the prime issues that is plaguing the nation. Previously it used to be bhai bhatija then it became mama bhanja and now it is the sas bahu aur damad episodes running on the TV serial titled corruption in India. It is due to this that the President has raised his concerns over the rise of corruption in India.
The nation wanted to hear from the PM that corruption is ruining the nation and that the people who govern the nation or their relatives are found totally involved in one scam after the other. The Supreme Court till the time does not ask for strict action all keep quiet and let the people involved in the scam roam free and do what they want. This is the reason why the address to the nation by Mr. President is for us to ponder over and to worry about. The most important thing is that the people from the top should start worrying over the issues raised by the President.
I was listening to the speech of the PM today morning as I thought on the auspicious occasion of the Independence Day, people like me who work for the upliftment and betterment of the nation would get some motivation from his speech. I thought I would get encouragement from listening to his speech and be more enthusiastic about putting in efforts for the development of the nation. We have always aimed at the progress of the nation through the progress of our Gujarat. Gujarat wants to do all that comes under its responsibilities towards attaining development for the country. We should all take up our responsibilities and work towards attaining new heights for the nation.
To fulfil our responsibilities we thought today we would get to hear some motivating talk from the PM but that was not to be. I was totally disappointed by the speech of the PM from the Red Fort. I feel not just me but the entire nation must would have been disappointed by the speech. Mr. PM instead of talking about the work the government has done and the progress the nation has achieved you were busy praising one family. It would have been great had you remembered the iron man of India, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, who united the princely state to form a united India. Remembering him would have sent out the message of a united India to all.
It would have been better had you Mr. PM also recollected the contribution of Lal Bahadur Shashtri while you were listing the contributions done by Pandit Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi. Shashtriji gave the slogan “Jai Jawan Jai Kishan” and it was really sad that you did not mention him in your speech as he had motivated the farmers of India to produce enough to feed the nation when after independence still India had not become self sufficient in the production of grains and we were importing grains.
When it comes to remembering the contributions made for the development of the nation Mr. PM should have remembered all and not just the members Nehru Gandhi family. I can understand that you do not pay tribute to the contribution made by Atal Bihari Vajpayee as he did not belong to your political party but when you do not pay tribute to the likes of Sardar Patel and Lal Bahadur Shashtri who belonged to the Congress and did great job for the nation then it hurts us as the citizens of India.
We as a nation are saddened by the death of our brave navy men in the submarine accident and also when the brave army men laid down their lives while trying to save people trapped during the Uttarakhand tragedy. It would have been great that while you were busy listing what the central government did during the Uttarakhand tragedy; you also spared some time to mention how the people of India according to their capacity contributed towards the relief funds. Also all the state governments contributed towards the same. It would have been great had you mentioned them all.
Mr. PM you are so totally devoted to a family that you forgot that it was a great opportunity to make people of India realise that in the times of problems and calamities all stand as one and support each other. It would have created a feeling of oneness amongst all. Your devotion to one family and not the nation is a cause of worry for the entire nation. Mr. PM you have entered the list of elite national leaders who have got an opportunity to unfurl the tricolor ten times and as yet you speak the same things that Mr. Nehru had said when he hoisted the tricolor the first time at the historic Red Fort.
What all issues Mr. Nehru had enlisted that day, you too enlisted the same issues today. This raises the grave question about what you did in the 60 years that Congress ruled the nation. If the nation is still facing the same issues then we need to ask what did you give to the nation in the 60 years of service at the Centre. Today I am greatly saddened as I speak from this dry and famine prone land of Kutch. I am speaking from the land of Kutch from where my voice will be first heard by Pakistan due to its proximity to Kutch and then later by the people in Delhi as they are farther from where I am speaking.
I heard you Mr. PM talk about the liberalization initiated during the times of Narshima Rao government but I want to ask you, who is responsible for the falling value of the Indian Rupee. I can understand you may not want to tell what is the reason for the fall in the value of the Rupee but at least you could have told how the Rupee can again be strong and what economic measures can make it possible but what you say is it is the time of global recession and so India also has to face the economic slowdown.
I want to ask you Mr. PM, if a state in India is not able to progress and says that it is because of the issues of the central government that it is unable to develop; would you accept that as the reply. I would like to say that if you say global recession is the reason for economic slowdown in India then it is lack of proper policies that are responsible for all the Indian states not being able to progress well.
Mr. PM you were talking about the Food Security Bill it would have been great had you answered the open letter that I have addressed to you on the same and presented your views and stand on it to the nation. We are not against the poor getting food to eat and so we are not against the bill but we want to bring to your notice the flaws that are there in the bill. As PM it is your responsibility to address the flaws of the bill but you are not ready to discuss it.
Instead of getting the flaws corrected the government and its people are busy telling that it is possible to have enough food in Rs. 5 and some say in Rs. 12 and with the confidence as if the moment one would walk out of home will get food at such cheap rates. I want to ask if the food security bill will be any more advantageous than the Antyodya Anna Program that is there to provide food to the poorest of the people in the nation. I want to let to know that today each and every state gives from its own treasury wheat to the poorest at Rs. 3 and rice at Rs. 2. I want to ask Mr. PM what his Food Security Bill has to offer more than the Antyodaya Anna program already provides for. The Antyodaya Anna program already exists and it ensures that the below poverty line families get enough food at the fixed rate without increasing the rate of grains or decreasing the quantity of grains distributed.
My fellow nationals I want to let you know that it is common sense that before implementing a scheme, parameters of the beneficiaries are decided. On the basis of that, survey is done and then the total number of beneficiaries is figured out and on the basis of it the arrangements are done to help the scheme benefits reach the intended beneficiaries and the budgets are formed. This is for the first time that people sitting in Delhi decided on their own how many crores and lakhs of people in each state will receive benefit of the Food Security Bill.
Now the states have been told to figure out who would they want to include in the said number of beneficiaries. Each state will use its own way of ascertaining who should benefit under the Food Security Bill. I am worried that the bill would get into legal issues and the poor would not get benefit of it. Also it would astound you that today under Antyodaya Anna program the poor families in Gujarat get 35 kgs grain each month, thanks to the Food Security Bill they will get only 25 kgs. I want you all to tell me is it really a scheme to feed the poor or ensure they remain more hungry.
PM sir the nation wants answers to these questions and so we demanded meeting of all the Chief Ministers to discuss on the bill. Had the PM been really worried about it he would have called for the meeting and removed all the flaws from the Food Security Bill and created a foolproof plan to distribute grains at cheapest rate to the poor families. To add to the woes of the state the PM has decided that in case of famine the centre will not provide grains to the state. The Central government will only pay money to the state and it has to procure the grains from any nation that it wants on its own.
I want to know how it is possible for a state to procure grains when the import and exports are in the control of the central government. How can Mr. PM expect small states to search all over the world for the grains? It is the responsibility of the central government and it should not be handed over to the state governments as it will lead to poor people remaining hungry despite the Food Security Bill.
Brothers and sisters just look at the situation we all are facing now. Inflation is a big issue for all. I want to ask Mr. PM if it is not our responsibility to ensure that poor people can eat two meals a day and that should we not be doing our duty. I was surprised to listen to what all media channels are saying that this is the PM’s last speech from the Red Fort and sir you are telling we have miles to go. Sir which miles you want to cover and how? You have pushed the nation into an abysmal state. Nation has never been in such precarious condition. There is no security.
The nation seeks new thought process and new ray of hope. When we are celebrating the Independence Day let us promise that we will free the nation from the clutches of corruption. Just the way we attained the freedom from the British, we will free the nation from inflation, from old narrow minded thinking and from the state of this trust deficit. We will build the bridge of trust and not allow the trust deficit to be part of India for long. Each one has lost faith, but we will work towards building the trust again.
Brothers and sisters the nation needs freedom from the bhai bhatija vaad, the nation needs freedom from the ego of the governors, the nation needs freedom from the rule of a dynasty, the nation needs freedom from the feeling of insecurity, the nation needs freedom from illiteracy and blind beliefs. To make the nation free from all these we need to work together and cover the miles. These distances will make people seek change in the government at the center.
The people will be forced to seek change as these covering the miles stories have lost the faith of the people. Brothers and sisters today the Gujarat state has attained great milestones of achievements and progress. We have never said that this progress is due to the Modi Government. I have always said it is due to the hard work of all the 6 crore Gujaratis, all the previous governments that have ruled the state, all the chief minsters of the state, that we have achieved progress. What we have done in Gujarat is set speed with which we want to progress. We have set goals, directions and plans to achieve them. We have set very strict standards to judge our performance it is because of this reason that today we have the least number of unemployed people in India as per the report of the government of India’s own departmental study.
I want to ask PM sir why is it that all the awards of good governance and progress are attained by the state governments that the government at the centre does not prefer. We need to figure out how the benefits will reach all the poor people of the nation. Since the time of Mrs. Indira Gandhi there is a 20 point program for the benefit of the poor people and the government of India used to check it and publish reports of each state every 6 months. I have realised after studying them that Congress led state governments have not done well to benefit the poor. The first five governments in the list to work for the benefit of poor are the BJP governments.
You did not find the ways to change the situation instead you stopped publishing the report so as to cover up for the shortcomings of the state governments you favor. PM sir let us compete while we are unfurling the national flag. Today an entire team of yours is sitting in front of computer finding ways to abuse me. They do not have time even today to salute the national flag. At least today they could have paid tribute to nation but for them their world begins and ends with Modi.
PM sir I challenge you to compete with the state of Gujarat. Let our weaknesses and your strengths come to the fore. This will create the atmosphere of well being for all. We will be able to find out which state lagged behind and why. We need to change our outlook as we need to compete for the well being for the last one in the society. As per Hindu culture if one tours the four holy places he achieves nirvana. Today the situation is such that even after touring 35 – 40 tables one can’t get the work done at the government offices. Can’t we change the way we function. I am not saying we are perfect. What I am telling is we are trying to achieve the perfection.
I am confident that we too are not perfect but our thinking is progressive. We may be slow but our efforts are 100% our intentions are there to make our state proud. Indian youth is unemployed. We are listening since long that we will be part of the 21st century but what do we see now. After 2004 the faith is lost. In 10 years the nation has gone to the dogs and now we are struggling to get out of the abyss. Atalji and Advaniji ushered in the era of development but all is lost now. Till the time states are not strong the nation can’t be strong.
States are pillars of the nation and all state should be strong to make the nation strong. PM sir you should take all the states along the path of progress to achieve progress for the nation. Just the way Gujarat cannot progress if only one district progresses, same is for the nation. Progress should be at the grass root level to achieve all round development. This leads to burden on the state treasury but the burden is for development of all. This is needed. Today seven new districts are formed in the state. the collectors have taken the charge of the respective new districts and I am sure the new districts will progress as fast as the others soon.
We need to worry about people of Dang and fishermen of the coastal areas and dwellers in the cities. We need to work for the education and health of all. Gujarat model works with concentration on education, manufacturing and service sectors. We work towards inclusive growth . We work in the field of education and PM sir when you talk about universities from the Red Fort let me tell you sir that in 2001 there were 11 universities in Gujarat now we have 42. We have worked towards progress.
We are the first state in India to grade the government run primary schools in the state. We also have plan to upgrade to schools from C level to B and B level to A level. Sir we have worked towards employment. We have at present 5 lakh people employed in the government jobs in the state. In last ten years we have created 2.5 lakh government jobs in the state. We have tech savvy modern generation as part of governance system now. We still plan to employ 80000 more youth in the government by providing them jobs. There was time when we used to have interview process. Now if one wants government job can give online exams as many times as he or she wants to. We will have a bank score that each of youth had scored and we will have their score cards and the deserving candidates will be called for interviews and they will get jobs.
The entire process will be online and scientific. We want to let you know that we have skill development program in the state so that youth get jobs in private sector and can opt for self employment. Today PM sir you have ranked Gujarat as the best state for the work in the field of skill development. We are having global agro tech fair alike that happen in Israel on 9th and 10th September. I invite all the farmers across India to come to Gujarat and see what new development has happened in the field. We are trying to increase food grain prodictivity and milk productivity with limited resources we have. We are trying to add value to our farms. Our farmers and animal breeders have made the state proud in the field of milk production.
Our Banni buffaloes produce milk in huge quantity in extreme weather conditions and it will cost two Tata Nano cars to get one of these buffaloes. In extreme desert conditions of Kutch we have got such species of animals. Our Kutch mangoes are exported and if we use scientific ways and give modern facilities then farmer will not only feed us but fill our treasury too. Our current account deficit will come down. Our farmers can produce enough to feed the whole world all we need to give them is visionary leadership and modern facilities. The export import gap can be reduced by the laborers as well as farmers. The government has one religion that is India first, it has one Holy book that is our constitution, it has only India to worship, its strength is its nationals, it has to work for the well being of nationals, its only way to pray is take all along and work for the progress of all.
This is how we have worked for Gujarat. We want God to be with us we want people to be with us so that we are able to serve you all the people of Gujarat. This time it has rained also well; so let us work towards progress of India and all. Let us fill the treasury of India by working hard. Let us salute the nation and praise the nation on this auspicious Independence Day of India.