First of all I pay my homage to the Martyred soldiers of Pulwama terror attack. They have laid down their lives while serving the nation. In this moment of grief, my and every Indian's deepest sympathies are with their families.
I am able to clearly fathom the anguish and anger of the people due to this attack. The expectation of the people at this time and the feeling of taking some action is quite natural. Our security forces have been given complete freedom. We have complete faith in the valour of our soldiers. I am confident that the patriots of our country will provide correct information to our agencies so that our fight against terror is sharpened.
I want to tell the terrorist organizations and their leaders that they have committed a grave mistake and they will have to pay a heavy price.
I assure the nation that whichever force was behind the attack, the perpetrators would be punished! I also respect the feelings of those criticizing us. I can completely understand their feelings and they have the right to criticize.
It is an extremely sensitive and emotional moment. I request my friends from both the sides to be away from political jibes. The nation is giving a befitting reply in a united way, the nation is united, the nation has one voice and this should reach the world because we are fighting this war to win.
If our neighbouring country, which has been isolated by the world, believes that committing such acts and conspiring like this would destabilize India, then they are absolutely wrong. They can never be successful and such a thing will never happen.
Our neighboring country, which is currently facing a major economic crisis, also believes that by this destruction it can bring a catastrophe upon India. Their intentions will never be fulfilled. Time has proved that the path on which they are walking has led them to destruction and the path that we have embraced is leading us towards progress and success.
The 130 crore Indians will give a befitting reply to every such conspiracy and every such attack. Several powerful countries have condemned this terror attack in strong words and have extended their support for India.
I am grateful to all those nations and I appeal to one and all that all the humanitarian forces unite and fight against terrorism. All the humanitarian forces must unite and defeat terrorism.
When all the countries unanimously with a single voice start moving in a single direction to fight against terrorism, then the menace of terrorism cannot survive for long.
After the Pulwama attack the state of mind and the atmosphere are filled with grief and anguish. The nation will deliver strong blows against such attacks! The nation will not stop. Our brave martyrs have sacrificed their lives. And a martyr sacrifices his life for two things - one, for the security of the country and secondly for the country's growth. Saluting all the brave Martyrs and seeking their blessings, I once again assure you that we will dedicate every moment of our lives to fulfil the two dreams for which they have sacrificed their lives. Strengthening the road to prosperity and development and saluting the souls of the brave Martyrs, we will move ahead. And therefore, I express my gratitude towards every engineer and every worker for the concept and design of the Vande Bharat Express and putting the entire concept into practice.
This train manufactured in Chennai will begin its first journey between Delhi and Kashi. This is the true strength of 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' and of Vande Bharat Express.
In the last four and a half years, we have tried to transform the condition of the Indian Railways sincerely and with a lot of hard work. Vande Bharat Express is a glimpse of that effort. During the last few years, the railway was among those sectors that made great strides in manufacturing under Make in India. Also, modernization work of the rail coach factories and the electrification work of the diesel engines are also underway. Therefore, new factories have also been set up for this purpose.
You might remember the condition of online railway ticket reservations. At that time more than 2000 tickets could not be booked in a minute. Today I am really content with the fact that the railway's website has now become user friendly and more than 20 thousand tickets can be booked in a minute. Earlier the situation was such that it took nearly two years to approve a single railway project. Now, a railway project gets approved within 3 or 4 months or maximum within 6 months. Such efforts have provided a new impetus to the railway work. Unmanned crossings on broad gauge lines have been eliminated across the country in a big campaign.
When we came to power, there were more than 8,300 unmanned railway crossings in the country, due to which there used to be frequent accidents. By removing the unmanned railway crossings on broad gauge lines, the number of accidents has also decreased.
The task of laying railway tracks in the country or the electrification work is already being done at double the speed. By giving priority to the busiest routes in the country, they are being freed from the traditional trains. Electrification of trains will not only reduce pollution but will also reduce the expenditure on diesel and will increase the speed of the trains.
Clearly, these efforts to modernize the railways have created new employment opportunities too. I have been told that since 2014, about 1.5 lakh employees have been appointed in the Railways till now. After the ongoing recruitment drive is over, the number is expected to reach 2.25 lakhs.
Despite all the efforts within this short span of time, I do not claim that we have transformed everything in the Indian Railways. And we cannot ever claim that. There is still a lot to do. But I can definitely say that we are moving forward towards the modernization of the Indian Railways at a rapid pace and I assure you that we will further boost this journey of development. Be it the land, water or air; be it the eastern, western, northern or the southern India; we will walk on the path of development with the mantra of 'Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas' and carry it forward. We will keep saluting our Martyrs through development. And in so far as security is concerned, we will punish the perpetrators with all our strength and seek revenge for every drop of blood that was shed by those who have sacrificed their lives.
With this belief, I end my speech. To pay homage to these Martyrs say along with me -
Vande Mataram - Vande Mataram!
Vande Mataram - Vande Mataram!
Vande Mataram - Vande Mataram!