"For a high jump, you have to go back. Similarly, to move ahead, to get a new start, you have to reach back a little, learn from your past: Shri Modi"
"Bengal's development will lead to the development of Eastern and North-eastern India: Shri Modi"
"The UPA Government keeps on discriminating between the Congress and non-Congress ruled states. The Government has no authority to do that: Shri Modi"
"I believe in hope. I am not making empty promises. I speak on the basis of experience: Shri Modi"
"Today, we don’t have real time data on agro produce. We should use technology to do this: Shri Modi"
"GoI is responsible for putting the country into darkness. We have coal and power plants, but files are pending in Delhi: Shri Modi"
"Situations are not out of control, we are lacking in the will to get things done: Shri Modi"

On April 9th, 2013, Shri Narendra Modi, addressed different Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Kolkata. Shri Modi received a rousing reception from the audience, which consisted mostly of businessmen and businesswomen. He shared examples of Gujarat growth model which depends on 3 major sectors – Agriculture, Industry & Service sectors. He showed home & confidence that with determination & with same circumstances, same files, the country can move towards achieving Swami Vivekananda’s dream of glorious India.

Below are quotes from Shri Modi’s speech:

I am confident that I will learn a lot from West Bengal and I hope to implement what I learn in Gujarat

“A pilot team came to Gujarat from Kolkata. A powerful delegation of women who have set the stage for me to come here.”

“I am confident to learn a lot from West Bengal and hope to implement that in Gujarat. I feel I can learn a lot from Kolkata and take those things back to Gujarat”

To move forward, to overcome hurdles it is important to take a step back

“Someone had said; forget the past talk about the future. Even if we want to throw a stone we have to extend the arm back.”

“To move forward, to overcome hurdles it is important to take a step back.”

Bengal's development will lead to the development of Eastern and North-eastern India

“Today, the world talks about the 21st century as the Century of Knowledge. Knowledge-era came to Bengal in the 18th and 19th Centuries.”

“This land is uncommon. This land has always given the power to fight against wrong. Bengal was a land of thinkers and philosophers even during slavery of 1200 years.”

“Today, if we go to Andaman and Nicobar jails, we will find many names of freedom from Bengal. Even when it came to armed revolution, Bengal was at the forefront.”

“Bengal's development will lead to the development of Eastern and North-eastern India”

“The British came through Surat but decided to settle in Bengal because they knew the importance of this land. We have to understand the strength of the power of this land. Then dreams of development can be realised”

“I spent the past decade filling the ditches dug by previous governments. Similarly, in Bengal for 32 years many ditches have been dug”

“The dreams of people of West Bengal will be fulfilled, these holes will be filled, I am positive.”

“For the past three decades there was hope that in the new century India will scale new heights. In addition, Vajpayee's Government showed some hope. But the last decade of the 21st century has been disappointing.”

The UPA Government keeps on discriminating between the Congress and non-Congress ruled states. The Government has no authority to do that.

“The UPA Government keeps on discriminating between the Congress and non-Congress ruled states. The Government has no authority to do that.”

“The federal structure is being toyed with. UPA states are getting beneficial treatment. Such discrimination has shattered the dreams of several non-Congress ruled States. Then the UPA shamelessly accepts it.”

“Bengal, even under Left rule, never raised the issue of discrimination during the Vajpayee Government. There is a need to raise our voices now.”

“We have problems in Gujarat because of UPA’s interference. There is a dire need of change in Centre's way of working.”

“When the States do well, the Centre jumps to take credit. When we do not, they blame it on us. The Government of India cannot be biased towards states. They should form rules, which they think are right but stick to the implementation of those rules.”

“There is paralysis in things which need to be done, and excitement in things which should not be done.”

I believe in hope. I am not making empty promises. I speak on the basis of experience.

“I believe in hope. I am not making empty promises. I speak on the basis of experience. The same files, the same employees, the same circumstances, even with all this the country can move forward.”

“The Union government is pitting Industry and Agriculture. Gujarat's industrial development has also seen an increase in cultivable land. We have increased our cultivable land by 18 lakh hectare.”

“We have based our economy on three pillars: Industry, Agriculture, Services.”

Government intervention is must in agriculture.

“Gujarat has desert, we face water scarcity, only Narmada and Tapi are perennial rivers. Despite desert areas and scarcity of water, Gujarat has recorded 10 per cent growth in agriculture in the last decade.”

“The biggest feature of a vibrant growth model is the increase in purchasing power and per capita income.”

“Today we have covered 7 lakh hectare through micro-irrigation in Gujarat, an increase from 12000 hectares in 2001.”

“In Gujarat, farmers have their own Soil Health Card. Farmers know what crops, fertilisers are best for them. We want to give our farmers best of the facilities in the world. I want my farmers to dominate the world markets.”

“Farmers have developed a confidence that despite lack of rains, despite less water, crops can grow.”

“Government intervention is must in agriculture. Earlier governments only focused on subsidies. Gujarat has set up Agriculture universities, we have progressive farmers, focused on Agriculture department to distribute modern techniques to the farmers and revolutionise the agricultural sector. We don’t want to stop there, like our Vibrant Gujarat Summit, we are also doing an Agro Tech Fair.”

Today, we don’t have real time data on agro produce. We should use technology to do this.

“I presided over a committee to reduce high prices. I have submitted the report over a year ago. I am still waiting an update from the PM's office.”

“Today, in this large country, we don’t have real time data on agro produce. I suggested using technology to do this. We will be able to tackle food-grain crisis, and starvation if we can have such a mechanism.”

“Wheat worth crores was wasted in the store houses in Indian granaries, SC kept asking the Government to distribute it amongst the poor but Government did nothing. They waited for it to spoil and then sell them to the liquor industries.”

We divided Agriculture into 3 parts, one third resources for regular farming, one third for trees, tree farming, one third for animal husbandry

“We divided Agriculture into 3 parts, one third resources for regular farming, one third for trees, tree farming, and one third for animal husbandry.”

“Because of tree farming, when there is less rain, people can sell them and the economy is sustained. One third is animal husbandry. Hence our dairy sector is growing.”

“We have organized cattle camps. In Gujarat cattle get cataract operations and dental treatments. Because of this, 112 diseases have been eradicated.”

“Economic development has many facets. Now we want to move to value addition, we want to focus on food processing. We have brought the best textile policy to help improve the industry. We have a formula to create a chain called Farm to Factory to Fibre to Fashion to Foreign.”

We have worked very hard to make Gujarat a tourist destination. Gujaratis are the best tourists but Gujarat was never been a tourist destination

“We have worked very hard to make Gujarat a tourist destination. Gujaratis are the best tourists but Gujarat was never been a tourist destination.”

“We have worked extensively towards it and in the past 5 years Guj's growth in tourism sector has been double of entire India.”

“We are an automobile hub, we are leading in solar energy sector, we are also leading in oil refineries. Asia's biggest solar plant is in Gujarat. Gujarat is fast progressing towards becoming the solar capital in the world. We were the first state who brought in a solar policy and we set the prices a 13 rupees a unit. The govt of India offers 19 rupees a unit for solar power but they have not been able to set up even 100 MW. We have got 3000 MW of solar energy and we are now achieving price parity.”

In the past 12 years we haven’t raised taxes. We have only plugged leakages

“When I took over the reins, our revenue deficit was 6700 crore, today we are revenue surplus. In the past 12 years, we haven’t raised taxes. We have only plugged leakages.”

“The Gujarat Electricity Co had a loss of 2500 crore per year. Now we are surplus. There was a shortfall of 2000 MW when I took charge but today every single village of Gujarat gets 24 hours of electricity.”

GoI is responsible for putting the country into darkness. We have coal and power plants, but files are pending in Delhi

“There are states where provision of electricity is news but in Gujarat power cut is a news.”

“GoI is responsible for putting the country into darkness. We have coal and power plants, but files are pending in Delhi. It's as if patients need medicines, and medicines are available but there are no doctors.”

Situations are not out of control, we are lacking in the will to get things done

“Situations are not out of control, we are lacking in the will to get things done. I once suggested to the PM that we should cover the Indo-Pak borders with solar power instead of fencing and put the BSF to work upon it. But there is no development in this regard.”

“Our soldiers are beheaded by Pakistan and we are hosting lunch for them. Even the Italian prisoners who killed Indians were allowed to go for vote. We were humiliated.”

“The Foreign Minister goes abroad and reads a speech for another country. Do we need a budget for that? This is not due to budget or resource problem. This is happening because of lack of governance.”

We must resolve to change present circumstances

“Nation is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda who said youth would take India to zenith.”

“Our youth is the governing force of our country. We must resolve to change present circumstances. Based on my Gujarat experience, I can say things can be changed.”

“I request the land of Bengal to once again lead the nation with its leadership qualities and showing India the right path. Come let us make it possible and I am thankful for your support.”

When asked about whether the Gujarat model would have to be changed if it were to be applied to largely Agricultural states, Shri Modi said, “Same growth model can’t be applied to even two districts. It has to be modified but the strategy and the vision remains the same.”

Shri Modi was asked about his vision on India’s foreign Policy. Shri Modi replied, that it was important to protect India’s interests. Secondly, he said, “India never leads. Even in the case of SAARC nations we fail to emerge as the powerful nation. We are not able to pitch for these nations. Our foreign policies are not strict and even countries like Italy makes a mockery of our Supreme Court. We need to be more strict in dealing with such countries.

Shri Modi also spoke about exporting the rich human resources of India by training them in the field of teachers, nurses, etc

When asked about whether he had any suggestions for the Bengal Government on promoting tourism, Shri Modi said, “This time my visit to Bengal is as a student. I am here to learn”

Shri Modi also discussed the health care model of Gujarat including the Mukhyamantri Amrumtam and the E-Mamata Yojana. He said, “The state's water treatment plants are ensuring people remain fit and healthy. The state has implemented usage of CNG in transport services that has greatly reduced air-pollution.”

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PM Modi's interview to Mathrubhumi
April 21, 2024

You are already preparing a road map for India. What are the lessons you have picked from the last 10 years of governance to shape Amrit Kaal 2047? What will be the first five initiatives, especially focussed on Young India?

I would like to correct you here.

My experience as head of government spans 23 years. I have had the unique honor of serving for 13 years as the CM and 10 years as the PM. These 23 years have been a learning experience, and people have taught me a lot. One key learning that I have utilized in Gujarat as well as India is trusting people and making them partners. In Gujarat, I worked on increasing female literacy and decreasing school dropouts by making this a mass movement.

At the national level, be it the Swachh Bharat Movement, Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao, or Digital Transactions, change was achieved through people-led mass movements. For a long time under the Congress, youth was stymied and not allowed to achieve its full potential. Corruption and nepotism hurt the youth badly. It is my conviction that Viksit Bharat can only be achieved by the power of our youth. We have several initiatives focused on them. In our Sankalp Patra, we’ve outlined how we’re going to strengthen Young India.

In education, we have a qualitative as well as a quantitative change. The NEP revolutionizes education and helps our youth excel in their strengths. In the last 10 years, we’ve built many higher education institutes and will continue to do so in our third term as well. From 2014 to 2024, the pace of growth was remarkable, with more than two colleges opening every day, and one university opening every week. In the last 10 years, we have built 7 new IITs, 7 new IIMs, and 15 new AIIMS.

Record investment is happening in India in manufacturing and infrastructure. This is creating numerous opportunities for the youth. Start-ups will flourish through multiple new avenues as well as access to credit.

We will focus on increasing our tourism, by augmenting the infrastructure at our cultural and other natural landmarks. This will create new opportunities for the youth. The loan amount under PM MUDRA Yojna will be doubled to ₹20 Lakh to encourage small and medium businesses by the youth.

The 21st century is not just India's century, it is also the century of India's youth. To fulfill the aspirations of our youth, we need to make big, positive changes. We are laser-focused on our goal for Viksit Bharat and are working 24x7 for 2047.

You have emphasized technology, A-I, tourism, and health among the top priority areas. How do you plan to connect these dreams with the youth energy of our country?

Today, if India has an advantage in the world, it is because of its Yuva Shakti. Everywhere you look, youngsters are eager to make a difference.

Our smart, young minds are exploring and expanding AI’s possibilities every day. To encourage this, our government’s policies and programs are guided by the motto of ‘AI for All’. We encourage our youth to take giant leaps to ‘solve for India’ using technology and AI. To give you an example, we ask ministries to list down problem areas where they need solutions. Then we compile all such problems and present them to our youth in the form of hackathons. I make sure to participate in these hackathons. Our youth deliver and come up with solutions to all the problems presented to them.

When it comes to health, in the last 10 years, the number of medical colleges in India has increased from 387 before 2014 to 706 as of now. MBBS seats have increased from 51,348 before 2014 to 1,08,940 at present. PG seats have increased from 31,185 before 2014 to 70,645 currently. This means more and more of our Yuva Shakti are becoming doctors and healthcare professionals, which will increase the affordability and accessibility of healthcare.

In the last 10 years, tourism in India has increased significantly. Tourism greatly impacts the local economy as many people across the value chain earn through it. We have focused on ensuring that our tourism sites have good infrastructure.

Kerala has all forms of attractions to draw tourists, from mountains to backwaters, and from heritage to wellness. We aim to make Kerala one of the biggest hubs of tourism. Our Sankalp Patra places special emphasis on further developing our cultural and religious destinations. We will strengthen the Swadesh Darshan program and develop various thematic tourism circuits, including riverine tourism. These initiatives will lead to huge gains for Kerala and augur well for the common man.

You have given the Niti Aayog and other agencies a new template of development which originates from your vision. What are the thoughts that prompt your initiatives?

As someone who has also served as a Chief Minister, I understand how important it is to involve states in the nation-building process. That is exactly what NITI Aayog does: it consults with and works directly with states.

The problem with the Planning Commission was that it employed a 'one-size-fits-all' approach for all states. It did not create plans that were tailored to the specific wants and needs of each state and functioned in a top-down fashion. Funds would often be allocated for one purpose, but the needs of the states would be completely different. There was no flexibility given to states to decide their own set of priorities. Unsurprisingly, many of its plans failed to show tangible results.

The NITI Aayog follows a pro-people, proactive, and participative development agenda. Take the example of the Aspirational Districts Program. The Central Government is working together not only with the State Governments but also with local administrations to bring about change in the lives of people.

Similarly, NITI Aayog is at the center of preparing the roadmap for 2047. Through NITI Aayog, we have reached out to people across the country and received feedback from around 15 lakh people.

Like never before, you are personally leading the fight in Kerala, where the RSS has a tremendous presence. But BJP has not been able to make much political mileage out of this. How do you see this? And how will the scenario change this time?Congress has high hopes from the South especially Kerala. What do you feel?

Karyakartas of the BJP and aligned organizations have been working on the ground for a long time. Be it a social cause or a natural calamity, they are always visible serving the people. In the 2021 Assembly Elections, our vote share rose significantly. This is because the youth of Kerala, the women of Kerala, the poor people of Kerala, and the farmers of Kerala are now starting to see the BJP as a ray of hope. They view the BJP and the NDA as entities that can fulfill their aspirations.

The UDF and LDF have only taken Kerala backward; they have never moved Kerala forward. So yes, the situation is changing, and the scenario is set to change even further. The 2021 results revealed what lies ahead. The BJP is expected to grow even more in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, and we are confident that in time, the BJP will have MPs from Kerala and will also eventually form the state government.

Talking about the Congress, in 2019, sensing a defeat in UP, the Yuvraj ran away to contest the elections in Kerala. Over the last 5 years, even the people of Kerala have realized that they have no vision, no governance agenda, and have put in no efforts for the people. But this time, they know that the people of Kerala are also going to reject them. The results of Wayanad will be announced even before the results of the entire country. As soon as the polling in Kerala is over, the Yuvraj will file a nomination from another seat, so confident are they of their defeat.

Youngsters in Kerala are migrating outside the state for education and professional reasons. Across South India, something seems to be lacking for the youth. What is your vision for South India, focusing on skill and technical exposure?

It is unfortunate that the youth of Kerala have been forced to move out of their home state in search of better opportunities. The LDF and UDF governments have repeatedly and willfully ignored the need to develop industries and jobs that create employment in the state.

On the other hand, our Central Government is working towards making the youth future-ready, equipping them with next-generation skills, and creating opportunities for them within the state itself. We have established more than 370 Atal Tinkering Labs in the state to catalyze innovation among the young. Under the MUDRA Yojana, we have enabled the disbursal of collateral-free loans worth 1 lakh crore to the youth of Kerala.

Did you know that in the last 10 years, India has launched over 400 satellites from various countries and earned more than Rs 4000 crores from it? Kerala, home to many ISRO research and launch sites, along with Start-Up India, will ensure a network of indigenous startups and industries focused on space science and defense emerges in Kerala. It is in this context that I inaugurated the country's first Digital Science Park in Thiruvananthapuram to transform Kerala into a knowledge-based economy.

We have also invested lakhs of crores to improve infrastructure in the state, including the upgrading of Kochi harbor, widening of NH-66 to improve connectivity, doubling of railway tracks, and expanding the Kochi Metro. All these initiatives are giving a significant boost to employment opportunities in the state.

The other day, you took on CPM and its leaders by flagging the Karuvannur bank scam and alleged corruption involving the CM's daughter. But CPM is alleging that the Central Government is trying to kill co-operative banks in Kerala through these measures. Your views, please.

First and foremost, I do not believe in the use of the word "killing." If there is any party that indulges in rampant political violence and the killing of opponents, it is the CPM. Therefore, I will not dignify any usage of that term.

Moving on to your question—the fact of the matter is that the LDF in Kerala has transformed into everything we associate with the Congress Party—dynasty politics, corruption, and so on. Regarding the cooperative scam, I have spoken about this on many occasions and I have assured you that those guilty of the scam will not be spared. It is disheartening to see that thousands of poor people have been stripped of their hard-earned money, leaving them in a miserable situation.

The cooperative sector is a very important one, directly linked to empowering people in villages, and empowering women. It is a pity that the CPM has used the cooperative sector to enrich a few leaders.

How do you see the rivalry of the Left & Congress in Kerala? How do you respond to Rahul Gandhi’s statement that Pinarayi Vijayan must be sent to jail?

The Congress and the Left are two sides of the same coin. In Kerala, they engage in a friendly fight, while in Delhi, they are partners. In Kerala, the Congress' Yuvraj wants to put Pinarayi Vijayan in jail, yet in Delhi, they unite to protest action against corruption.

The Congress' approach to corruption is selective. They have no issue with corruption itself; they only use it as a tool to attack those they dislike. I have been constantly and aggressively exposing Pinarayi Vijayan, yet the Congress and its Yuvraj have remained silent throughout.

I spoke about the deal between the Chief Minister and his daughter with CMRL; the Yuvraj was silent. In the gold smuggling case, I raised the issue of links between the Chief Minister's office and the smuggling racket; the Yuvraj was silent. I exposed the looting by CPM-run cooperative banks and promised to return the money to the common people, even considering the attachment of properties of those involved; once again, the Yuvraj was silent.

You and your party are aiming for more than 400 seats. Most of the 303 seats won in 2019 were from North India. But South India seems to be a difficult terrain for the BJP. Do you think this time you can break the pattern of electoral behavior of the region? Congress has high hopes from the South. What do you feel?

Your question is not factually correct. In the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP was the single largest party in Southern India. Until recently, we had a government in Karnataka. We are a part of the government in Puducherry. We have always been an important force in Telangana. Therefore, I do not agree with the binary view that the BJP lacks a presence in the South. This narrative suits the perspective of a few political analysts, but the facts tell a different story.

You may also know that three of our party presidents have come from South India. In 1984, when we were reduced to only two seats, one of them was from Southern India. Thus, the BJP has a very close link with the South.

Looking at the present, I have been traveling across Southern India, and the response wherever I have gone has been phenomenal. I am confident that South India will bless the BJP in record numbers this time.

Opposition’s narrative on the strong divide between South India and North India is quite intense. They say the South is largely ignored by Modi Govt., especially on financial issues. Kerala Govt has approached the Supreme Court for permission to take loans. How do you plan to reach out to the South Indians?

This narrative of dividing India into north and south propagated by the opposition is utterly shameful, and I categorically reject it. Indians from across South India have also firmly rejected this charge. Both the UDF and LDF aim to divide India along the lines of caste, creed, state, and religion to confuse the voters and cling to power. Despite this, Kerala, with its abundant resources and excellent human capital, is an equal partner in India’s development. We are committed to powering Kerala on its path to development. Unfortunately, both UDF and LDF have perpetuated a culture of misgovernance in the state and have failed to take meaningful steps toward improving and diversifying Kerala’s economy.

This mismanagement has resulted in debt reaching alarming levels, forcing the Kerala government to borrow money even to pay its employees! Instead of utilizing funds for constructing infrastructure, which would create more jobs, the government is focused on spending money on hiring more personal staff for its ministers and paying them lifetime pensions. Meanwhile, they make PSC rank holders wait for years for offer letters because they do not have the capacity to pay these meritorious youth.

However, this has not stopped my government from supporting the Kerala government in every way possible. Under my administration, tax devolution to Kerala has substantially increased from just Rs 46,000 crore under the UPA to more than Rs 1.55 lakh crore under the BJP. This shows our commitment to Kerala.

During the pandemic, we provided an additional borrowing of Rs 18,000 crores, and recently, we provided an additional Rs 13,000 crores to help manage the immediate crisis. Even the Supreme Court has highlighted their misgovernance and financial mismanagement. It is high time those in power realize that instead of creating divisions and distractions, they should focus on governance.

I maintain direct and daily contact with the people and our Karyakartas in the South, and I am grateful that they consider me part of their family too. The response I received during public meetings and road shows, with thousands coming out to support the BJP, is ample proof that the manufactured North-South divide is completely artificial and has no basis on the ground.

Anyone who believes there is a North-South divide is not fully acquainted with the reality of India as a nation, and more importantly, as a civilization that is thousands of years old. The North-South divide theory originates from the political desperation of the opposition, not from reality. Yes, we are diverse and even different in some cultural aspects, but that does not mean we are divergent. We are diverse, not divergent

Bishops and senior pontiffs have met you many times. But the church leaders continue to raise their apprehensions from time to time. How can BJP win their total confidence?

The BJP has established a very close relationship with the Christian community. We have been in government in Goa since 2012, and are also part of the ruling coalitions in Meghalaya and Nagaland, where there is a significant Christian population. As such, the Christian community is well aware of the good work that BJP governments, both at the Centre and in the states, are doing.

I have been interacting with leaders from the Christian community even before I became Prime Minister, and these exchanges have always been very fruitful. Regarding any apprehensions, it's important to recognize that everyone has the right to express concerns when they feel a situation needs attention. We, as the government, are committed to addressing any apprehensions or grievances.

The reality is that the Christian community is fed up with both the LDF and the UDF. These alliances have failed the Christian community because their politics of vote banking do not support the empowerment of the community. Christians have realized this, and as a result, they are now voting for the BJP in large numbers.

You have strengthened our relations with the Gulf. As a result, we even have a Hindu Temple in UAE. Across the Muslim world, you are hailed as a global leader. What message does this give the Indian Muslims?

For decades, our foreign policy was managed without prioritizing our diaspora. One significant change we implemented after coming to power was to recognize that looking after our diaspora’s goodwill is an integral part of foreign policy.

Consider the example of the Gulf countries, where lakhs of our citizens reside. For decades, our governments did not engage with these countries as they should have, seeing them only from the perspective of our neighbor. They viewed the Gulf solely as a venue to export manpower and import fuel products, without investing in deeper relations.

You might be surprised to know that I was the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the UAE in three decades! Before my visit, there had only been two such prime ministerial visits to Saudi Arabia.

Today, our people residing in the Gulf countries feel there is someone back home they can count on. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I regularly spoke with governments in the Gulf, and they assured me that they would take care of Indians as their own. I also requested the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to increase the Haj quota for Indians.

The strong relationships we have cultivated over time proved crucial in times of crisis. In 2015, when thousands of Indians were stuck in Yemen amidst the bombing, I personally spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia. Bombing was halted daily for a few hours to allow safe passage for our people. During the 2023 Sudan crisis, we worked closely with Saudi Arabia to ensure safe passage for our citizens caught in a war-like situation.

Recently, we brought back 8 Navy veterans from Qatar who were facing death sentences. The entire nation rejoiced.

When our citizens see the results of our improved relations, they naturally feel proud and more secure. This demonstrates that the Modi Government cares for its people, whether Hindu, Muslim, or Christian.

Kashmir is today near normal. But there have been sporadic attacks. Pakistan-based groups still trouble us. Can we feel confident that all such menaces will end in the Modi 3.0 era?

It's undeniable that Kashmir has made significant strides towards normalcy recently. Since the abrogation of Article 370, we've seen a remarkable decline in terror incidents and casualties, demonstrating our government's steadfast commitment to eradicating terrorism.

Historical traditions are being revived; Muharram processions in Srinagar proceeded through the traditional route for the first time in 34 years, and Diwali was celebrated at the Sharda Temple for the first time since the partition in 1947.

From 2004 to 2014, over 7,000 terror incidents claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 security personnel and civilians. In contrast, under the BJP’s leadership in the past decade, there has been a 70% reduction in terror incidents. In 2010, during UPA rule, the region witnessed over 2,600 incidents of organized stone pelting. Fast forward to 2023, four years after the abrogation of Article 370, and not a single such incident has occurred.

Tourism in Kashmir is experiencing a remarkable surge, with visitor numbers reaching record levels since our independence in 1947. This influx not only bolsters the local economy but also promotes cross-cultural exchange and appreciation, fostering greater understanding and harmony.

The youth of Kashmir are being empowered like never before, with abundant opportunities in sports, entrepreneurship, and academia. Young Kashmiris are harnessing their talents and capabilities to forge a brighter future. The recent success of several candidates from Jammu and Kashmir in the Civil Services examination is a testament to the region's rising potential and the government's commitment to nurturing talent.

In our next term, we will continue to build on these developments with even more vigor so that the fruits of growing opportunities in the rest of India also reach our citizens in Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.

Somewhere during this campaign, there is an increasing portrayal of elections 2024 as a fight to protect Sanatana Dharma from its vehement critics. Will this redefine democratic exercise totally?

As India experiences a resurgence of its cultural and civilizational heritage, the Congress party and its allies seem to be grappling with a sense of unease. In recent months, we have witnessed INDI Alliance partners liken Sanatan Dharma to diseases like dengue and malaria. This depth of discomfort reveals their animosity, resentment, and shallow understanding of Sanatan values. It is ironic that a party that once prided itself on embodying Mahatma Gandhi's ideals now aligns with those who call for the eradication of Sanatan Dharma.

Today, Congress finds itself at odds with the very essence of India's millennia-old identity. They deny the existence of Bhagwan Ram, reject invitations to the Pran Prathishtha of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, mock Dwarkadhish, and vow to oppose Shakti.

As a proud son of Bharat, I rejoice in our timeless traditions. It was our party that ensured the historic Sengol is placed in our temple of democracy. Our government has helped the ancient science of Yoga gain global appreciation and ensured that Shri Anna—or millets, once a staple in every home in Kerala—receives global recognition. These achievements are witnessed, experienced, and appreciated by the people of our country.

For us, these aspects are not related to elections; they are part of who we are. The initiatives I mentioned were implemented well before election period.

The people of our country are no longer willing to tolerate disrespect toward their ancient culture and vibrant traditions; instead, they take pride in them. The people are also questioning these leaders on matters of governance, delivery, and policies. In their frantic attempts to divert public attention from their continuous failures, these leaders resort to making hateful statements.

You have not taken a day off in the last 10 years and more. Please take us through a day-in-the-life of Modiji? Your favourite food, especially South Indian cuisine?

In the last 10 years, the work we have done is just the trailer of what is to come. I genuinely feel that there's so much more to do, and I don't want to spend even a single moment of my life not devoted to serving the nation. I consider myself to be working for my family of 1.4 billion Indians. This emotional connection with them continues to drive me every day.

I spent many years in spiritual pursuit during my younger years. Since then, I've maintained the habit of waking up during Brahma Muhurat. I start my day early, dedicating time to yoga and exercise. Afterward, I catch up on the day’s news and happenings. I also take time to call friends, karyakartas, and acquaintances, and return phone calls. My official engagements begin at 9 AM and often extend late into the night. My day is filled with meetings, presentations, and events. I normally like simple food and don’t have strong likes or dislikes when it comes to food.

Source: Mathrubhumi