Our dreams are even more than the innumerable stars : PM

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed to the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day. Addressing the nation he said that the campaign on Water conservation should not just remain a government initiative.he added, It should become a people’s movement like our Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan. Here, we are publishing highlights of the speech for our esteemed readers :

Today, when we are celebrating this auspicious day of Independence, I pay my respects to all those who gave up their lives, who spent their youth in prisons, who embraced the gallows, who instilled the spirit of non-violence through Satyagraha for the freedom of the country. The country gained independence under the leadership of Bapu. Similarly, in the years since independence numerous people have contributed for the peace, prosperity and security of the country. Today, I also salute the people who have contributed to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of the people, for the development, peace and prosperity of Independent India.

After the formation of the new government, I am humbled once again with the opportunity to interact with you. It has not even been 10 weeks since the formation of this new Government. But even in a short ten-week period, efforts have been made in all fields and in every direction, new dimensions have been added. People have entrusted us to serve them so that they can achieve their hopes, expectations and aspirations. We are dedicated to your service with complete devotion, without wasting even a single moment. To revoke Article 370 and 35A within 10 weeks is a significant step towards fulfilling the dream of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel.

In just ten weeks, we made big ticket decisions like bringing about a law against Triple Talaq to protect the rights of our Muslim women, making major amendments in laws to counter terrorism and to make it more stringent and powerful; transfer of approximately 90,000 crores of rupees to the bank accounts of farmers who are beneficiaries of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.

Water crisis is a big concern these days. It is being predicted that an impending water crisis is staring us in the face. Anticipating such a situation, we have announced the formation of a new dedicated Ministry of Jal Shakti where the Centre and States will together develop schemes and policies to address issues of water crisis.

You would have seen how our Muslim daughters and sisters used to live in fear with the sword of Triple Talaq dangling over their heads. Even if they were not victims of Triple Talaq, they were constantly haunted by the fear that they could be subjected to it anytime. Many Islamic countries abolished this evil practice long time back. But for some reason we were hesitant to give our Muslim mothers and sisters their due rights. If, we can abolish Sati Pratha, if we can enact laws to end female foeticide, if we can raise our voice against child marriage, if we can take strong steps against dowry system in this country, then why can’t we raise our voice against Triple Talaq?

We have taken this important decision in the spirit of India’s democracy and constitution, to respect the thinking of Baba Saheb Ambedkar so that our Muslim sisters get equal rights; so that new confidence is generated in them; so that they also become active participants in the India’s development journey. Such decisions are not for political gains. They guarantee a lasting protection to our mothers and sisters.

Similarly, I will give another example. What was the reason behind revocation of Article 370 and 35A? This is the hallmark of this government. We do not avoid problems, nor do we let them fester. There is no time to delay or neglect problems. The work that was not done in the last 70 years has been accomplished within 70 days after this new government came to power. The abrogation of Article 370 and 35A has been carried out in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha by two-thirds majority.

This means that everyone wanted this decision, but perhaps they were waiting for somebody to initiate the same and carry it forward. I have come to accomplish the task assigned to me by my countrymen. I work selflessly. We are moving forward with re-organization of Jammu and Kashmir. For 70 years every government made efforts to do something.

The system that prevailed over the past seventy years had aggravated separatism and given birth to terrorism. It had encouraged dynastic rule and in a way strengthened the foundations of corruption and discrimination. We have to make efforts so that the women of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh get their rights. We have to make efforts so that my dalit brothers and sisters living there, get the rights which they have been deprived of so far. The rights enjoyed by the tribal people of India must also be available to my tribal brothers and sisters of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh. There are several such communities, like Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddis, Sippies or Balties- all such communities must be empowered with political rights. It is surprising that in Jammu & Kashmir there were legal restrictions on Safai Karamchari brothers and sisters. Their dreams were trampled upon. Now, we have freed them from such shackles.

My dear countrymen, peace and prosperity of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh can be an inspiration for India. They can greatly contribute to India’s development. We need to make efforts to bring back their glorious past. The new system that has come into being after the recent step will create facilities that will directly benefit the people of the State. Now, anybody in Jammu and Kashmir, like the rest of Indians, can reach out to the Government in Delhi. There will be no hurdles in between. We have put in place such a system. Our recent action to strike down Article 370 and 35 A has been welcomed by the entire country and also by people from all political parties of the country, without exception. Some have openly supported us while others give their tacit support. But some in the corridors of power, in a bid to take mileage from vote-bank politics, have been talking in favour of Article 370. The country demands an answer from those speaking in favour of Article 370, that if Article 370 and 35-A were so important.

If Article 370 was so crucial then why did ruling parties not make it permanent in the last 70 years despite having a majority? Why was it kept temporary? If there was so much of conviction, you should have moved ahead and made it permanent. This means that you knew all along that the decision taken was not right. But you did not have the courage and the will to amend it. Concerns about political future kept coming up. For me, the country’s future is everything, political future has no meaning.

Our constitution makers and great personalities like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel took these bold and important decisions even during those difficult times, keeping the goals of national integration and political unification in mind. The exercise towards national integration was a successful one, but some difficulties have been faced because of Article 370 and 35A.

Through GST we have fulfilled the dream of ‘One Nation, One Tax.’ Similarly, we successfully achieved the dream of ‘One Nation, One Grid’ in the energy sector recently.

Why should poor people not have toilets, no electricity in the house, no house to live in, no water supply and no bank account. Why should they be compelled to go to the moneylender to take loans through mortgage? Come, let us make efforts to boost the self-respect, self-confidence and self-esteem of the poor.

I declare from the Red Fort today that in the days to come, we will take forward the ‘Jal-Jeevan’ Mission. The central and the state governments will jointly work on this ‘Jal-Jeevan’ Mission. We have promised to spend more than Rs. 3.5 lakh crores on this mission in the coming years. Work should be done on water conservation, irrigation, rain-water harvesting, seawater or waste water treatment, and ‘Per Drop, More Crop’ Micro Irrigation for the farmers. Water conservation campaigns should be launched, creating awareness in the common citizens about water, arousing their sensitivity so that they understand the importance of water; even the children should be taught about water conservation as part of their curriculum in their childhood.

This campaign on Water conservation should not just remain a government initiative. It should become a people’s movement like our Swacchh Bharat Abhiyan. We have to carry forward this movement with the help the common man’s ideals, aspirations and efforts.

We have done away with several unnecessary laws and rules which had been rendered redundant. In the last five years I have abolished, practically, one redundant law every day. Perhaps the common man is not aware of it, – abolishing one obsolete law each day means almost 1,450 laws have been done away with an aim to reduce the burden from the common man’s life. The (new) government has only completed ten weeks into office, and already (another) 60 laws have been repealed with an aim to bring about ‘Ease of Living’. ‘Ease of Living’ is imperative for an Independent India and we are committed to focus on ‘Ease of Living’ and want to take it ahead.

We have decided to invest 100 lakh crore rupees for modern infrastructure in this time period. This will generate employment; will develop new systems and various aspirations will be met. Be it Sagarmala Project or Bharat Mala Project, modern railway stations, bus stations or airports, be it modern hospitals or world class educational institutions, we want to develop the entire infrastructure. Now the country also requires seaports. The ordinary people have changed and we have to understand that.

Earlier, if a decision was taken on paper that a railway station was going to be constructed in a particular area, there used to be a positive feeling for years together that a new railway station would be available somewhere nearby. Times have changed now. The ordinary citizens are no longer satisfied with just a railway station. They will immediately ask, “When will Vande Bharat Express come to our area?” Their thinking has changed. If we construct a very good bus station or five star Railway station, the people will not say “well done”. They will forthwith ask, “When will the airport be ready”? That means their thinking has changed. The people who were happy with just getting a railway stoppage are now asking, “It is ok, but when is the airport going to open here?”

Earlier people used to ask, “When will a metaled road be constructed in our area?” Now people ask, “Will the road be of 4-lane or 6-lane one?” They are not satisfied to metaled roads any longer. I think this is a very significant change for aspiring India.
Earlier, even on seeing the electricity poles lying on the ground people used to be happy, thinking that the electricity had reached them even if the pole had not been erected. But now even after the installation of transmission wires and electric meters, people ask “When will we get 24-hour electric supply?”

Time demands that we live fight and move ahead in unison to fulfil these dreams. Keeping this in mind we have set a dream target of building a five trillion dollar economy. 130 crore countrymen can move together even with small contributions. The target of 5 trillion dollar economy may appear difficult to some people. They may not be wrong but if we don’t accomplish difficult tasks, how will the country moved ahead? If we don’t take up difficult challenges how will we develop a mind set to move forward? Psychologically also we must always aim high and that is what we have done. This is not just in the air. We had reached a 2 trillion dollar economy after 70 years of independence, after 70 years’ journey on the path of development we could achieve just a 2 trillion dollar economy. But within five years from 2014 to 2019 we reached a 3 trillion dollar economy i.e we added one trillion dollars. If we succeeded in taking such a big jump in just 5 years, then we can become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next five years. This must be a dream of every Indian.

Each district of our country has a potential equal to that of one country, each of our districts has the capacity equal to a small country in the world. We need to understand this power and channelize this potential. And why should each district not think of becoming an export hub? Each district has its own handicraft and each district has its unique specialities. If some district is known for its perfumes then some other district may have saris as its distinct identity whereas some other district is known for utensils and the other district is famous for its sweets. Each of our districts has a diverse identity and potential for global market.

The fundamentals of our economy are very strong. And this strength gives us confidence to move ahead. In the same way, by developing a system like GST, and bringing reforms like Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, we want to develop an environment of confidence. There should be increased production in our country, increased processing of our natural wealth, value addition, export of the value added products to the world.

We want that India should play a crucial role in the war against terrorism. India should unite all forces to expose those who give shelter to terrorists, those who encourage terrorism and those who export terrorism. Some terrorist organisations have not only targeted India, but are also damaging our neighbouring countries. Bangladesh and Afghanistan are also grappling with terrorist activities. In Sri Lanka, sadly, innocent people have been killed en-masse inside a church. This is such a heart wrenching event. Hence, we all have to unite and act proactively to bring security, peace and harmony in this sub-continent.

There indeed is coordination between our Navy, Army and Air Force. We can be proud of the arrangement of our armed forces. Any Hindustani can be proud of Indian Military. They also strive for modernity in their own way.

The subject experts on the issue have been demanding this for a long time. Today we have decided that we will now have a Chief of Defence Staff- CDS and after formation of this post all the three forces will get effective leadership at the top level. The CDS System is a very important and compelling task in our dream to reform the strategic pace of Hindustan in the world..

I had spoken about Swachhata in 2014 from this Red Fort. I am confident that within next few weeks of 2019 itself India will declare itself Open Defecation Free. States, Villages, Municipalities, Media, everyone has started Mass-Movement regarding ODF. The government was nowhere to be seen, people participated in the mass movement and the results are quite evident.

-My dear countrymen, I would like to put forward a small request to you. On this 2 October can we make India free from single- use plastic? Let us move around, form teams and move out from home, school, college.

-My dear countrymen, whether it is a five trillion economy dream or the dream of a self-reliant India, we are following the principles of Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi’s ideals are relevant even today. So we have to take forward our ‘Make in India’ mission. Shouldn’t made in India products be our priority? Let us decide whatever is produced and available in our country should be our priority. We have to give stress on local products for lucky tomorrow; we have to go for local for bright future. Whatever is produced in the village should be given priority.

It is time you decide that before 2022, when India will be celebrating the 75th Year of its Independence, we take our families to at least 15 tourist destinations in the country.

Should we not cut down the use of chemical fertilizer in our fields by 10% or 20% or 25% and if possible should we not launch a Muktikar Abhiyan (campaign)?. This would be a great service to the nation. This would be a great step in saving our Mother Earth. Your endeavour in saving our mother earth will also get blessings of those who dedicated their lives chanting Vande Mataram in order to fulfil the dream of achieving freedom for our motherland. Therefore I appeal to you as I am fully confident that my countrymen will definitely be able to achieve this. My farmers will fulfil this request of mine because I have full trust in them.

In the coming days about 1.5 lakh wellness centres and health centres will have to be set up in rural areas. Setting up one medical college for every three Lok Sabha constituencies will make us realize the dream of our youth becoming doctors. Houses for more than 2 crore poor people have to be built. We have to supply potable drinking water to 15 crore houses in rural areas, construct 1.25 lakh kms roads in rural areas. Each village has to be provided with Broad Band connectivity and connected with optical fibre network, also a network of more than 50000 new start-ups has to be raised. We need to move forward with so many dreams.

75 years of Independence, 150 years of Gandhi and 70 years of India’s Constitution has been completed for realising the dream of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. We are also celebrating 550th Parv of Guru Nanak Dev ji this year. Let us move ahead following the teachings of Baba Saheb Ambedker and Guru Nanak Dev ji as we have to build a better society and a better country as per the expectations of the whole world.
My dear brothers and sisters, we know that our targets are as high as the Himalayas, our dreams are even more than the innumerable stars. But we also know that even skies cannot check the flight of our courage.