Inclusion is key theme of Narendra Modi’s first Lok Sabha speech

Modi said that he did not consider “focused activity” for the welfare of Muslims as 'appeasement'.

Written by Ravish Tiwari | New Delhi | Updated: June 12, 2014 7:57 am
The allegations are part of the IB’s report, dated June 3, submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office. The allegations are part of the IB’s report, dated June 3, submitted to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Signalling that the rancour of his high-voltage election campaign was in the past, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, in his first speech in the newly constituted Lok Sabha underlined the need to reach out to all groups in and outside the House to move forward.

In one illustration of this, he said that he did not consider “focused activity” for the welfare of Muslims as “appeasement” and advocated the need for the welfare of “all sections.” Today, he identified Muslim backwardness. “Even the third generation of Muslim brothers, whom I have seen since my young days, are continuing with their cycle repairing job. Why does such misfortune continue? We will have to undertake focus activity to bring about change in their lives. We will have to bring such programmes. I do not view such programmes within the prism of appeasement. I see them to bring about a change in their lives. No body can be called healthy if one of its organs is disabled. All organs of the human body needed to be fit in order for a person to be healthy. Similarly, all sections (organs) of the society need to empowered,” Modi said.

This is a significant change in his earlier remarks on the subject where he has said that poverty was the common enemy of both Hindu and Muslim and that he never saw religion in his “India First” view of secularism. Replying to the motion of thanks on President’s speech, Modi assured the country that he would govern with a spirit of collectivity with political rivals and state governments and said that aspiration for development should be tapped into a “mass movement.”

To critics of his “Gujarat model,” he said that this was, effectively, a model that provides for regional variations and “cooperative federalism” rather than a top-down imposition.

“We are not going to adopt a ‘big brother’ attitude that looks down upon you (states) and behaves as if we (Centre) are offering crumbs…We collectively want to take the country forward. That is why we talk about cooperative federalism,” Modi said assuring the regional parties ruling different states across the country to allay their apprehensions. He, however, said that he welcomed competition for development among states.

The Prime Minister sought to set the record straight over the impression that he brooks no dissent saying that he would welcome criticism, if not allegations, as it was the essence of democracy. In fact, he started his speech acknowledging the criticism made by opposition members during the course of discussion on the motion of thanks on the President’s speech.

“I heard (Congress leader) Mallikarjun Kharge, (SP leader) Mulayam Singh Yadav, (AIADMK leader) Thambidurai, (BJD leader) Bhartruhari. Their was one common theme that several promises have been made and they wanted to know how and by what time will they be done. It was natural for them and other MPs to ask how and when we will be able to fulfil it. There was a tinge of expectation in them. This is a good sign for the future of the country,” Modi said.

“In a democracy, criticisms are for betterment, and they should happen. Allegations are bad but criticism is never bad. We are ready for all criticism as criticism is the essence of democracy,” Modi said. “Matdan se pehle hum ummeedwar the, matdan ke baad hum ummeedon ke rakhwale hain. Hum ummeedon ke doot hain. Sawa sau crore deshwasiyon ke ummeedon ko pura karne ka hum prayas karein ,” Modi said. (During the campaign, we were candidates, now we are the protectors of aspirations).

He praised the development claims made by AIADMK leader Jayalalithaa ruled Tamil Nadu, TMC chief Mamata Banerjee’s efforts in West Bengal and government experience of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, whose party rules UP.

Calling for skill upgradation in the country to reap the demographic dividend, he resolved to provide universal sanitation coverage by 2019 while asking political leaders and state governments to chip in with their effort to provide pucca houses for all Indians by 2022. Referring to the “rurban” idea mentioned in President’s speech, Prime Minister expressed the commitment to provide “urban amenities in rural areas to ensure a situation where ‘suvidhaa shahar ki, aatma gaon ki’” can be achieved.

Referring to the elections as a reflection of the country’s awesome democratic strength — given the numbers involved — Modi said that there was a need to project this “democratic power on the world stage”.

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First Published on: June 11, 2014 9:40 pm
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    Sunil
    Jun 11, 2014 at 7:59 pm
    Railways is the lifeline of India, very crucial for development. The major routes like the Mumbai-Chennai route, the Mumbai-Hyderabad route , the Mumbai-Bangalore route, the Bangalore-New Delhi route must be fully double lined and fully Electrified.
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      Varun Lohiar
      Jun 12, 2014 at 10:21 am
      RaGa is silent. I think he knows, Narendra Modi needs help in building and maintaining a cohesive India where no Indian has to live in fear of the other, and he should perhaps show humility by expressing regret over what happened under his watch in 2002.
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        EducatedIndian
        Jun 12, 2014 at 6:24 pm
        I agree. Well said.
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          Girish
          Jun 11, 2014 at 6:38 pm
          why do i get the impression that just like obama, modi is focusing too much on his speeches? because, in the end, nobody will ever remember barry for bringing peace, even if he has the Nobel Peace prize. likewise, until he brings real progress, and is not limited to a speech machine phase, history won't recall narendra as the development man.
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            Indian
            Jun 12, 2014 at 6:48 am
            What mistake? growing a state like developed country is a mistake?Grow up man, and hope for the best. we have got a real deserving PM who'll take us to new height... Ameen...
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              Raj
              Jun 13, 2014 at 4:50 am
              Modi has a track record in Gujarat - he has delivered development. Totally unrealistic to expect miracles within a couple of weeks of taking office.
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                Vernaker Patil
                Jun 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm
                It is too early to judge Modi as a sincere Prime Minister.He has yet to act.Speeches must be translated in reality.Had he accepted his mistakes as a Chief Minister and promised to do better as a elected Prime Minister, his image as a statesman would have been quite appreciated.
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                  Anil
                  Jun 12, 2014 at 6:01 am
                  It become appeat only if it done by Congress
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                    Ravinder Nath Babbar
                    Jun 12, 2014 at 4:19 am
                    Mr Modi Ji , Please do consider one thing religion based Schemes are not to encourged , Please note that people voted for you not to see changed volte face, If these people could brind down congress dynasty , So it will BJP also
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                      shah
                      Jun 11, 2014 at 4:51 pm
                      It is increasingly becoming evident that he wants to deflect from everything he said earlier. Quite apparent that his inclusion means sucbing to and continuing everything Congress did except give it another name, package it differently. Just list down and you'll see
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                        Sick Of
                        Jun 11, 2014 at 6:02 pm
                        No signal of less government. No sign of less bureaucracy. The same rhetoric again - we''ll do it better. We'll better the lives of people. We'll provide pucca houses. Focus on a particular group is not appeat. We'll provide complete sanitation when no government can do these effectively. So much for comparison with Thatcher and Reagan. Disappointed (at least till now), to say the least.
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                          sunitas
                          Jun 15, 2014 at 5:14 pm
                          the point is a corruption free society which the congress would never have given us and delivering good schemes to make sure the people actually benefit rather than rob the treasury and fill in their own pockets. just changing or canceling everything done by a previous Govt makes little sense. However hope he gives no freebies but creates more jobs.
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                            Suren Singh
                            Jun 11, 2014 at 9:52 pm
                            Modiji your journey has begun with a clear conviction mandate vision and direction. The expectation and blessings of 1.3 billion of Indians ( not Hindus Muslims Christains and Sikhs). There will be disappointment and impediments but keep moving forward because you are the only beacon in the murky waters.
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                              Citizen
                              Jun 12, 2014 at 2:26 am
                              A flying start by a real leader whom nation has not seen in the recent past after Atalji Hope he would pursue all the issues in the same sprit taking all the players along with for the sake of nation and common man.Jaihind
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                                Citizen
                                Jun 11, 2014 at 7:08 pm
                                He is right but he has to get religion out of any welfare scheme and should be linked to family size as criteria to get those benefits from the government in education, health, housing etc then only the money spent on those schemes would get the desired results otherwise they would be a waste of tax payers money. Jaihind
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                                  vineeth
                                  Jun 12, 2014 at 4:58 am
                                  I don't know if Modi's speech was such or whether this is abysmal reporting, but i would like to hear the concrete actions taken and not high level vision.
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