Atalji was a true patriot : PM

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in his radio programme Mann Ki Baat addressed the nation on August 26. In the addressed he mentioned briefly the productive of monsoon session of Parliament, importance of Sanskrit persona of Atalji etc. Here we are giving highlights of the address for our esteemed readers:

You will be astonished to know that Sanskrit is a language that possesses the capacity for infinite word formation with two thousand verb roots, 200 suffixes & 22 prefixes; coupled with compounds, the possibility of word-creation is limitless. And that is why the minutest nuance of an expression or subject can be accurately described. This has been the core speciality of Sanskrit. Today, at times, in order to communicate more assertively, we tend to make use of English Quotations or even sher-o-shayari-urdu poetry. But those who are well acquainted with Sanskrit Subhashitas – epigrammatic verses, know very well that it is possible to make a crisp, precise statement, using very few words through the usage of subhashitas. And since there is a sense of geographical &cultural belonging, they are easy to understand & assimilate.

Disasters, unfortunately leave behind a trail of destruction. But one gets to witness facets of humanity, humaneness during disasters. From Kutch to Kamrup, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, everyone is endeavoring to contribute in some way or the other so that wherever a disaster strikes, be it Kerala or any other part of India, human life returns to normalcy. Irrespective of age group or area of work, people are contributing. Everyone is trying to ensure speedy mitigation of the sufferings people in Kerala are going through, in fact sharing their pain. We know that jawans of our armed forces are the vanguards of rescue & relief operations in Kerala. They have left no stone unturned as saviors of those trapped in the floods. The Air Force, Navy, Army, BSF, CISF, RAF, every agency has played an exemplary role in the rescue & relief operations.

I would like to specially mention the arduous endeavors of the NDRF daredevils. At this moment of hardship&agony, their service stands out as a shining example. The capability, commitment & controlling situation through rapid decisions of the NDRF have made them a cynosure of every Indian’s eye, worthy of respect & admiration. Yesterday was the festival of Onam. We pray for Onam to provide strength to the country, especially Kerala so that it returns to normalcy on a newer journey of development. Once again on behalf of all Indians, I would like to re assure each & everyone in Kerala and other affected places that at this moment of calamity, the entire country stands by them.

I was looking into the suggestions received for “Mann Ki Baat”. The subject about which most of the people from across the country have written is “Our revered AtalBehari Vajpayee”. …As soon as the people in our country and abroad heard of the demise of Atalji on 16th August, everyone drowned in sadness. He was a leader who gave up his position as Prime Minister fourteen years ago. In a way, he was cut-off from active politics for the last 10 years. He was neither seen in the news nor in public life. Ten years is a huge gap but on 16th August our country and the whole world witnessed that there was not a gap of even a single moment in the commonman’s heart. The wave of love and faith that spread across the nation is an indicator of his great personality.

During these last days, many great aspects of Atalji came up to the fore. People remembered him as the best member of Parliament, sensitive writer, best orator and most popular Prime Minister and will continue to remember him. The country will ever remain grateful to Atalji for bringing good governance in the main stream. But, I just want to touch upon one more facet of Atalji’s legendary personality and that is the political culture which Atalji gave to India, his efforts in the direction of bringing about the changes in our political culture, his efforts to mould it into an organized framework and which proved very beneficial for India and a bigger benefit will accrue in days to come. This is certain. India will remain ever grateful to Atalji for bringing the 91st Amendment Act, 2003. This change brought about two important changes in India’s politics. First one is that the size of the cabinet in states was restricted to 15% of the total seats in the state Assembly. And the second one is that the limit under the Anti Defection Law was enhanced from one-thirds to two-thirds. Besides, clear guidelines were defined to disqualify the defector.

For many years in India, the political culture of forming a very large cabinet was being misused to constitute jumbo cabinets not only to create a divide but also to appease political leaders. Atalji changed it. This effort of his resulted in saving of money as well as of resources. This also helped in improving efficiency. It could only be a visionary like Atalji who brought in this transformation and as a result of this, healthy traditions blossomed in our polity.

Atalji was a true patriot. It was during his tenure that the timing of presenting the budget was changed. Earlier, as was the British tradition, the Budget used to be presented at 5 pm because in London, Parliament used to start working at that time. In the year 2001, Atalji changed the time of presenting the budget from 5 pm to 11 am. One more freedom-the Indian Flag Code was framed in Atalji’s tenure and it came into effect in 2002. A number of such rules have been included in this code which made it possible to unfurl the tricolor in public places. This provided a chance to more and more of our countrymen to unfurl our national flag. Thus, he brought our beloved tricolor closer to the commonman.

You must have noticed how Atalji took bold steps to bring about fundamental reforms, whether in our election process or about the shortcomings concerning the people’s representatives. Similarly, you can see that presently efforts are afoot and discussions are being held about simultaneously holding the elections for Lok Sabha and for state assemblies. The Government and the opposition – both are putting forth their view points. This is a good development and a healthy sign for our democracy. I must say that developing healthy traditions for a sound democracy, making constant efforts to strengthen democracy, encouraging open-minded debates would also be aappropriate tribute to Atalji. Reiterating our resolve to fulfill his dream of a prosperous and developed India, I along with all of you pay tributes to Atalji.

The monsoon session of Parliament ended just a few days back. You will be glad to know that the productivity of Lok Sabha remained 118 percent and that of Rajya Sabha was 74 percent. All the members rose above party interests to make the Monsoon session most productive and this is why Lok Sabha passed 21 bills and in Rajya Sabha fourteen bills were passed. This Monsoon session of Parliament will always be remembered as a session for social justice and youth welfare. A number of important bills beneficial to the youth and the backward classes were passed during this session. As you know, a demand to constitute an OBC Commission similar to SC/ST commission was long pending for decades. The country fulfilled its resolve this time to make an OBC Commission and also granted it Constitutional powers. This step will prove to be the one to move forward our march towards achieving the goal of social justice. An amendment bill to secure the rights of scheduled castes and scheduled tribes also were passed in this session. This Act will give more security to the interests of SC and ST communities. This will also forbid criminals from indulging in atrocities and will instill confidence among the dalit communities.

No civil society can tolerate any kind of injustice towards the woman-power of the country. The nation will not tolerate those committing rapes. With this point in view Parliament has made a provision of strictest punishment by passing the Criminal Act Amendment Bill. Those guilty of rape will get a minimum sentence of ten years and those found guilty of raping girls below the age of 12 years will be awarded the death sentence. The Triple Talaq Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha although it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha, I assure the Muslim women that the whole country stands by them to provide them social justice.