Lashing out at Pakistan for glorifying terrorists, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that the country will not bow before terrorism even as he said people of Baluchistan and PoK have thanked him for raising issue of atrocities against them.
In a 90-minute address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi made no reference to the situation in Kashmir which has been rocked by violence after the killing of Hizbul Commander Burhan Wani, but accused Pakistan of glorifying terrorists and celebrating killings in India. This was an obvious reference to Wani who has been hailed as a martyr by Pakistan, which was not directly named by him.
Attired in his trademark half sleeves kurta and sporting a Rajasthani turban, Modi, on the occasion of the 70th Independence Day, he asked the youth of the country to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream.
He said that they have not achieved anything by taking the path of terror and extremism.
The Prime Minister asked the international community to judge the behaviour of India and Pakistan in the context of terror attacks in each other's country.
"When children were killed in terror attack on a school in Peshawar (about two years back), there were tears in our Parliament. Indian children were traumatised. This is the example of our humanity. But look at the other side where terrorism is glorified," Modi said.
Clearly referring to the eulogising of Burhan Wani in Pakistan, he questioned what kind of policy is the one which celebrates a terrorist.
Modi, who during his speech at an all-party meeting on Kashmir on Friday last had slammed Pakistan for carrying out atrocities against people of Baluchistan and PoK, said people hailing from those areas have thanked him a lot since then and he is grateful to them.
The Prime Minister, who has spoken out against atrocities on dalits in the recent days, said a strong country cannot be built without a strong society which is based on social justice.
He asserted that a "tough and sensitive" approach is required to tackle the age-old social evils including castism or untouchability.
"What lord Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, saint Ramanajucharya, B R Ambedkar, all our holy scriptures saints and teachers have stressed is social unity. When society breaks, the empire disintegrates. When a society is divided into touchables and untouchables; upper and lower (castes), then such a society cannot last," he said.
Presenting his government's work particularly in boosting economic growth, ease of doing business and welfare schemes for the poor and farmers, the PM said that he tries to adopt the strategy of "reform, perform and transform" while avoiding populism and asserted that march from self-governance to good-governance is a resolve of entire nation which will need sacrifices.
Hitting out at the UPA government, he said the previous dispensation was shrouded in allegations while his government was surrounded by expectations.
The Prime Minister also gave details of various initiatives undertaken by his government to promote ease of doing business, tackle corruption, provide good healthcare to poor people and benefits to farmers.
During his address, the Prime Minister also made two announcements - an increase of 20 per cent in the pension of freedom fighters and that medical costs of up to Rs 1 lakh for BPL families will be borne by the government.
With PTI Inputs