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‘Inspired by Patel’: PM Modi dedicates decision on Article 370 to country’s first home minister

The PM said he dedicated the Centre's August 5 decision to scrap the controversial provision of the Constitution "at the feet of" independent India's first home minister.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
October 31, 2019 6:29:06 pm
national unity day, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel anniversary, modi, modi on Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, article 370, statue of unity Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas at Statue of Unity, Kevadia Colony, on Thursday. (Express photo/Bhupendra Rana)

Dedicating the abrogation of special status of Jammu & Kashmir to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on National Unity Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the provision under Article 370 only promoted “terrorism and separatism” and was therefore, necessary to be done away with.

“The new system in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh is not meant to draw a line on the land (to draw a boundary) but to build a strong link of trust,” the prime minister, who was attending a function at the Statue of Unity in Gujarat on the occasion of Patel’s 144th birth anniversary, said.

The PM said he dedicated the Centre’s August 5 decision to scrap the controversial provision of the Constitution “at the feet of” independent India’s first home minister.

“That wall was promoting separatism and terrorism. I am here today to humbly tell Sardar Patel that the wall has been demolished,” Modi said.

Inspired by Patel, the government is working for “emotional, economic and constitutional integration” of the country, without which it would be difficult to imagine a powerful India in the 21st century, he added.

On August 5, the state of Jammu and Kashmir was bifurcated into two Union Territories, which came into existence today.

The Prime Minister also took a swipe at Pakistan, saying those “who cannot win wars” against India are trying to destroy its unity.

He added that some elements are trying to destroy the unity in diversity of India by spreading separatism and terrorism, but even after “trying for centuries, nobody could annihilate us or defeat us”.

“Unity in diversity is our pride and our identity, the world is surprised by our unity despite so much diversity,” Modi said.

“The greatest challenge of the 21st century for our enemies is to destroy this unity in diversity,” he added.

In a veiled dig at Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister whom the ruling BJP often blames for the decades-old Kashmir issue, Modi said, “Patel had once said that had he handled the Kashmir issue, it would not have taken so long to resolve it.

“North-East is now moving from separatism to attachment as decades-old problems are nearing resolution,” he added, referring to the Centre’s initiatives to bring peace to the insurgency-affected region.

India is different from other countries. We celebrate diversity. We do not see any contradictions in diversity. We see unity in it, the Prime Minister said.

“When we respect traditions and beliefs of different sects and religions, love and attachment (among people) increase,” he added.

Modi also addressed young IAS officers at a separate function in Kevadiya called ‘Aarambh’ and asked them to work together for the nation, saying silos and hierarchy don’t help the system.

He called for working towards realing the vision of making India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2024-25.

“This course, Aarambh, is nation-centric and future-centric. It will usher a paradigm shift in administration, whereby people stop working on silos. Instead, people work together and in a comprehensive manner,” a tweet posted on Modi’s official twitter handle -PMO India – quoted him as saying at the event.

Modi said no bureaucratic posting should be seen as a punishment rather it should be treated as an opportunity.

“The presence of silos and hierarchy doesn’t help our system. Whoever we are, wherever we are, we have to work together for the nation,” he added.

“Let’s change how we look at things. Even something like a changed terminology helps. Earlier, people would keep saying backward districts. Today we say aspirational districts. Why should any posting be a punishment posting? Why not see it as an opportunity posting?” the PM said.

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