On a day when Lok Sabha MPs took a pledge to create an inclusive and prosperous India to fulfil the dreams of freedom fighters by 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for special initiatives to end the ills of corruption, poverty and illiteracy, and urged leaders of all parties to awaken “a sense of responsibility and duty” among people. Addressing Lok Sabha on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement, Modi described corruption, poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition as India’s greatest challenges and said a common resolve is needed for this. “In 1942, the clarion call was Karenge ya marenge (Do or die) — today it is Karenge aur kar ke rahenge. The next five years should also be about sankalp se siddhi, a resolve which will lead us to accomplishment,” he said. While raising the issue of mob violence, Modi cited the example of mobs attacking doctors and drivers getting attacked. “Small issues lead to violent incidents,” he said.
He expressed concern over a growing sense of entitlement and a trend of forgetting one’s sense of duty and the rule of law. “One does not feel bad or guilty for crossing a red light, nor does he feel that he has broken the law,” Modi said. The PM stressed the need to create the same spirit that existed between 1942 and 1947 in the coming years when India turns 75. “The menace of corruption has adversely impacted our development journey… Poverty, lack of education & malnutrition — these are big challenges our nation faces. We need to bring a positive change in this regard.” He added: “Let us pledge to free India of poverty, dirt, corruption, terrorism, casteism, communalism & create a new India of our dreams by 2022… Let us work shoulder to shoulder to create the India that our freedom fighters would be proud of.”
India’s freedom from colonial rule was not only about India, but a defining moment in ending colonialism in other parts of the world too, the Prime Minister said. He said from 1857 to 1942, the move towards freedom was incremental, but the years from 1942 to 1947 were transformative and delivered on the objective. “In 1942, conditions internationally became favourable for India to get Independence. Today again, the global conditions are favourable for India,” he said. He urged MPs to rise above differences to create an India of freedom fighters’ dreams in the next five years, from 2017 to 2022.
With MPs from various parties expressing their views on the occasion, Speaker Sumitra Mahajan read out the resolution passed by Lok Sabha: “Today, in the 75th year of the Quit India movement, we pledge to form a powerful, prosperous, clean, glorious India which is corruption-free, has good administration, is advanced in science and technology and committed to everyone’s development. We will be dedicated to manifest the concept of a country full of harmony and nationalism, committed to protecting the values of democracy. The representatives of 125 crore Indians pledge we will take along the people and fulfil our duty so that in the next five years, we will create the India of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters.” Earlier, initiating the special discussion, Mahajan said Gandhi had said the poorest sections of society should be the priority when it comes to issues of development. She said the statement was reiterated by Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay by saying that development should reach the last man.