Last updated on: April 19, 2018 at 12:34 pm IST
London [UK], April 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday dubbed making development a mass movement as the need of the hour.
“During the freedom struggle, Mahatma Gandhi did something very different. He turned it into a mass movement. Whatever you are doing will contribute to India’s freedom. The need of the hour is to make development a mass movement,” Prime Minister Modi said while speaking to the Indian diaspora in the United Kingdoms.
The Prime Minister further said that participative democracy made good governance possible.
Using his life’s journey as an example to motivate people, the Prime Minister said, “My life at the railway station taught me so much. It was about my personal struggles. When you said Royal Palace, it is not about me but about the 125 crore people of India. People are equivalent to Gods in a democracy and if they wish, even a tea-seller can become their representative and shake hands at the Royal Palace.”
“Yes, people have more expectations from us because they know that we can deliver. People know that when they say something, the government will listen and do it. Days of incremental change are over. Can do justice to the nation when I forget myself,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi further said that India was getting increasingly aspirational.
“‘Besabri’ (impatience) is not a bad thing. If a person has a cycle, a person aspires a scooter. If a person has a scooter, a person aspires a car. It is natural to aspire. India is getting increasingly aspirational,” he added.
Rape is rape, don’t politicise it
PM Narendra Modi spoke about the recent cases of rapes in Unnao, Kathua and Surat. Addressing the world at Central Hall Westminster on his four-day visit to the United Kingdom, Modi said that rapes are a matter of serious concern for the country.
Taking a jibe at the politicisation of the rapes, PM Narendra Modi said, “How painful it is when a little girl is raped. How can you say that these many women were raped during our government and this many during yours? Rape is rape. How can we bear this?”
Reiterating that the incidents of rape and sexual assault on women is a matter of grave concern for the country, PM Modi said that why don’t parents question their sons.
“At the Red Fort I had said that when a girl comes home late, her parents question her, ask her about who she went out with, who is she talking to. Why don’t they do that to their sons?”
Condemning the cases of rapes and sexual assault, Modi said that it is difficult to fathom how can someone inflict this much pain on a woman. “The rapist also comes from a family, he also has a mother,” Modi added.
We informed Pakistan about surgical strikes before telling India
Narendra Modi today said that Pakistan was informed about the September 2016 surgical strikes before the information was made public in India.
On the day the Indian press was informed about the Army’s surgical strikes across the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, top officers of the military were busy trying to establish contact with their Pakistani counterparts, PM Modi said.
“We called them [in order to tell them about the surgical strikes] but we they weren’t coming [on the calls] [so] I kept the journalists waiting,” PM Modi said, referring to a September 29, 2016 press conference that was called by the Army.
“I told my officers keep the journalists waiting. First [we will] tell Pakistan [about the surgical strikes] we don’t want to hide [the information],” the prime minister said.
“Finally at 12 pm we spoke to them [Pakistan] and then we told the Indian media,” PM Modi added.
PM Modi was speaking at a question-and-answer session at London’s historic Central Hall Westminster. He was responding to a question on the surgical strikes, which India launched in response to the Uri terror attack in which 17 Army jawans were killed.
PM Modi also strongly hit out at Pakistan as he answered the question. “When someone has put a terror export factory in place and makes attempts to attack us from the back, Modi knows how to answer in the same language,” PM Modi said.
Prime Minister Modi is ending the first day of his London visit by interacting with Indian diaspora at an event titled ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath’. Along with live questions from the audience present there, questions are also being sourced from Facebook, Twitter and the NaMo app.
Prime Minister Modi, who is on a five-day tour to three nations, arrived at the Heathrow airport of the United Kingdom on Tuesday to take part in the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. (Agencies)