Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday called for launching a mega campaign, “Sankalp se Siddhi”, to mark the 70th anniversary of India’s freedom, resolving to free the country of corruption, communalism, casteism, terrorism, filth and poverty. Giving yet another indication that he has set his eyes beyond 2019, Modi said that like the five years between 1942, when the Quit India Movement began, and 1947, when India got freedom, became the decisive period in the history of the nation, he could see another five-year period, from 2017 to 2022, as crucial to solving the major problems of India.
Speaking on his monthly radio address, Mann Ki Baat, the PM also expressed satisfaction over the progress of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime, a month after it came into force. GST, Modi said, is not just tax reform, but a new economic order and a campaign for social reformation. The PM referred to the recent floods in Assam, Gujarat, West Bengal and Rajasthan, and said extensive relief was being provided to the flood-hit states, and crop insurance companies had been asked to be proactive in settling claims of affected farmers.
“We should celebrate 15th August 2017 as Sankalp Parva or the Day of Resolve, and in 2022 marking 75 years of Freedom. We must make 2017 our Year of Resolve. In this month of August, we have to come together and resolve: Filth, Quit India; Poverty, Quit India; Corruption, Quit India; Terrorism, Quit India; Casteism, Quit India; Communalism, Quit India! Let us launch a mega campaign, Sankalp se Siddhi — Attainment through Resolve — from the 9th of August for a new India,” the Prime Minister said. He exhorted citizens to use all kinds of fora to undertake this task, including over online platforms.
The PM also sought ideas from the people to incorporate in his Independence Day speech. He said he had heard “complaints” that his previous Independence Day addresses were too long, and that he would try to keep the upcoming address short. India’s festivals were instruments of societal improvement, which have a direct relationship with the economic conditions of the poor, the PM said, and urged people to use items made by poor people during the upcoming festivals of Raksha Bandhan, Janamashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi and Diwali.
On GST, the PM said that just one month on, its “benefits can be seen already”. He said he feels very happy and satisfied when a poor person writes to say how, because of GST, prices of various essential items have come down. “The customer’s trust in traders is increasing. Indeed, it has produced a big positive effect on our economy in a very short time span. The speed at which the smooth transition has taken place, along with rapid migration and new registrations, has instilled a new sense of confidence in the entire country,” he said.
On the devastating flood scenario in some states, he said that it is being fully monitored and several agencies like the Army, the IAF, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and paramilitary forces are engaged in rescue and relief operations. He also said that since the India Metereological Department’s weather prediction nowadays is almost perfect, people should develop the habit of carrying out their tasks according to the predictions, so as to avoid losses.
The PM also talked about the Women’s Cricket World Cup. When Indian players are not successful, they face public anger, but “it is for the first time that even when our daughters could not be successful in the World Cup, the 125 crore people of the country carried that defeat on their shoulders. They did not let that burden rest on these daughters.”