NEW DELHI: As his government completes one year of its second term, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter to the people of the country listed out several initiatives, achievements and big decisions taken by his government, while expressing confidence of victory in the country’s battle against coronavirus.
Prime Minister Modi was sworn-in for a second successive term on May 30 last year after leading BJP-led NDA to a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The Prime Minister termed the day as “golden chapter” in the history of Indian democracy, pointing out that it was after several decades that the people of the country voted back a full-term government with a full majority.
“Once again, I bow to the 130 crore people of India and the democratic ethos of our nation. During normal times, I would have been in your midst. However, the present circumstances do not permit that. That is why I seek your blessings through this letter,” said Prime Minister Modi.
He said that people’s affection, goodwill and active cooperation have given new energy and inspiration. “The way you have showcased the collective strength of democracy is a guiding light for the whole world.”
The Prime Minister also emphasised on his government’s anti-corruption credentials, saying that over the last five years, the nation saw “how the administrative apparatus broke itself free of status quo and from the swamp of corruption as well as misgovernance”. True to the spirit of ‘Antyodaya’ the lives of millions have been transformed, he said.
Listing out several flagship schemes of his government, Prime Minister Modi said, “From 2014 to 2019, India’s stature rose significantly. The dignity of the poor was enhanced. The nation achieved financial inclusion, free gas and electricity connections, total sanitation coverage, and made progress towards ensuring ‘Housing for All.'”
He mentioned about the surgical strike on terror launch pads across the LoC and airstrike on a terror camp carried out by the Indian armed forces in response to the terror attacks by Pakistan-sponsored terrorists.
“India demonstrated its mettle through the surgical strike and airstrike. At the same time, decades-old demands such as OROP, One Nation One Tax- GST, better MSP for farmers were fulfilled,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that the re-election of his government was not just for continuity but also with a dream of taking India to new heights.
“In 2019, the people of India voted not merely for continuity but also with a dream of taking India to new heights. A dream of making India a global leader. The decisions taken in the last one year are directed at fulfilling this dream,” he said.
Referring to his slogan of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ (together with all, development for all, trust of all), the Prime Minister said, “Today, 130 crore people feel involved and integrated with the development trajectory of the nation. The light of ‘Jan Shakti’ and ‘Rashtra Shakti’ has ignited the entire nation. Powered by the mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’, India is marching forward in all spheres.”
He said that in the last one year, some of the decisions were widely discussed and “remain etched in public discourse” and referred to abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the Ayodhya verdict by Supreme Court and Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
“Article 370 furthered the spirit of national unity and integration. The Ram Mandir judgment, delivered unanimously by the Supreme Court of India, brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries. The barbaric practice of triple talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history.
Amendment to the Citizenship Act was an expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness,” said Prime Minister Modi while adding that there have been “many other decisions that have added momentum to the nation’s development trajectory.”
Listing reforms in the area of defence, Prime Minister Modi noted the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) improved coordination among the armed forces. “At the same time, India has stepped up preparations for Mission Gaganyaan,” he said.
Referring to PM Kisan Samman Nidhi, he said that more than Rs 72,000 crore has been deposited in accounts of over 9.50 crore farmers in just one year.
He also said the Jal Jeevan Mission will ensure supply of potable water through piped connections to over 15 crore rural households and a huge campaign of free vaccination is being conducted for better health of 50 crore livestock.
The Prime Minister said that for the first time in the country’s history, farmers, farm labourers, small shopkeepers and workers in the unorganised sector have been assured the provision of regular monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after the age of 60 years.
He referred to a separate department created for fishermen and said it has been decided to constitute a Vyapari Kalyan Board for timely resolution of the problems of the traders.
“Higher quantum of financial assistance is being provided to more than seven crore women attached to self-help groups. Recently, the loans without guarantee for self-help groups has been doubled to 20 lakh from the earlier 10 lakh. Keeping in mind the education of tribal children, we have begun the construction of more than 400 new Ekalavya Model Residential Schools,” he said.
The Prime Minister asserted that several “people-friendly laws” have been ushered in during the last year. “Our Parliament has broken the decades-old record in terms of productivity. As a result, whether it be the Consumer Protection Act, the amendment to Chit Fund Law or laws to provide more protection to women, children and Divyang, their passage in the Parliament was expedited.”
Noting that the rural-urban gap is shrinking as a result of the policies and decisions of the government, he said that for the first time the number of rural Indians using the internet is 10 per cent more than the number of urban Indians.
“The list of such historic actions and decisions taken in the national interest would be too long to detail in this letter. But I must say that every day of this year, my government has worked round the clock with full vigour, taking and implementing these decisions,” Prime Minister Modi said.
He said while the government was moving ahead at a fast pace for fulfilling hopes and aspirations of people, the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the country as well.
“While on one hand, are powers with great economic resources and state-of-the-art healthcare systems, on the other hand, is our country besieged with problems amidst a vast population and limited resources,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi said that many feared that India will become a problem for the world when coronavirus hits India.
“But today, through sheer confidence and resilience, you have transformed the way the world looks at us. You have proven that the collective strength and potential of Indians is unparalleled compared even to the powerful and prosperous countries of the world,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi also expressed his appreciation on how people responded to his appeal for Janta Curfew and clapping and lighting a lamp to honour corona warriors.
“Be it clapping and lighting a lamp to the honouring of corona warriors by India’s armed forces, Janta Curfew or by faithful adherence to rules during the nationwide lockdown, on every occasion you have shown that Ek Bharat is the guarantee for Shrestha Bharat,” he said.
The Prime Minister also referred to the suffering of labourers, migrant workers during the crisis and said his government is working in a determined way to alleviate their troubles.
“In a crisis of this magnitude, it can certainly not be claimed that no one suffered any inconvenience or discomfort. Our labourers, migrant workers, artisans and craftsmen in small scale industries, hawkers and such fellow countrymen have undergone tremendous suffering. We are working in a united and determined way to alleviate their troubles,” he said.
Stressing on the need to follow rules and guidelines, Prime Minister Modi said, “We have to take care to ensure that inconveniences that we are facing do not turn into disasters.”
“We have displayed patience so far and we should continue to do so. This is one of the important reasons for India being safer and in a better state than many other countries. This is a long battle but we have started traversing on the path of victory, and victory is our collective resolve,” he said.
The Prime Minister also lauded the “resilience” shown by people of West Bengal and Odisha during cyclone Amphan.
“In the last few days, a super cyclone has wreaked havoc in parts of West Bengal and Odisha. Here too, the resilience of the people of these states is noteworthy. Their courage inspires the people of India,” he said.
The Prime Minister also expressed confidence that India will set an example in economic revival.
“At such a time, there is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including India’s will recover. However, given the way India has surprised the world with its unity and resolve in the fight against coronavirus, there is a firm belief that we will also set an example in an economic revival,” he said. “In the economic domain, through their strength, 130 crore Indians can not only surprise the world but also inspire it.”
Prime Minister Modi emphasised that India will have to become “self-reliant” and that the recent package of Rs 20 lakh crore, which was announced by him earlier this month, is a major step in this direction.
“It is the need of the hour that we must become self-reliant. We have to move forward based on our own abilities, in our own way, and there is only one way to do it — Aatmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India. The recent Rs 20 lakh crore package given for Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan is a major step in this direction. This initiative will usher in a new era of opportunities for every Indian, be it our farmers, workers, small entrepreneurs or youth associated with startups,” he said.
“The fragrance of Indian soil along with the sweat, hard work and talent of our workers will create products that will reduce India’s dependence on imports and will move towards self-reliance,” added Prime Minister Modi.
Noting that the country is facing many challenges, he said that the present and future of 130 crore people will never be dictated by adversity.
“In this journey of the last six years, you have continuously showered me with love and blessings. It is the strength of your blessings that has made the nation take historic decisions and progress rapidly in the last one year. However, I am also aware that there is a lot that needs to be done. There are many challenges and problems that our country faces. I am working day and night. There could be deficiencies in me but there is nothing that our country lacks. So, I believe in you, your strength and your abilities even more than I believe in myself,” he said.
“Due to the global pandemic, this is certainly a time of crisis but for us Indians, this is also a time for a firm resolve. We must always remember that the present and future of 130 crore will never be dictated by adversity. We will decide on our present and our future. We will move ahead on the path of progress and victory will be ours,” he said.
He cited a Sanskrit verse which means “if we have action and duty on one hand, then success is assured on the other hand”.
“With prayers for our country’s success, I bow to you once again. My heartiest wishes to you and your family. Stay healthy, stay safe. Stay aware, stay informed,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi signed off the letter describing himself as “your Pradhan Sevak”.