Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the success of India’s democracy and its institutions is hurting some people and that is why they are attacking it, remarks that came amid the BJP’s intense attack on Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his criticism of the state of democracy in India.
Speaking at the India Today conclave, Modi said India has shown the world that democracy can deliver and also took a swipe at various opposition parties for rallying around over the action of different probe agencies against their leaders in cases of alleged corruption.
While scams running into lakhs of crores of rupees used to make the headlines earlier, now the coming together of the corrupt scared over the action in corruption cases makes news, he added.
The prime minister lauded the strength of the country’s various institutions which, he noted, have led to increasing participation of people in elections, successful conduct of many polls during the COVID-19, strong economy and banking system amid a global crisis, and the administration of more than 220 crore vaccine doses against the coronavirus.
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”Whatever India is achieving today, it is due to the power of our democracy, the power of our institutions,” he said.
”It seems to me that this success is hurting some people and that is why they are attacking our democracy and institutions,” he said.
When the country is full of confidence and resolve, and intellectuals of the world are optimistic about India, talk of pessimism, showing the country in poor light and hurting the morale of the country also takes place, he said.
”When something auspicious is happening, there is a tradition to apply ‘kaala tika’, so when so many auspicious things are happening, some people have taken the responsibility to apply this ‘kaala tika’,” Modi said, without naming anyone.
His remarks come amid a political slugfest over Rahul Gandhi’s remarks during his recent visit to the UK, with the BJP accusing him of maligning India on foreign soil and seeking foreign intervention.
The ruling party has said that some foreign powers want to destabilise India while targeting billionaire financier George Soros over his critical remarks about the Modi government recently.
Modi said he is confident that despite such attacks, the country will move forward with speed to meet its objectives. At a time when India’s role is becoming global, the Indian media should play a global role, he added.
”The world realises that India’s ideas and capabilities are for the global good. That is why the world is saying that this is India’s moment,” he said.
Bomb blasts triggered by terrorists in our cities and Naxal attacks in our villages used to make news earlier but now headlines are more about peace and prosperity, he said.
The media, Modi said in a lighter vein, got a lot of TRP by highlighting various scams earlier and it now has the chance to boost its TRP by showing the action against those involved in corruption.
”You should not come under any pressure and lose this opportunity by doing the balancing act,” he said.
The world is stating that this is India’s moment and this has been made possible because of the change of promise and performance in the country, Modi said.
The prime minister said all governments worked according to their abilities and got results accordingly, but his government wanted new results and worked on a different speed and scale.
”Today India is the fastest growing economy in the world, it is the number one in smartphone data consumers, it is the second biggest mobile manufacturer and has the third biggest startup ecosystem,” he said.
Leading economists, analysts and thinkers of the world are saying in one voice that it is India’s moment, the prime minister said.
Welfare schemes for the poor existed earlier too but people know what they achieved, he said, adding that his government transformed their efficiency, speed and scale. More than three crore houses have been given to the poor in the last nine years, he said, asserting that it has also led to the empowerment of poor women as they have got ownership titles jointly with men in most cases.
Our government has lent the human touch to governance and people now believe that it cares for them, he said.
Citing an international report, Modi said only 30 per cent of the global population have legally registered titles and added that to not have legal ownership of properties is a big hurdle in global growth.
”Many developed countries too are struggling with this problem. However, today’s India is leading in this field as well. In the last two-and-a-half years, PM Swamitva Yojana has deployed technology and mapped the land through drones. So far, drone survey of 2.34 lakh villages of the country has has been completed and 1.22 crore property cards have been distributed,” he said, calling it a silent revolution.
”We wanted new results and therefore we increased our speed and scale. We made more than 11 crore toilets with record speed. We connected 48 crore people with banking system,” he said, adding that the transfer of over Rs 2.5 lakh crore to over 11 crore farmers have benefited the small farmers the most. Asserting that this is ”India’s moment,” he said the period for the country in this decade is unprecedented.
He said the achievements of the first 75 days of 2023 are a reflection of this while highlighting a slew of development milestones during the year.
In around 75 days in this year so far, India received a ”green budget”, an airport was inaugurated in Karnataka, next phase of Mumbai metro was launched, the world’s longest river cruise was started in the country and Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway was launched, he said, citing various other development initiatives. He also cited the Oscar win for two Indian productions as he emphasised the point about India making rapid strides in different fields.
”We have given a human touch to governance. With schemes like Vibrant Village Programme, we have given priority to the villages that were considered low-priority villages,” he said and cited the development focus on the northeast region. He said the ”India Moment” being discussed around the world today is not ordinary, especially when the largest pandemic in a hundred years hit the world along with the ongoing war between two nations.
”A new history is being scripted and we are all witnessing it together,” he said.