Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day bilateral visit to Myanmar, justified decisions like demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax (GST) terming them as ‘tough’ while addressing the Indian diaspora in Yangon on Wednesday. “We never shy away from taking big and tough actions for the benefit of India because we consider the country bigger than politics,” said the Prime Minister.
Talking about the note ban exercise, that has come under fire ever since its implementation, PM Modi said the step was taken to curb corruption in the country. “To deal with corruption, we banned currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 denomination. A handful of corrupt people were making 125 crore people pay for their misdeeds. This was not acceptable to us. There used to be no clue as to from where black money was coming and where it was going,” he said during his 35-minute address.
He also said that his government plans to develop a new India before the country turns 75. “We are not merely reforming India, we are transforming India. We are not merely changing India. We are developing a new India,” said PM Modi. Elaborating on his vision of New India, he added, “An India free from poverty, terrorism, corruption, communalism, casteism is being created.” He also added that the scale of investment that is happening in railways, transport and technology has never happened before.
He also invited the overseas community to participate in this transformation. Congratulating them for carrying Indian traditions across the globe, he said, “On June 21, International Yoga day is celebrated across the globe and India is synonymous with it. This global recognition of yoga is possible only because of you.” Appreciating External Minister Sushma Swaraj, he said she is very active and is sensitive to the concerns of every Indian in any part of the world. “She is always ready to help on Twitter. Indian Embassy doors are always open for you,” said PM Modi.
Talking about the rich history of India-Myanmar ties, he added, “I read somewhere five Bs are base of India-Myanmar relations – Buddhism, Business, Bollywood, Bharatnatyam and Burma teak. But, I think most important ‘B’ is missing here and that ‘B’ is ‘Bharosa’. India Myanmar are not only connected by border but also feelings.”
PM Modi’s first bilateral visit to Myanmar comes at a time when the Myanmarese government is facing flak for not being able to control the violence against Rohingya Muslims. While the International community has called out Aung San Suu Kyi for the army’s response with refugees, Myanmar’s State Counsellor said sympathy for the Rohingya was being generated by “a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists.”