- PM was delivering keynote address at 'Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav se Swarnim Bharat Ke Ore'
- He also spoke about efforts being made to tarnish India's image
- PM also asked organisations like Brahma Kumaris to work to present the right picture of India abroad
Asserting that an India whose thinking and approach are innovative and decisions progressive is emerging, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that a system is being created in which there is no place for any discrimination. Delivering the keynote address at the national launch ceremony of 'Azadi Ke Amrit Mahotsav se Swarnim Bharat Ke Ore' virtually, Modi noted that one's progress is aligned with the nation's progress and stressed the need for giving importance to one's duties for the country's rise.
He also spoke about efforts being made to tarnish India's image, including at the international level, and said there was a need to counter them and present a proper picture of the country. Emphasising on duties, he said, "We also have to admit that in the 75 years after Independence, a malaise has afflicted our society, our nation and us all. The malaise is that we turned away from our duties and did not give them primacy."
Launching year-long initiatives dedicated to Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav by the Brahma Kumaris, which include more than 30 campaigns and over 15,000 programmes and events, he said people only talked of their rights all these years and fought for them. Speaking of rights may be right to some extent in certain circumstances but forgetting one's duties completely has played a huge role in keeping India weak, Modi said and called for everyone to work together to discharge their duties that will remove social ills and also take India to new heights. "All of us have to light a lamp in the heart of every citizen of the country - the lamp of duty. Together, we will take the country forward on the path of duty, then the evils prevailing in the society will be removed and the country will reach new heights," the prime minister said.
He also asked organisations like Brahma Kumaris, which have an international presence, to work to present the right picture of India abroad and dispel rumours being spread about it. "You all have been witness to various efforts being made to malign India's image. A lot of it goes on at the international level too. We cannot wash our hands of by saying this is all politics. This is not about politics but about our country," the prime minister said.
In his speech, Modi said a society is being built that stands firmly on the foundation of equality and social justice.
The coming 25 years, a reference to the run up to the centenary year of India's Independence in 2047, are of hard work, sacrifice, austerity and penance, he said, adding that people have to reclaim in this period what our society has lost in "hundreds of years of slavery". "Amrit Kaal is not for dreaming while sleeping, but for deliberate fulfilling of our resolutions. The coming 25 years are the period of utmost hard work, sacrifice, and ‘tapasya’. This period of 25 years is for getting back what our society has lost in hundreds of years of slavery, ” he said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, Rajasthan Governor Kalraj Mishra, chief ministers of Rajasthan and Gujarat Ashok Gehlot and Bhupendra Patel respectively and Union Ministers G Kishan Reddy, Bhupender Yadav, Arjun Ram Meghwal, Parshottam Rupala and Kailash Choudhary also joined the ceremony virtually. Brahma Kumaris is a worldwide spiritual movement dedicated to personal transformation and world renewal.
Founded in India in 1937, the Brahma Kumari movement has spread to over 130 countries. The event was held on the occasion of the 53rd ascension anniversary of Pitashree Prajapita Brahma, founding father of the Brahma Kumaris movement. In his address, Modi also mentioned about the Indian tradition of venerating and giving importance to women and said, "When the world was in deep darkness and caught in the old thinking about women, India used to worship women as Maatri Shakti and Goddess."
He listed developments like entry of women in the armed forces, more maternity leaves for working women and better political participation in the form of more voting and representation in the Council of Ministers as a mark of new confidence among women. This movement is society-led and the gender ratio has improved in the country, he said. He urged people to keep India's culture and values alive and to preserve and promote its spirituality and its diversity. At the same time, he emphasised the need to continuously modernise the systems of technology, infrastructure, education and health.