‘World acknowledges our tough stand on terror’
*Mentions surgical strikes, 370 abrogation in address
NEW DELHI, Jan 31:
President Droupadi Murmu today said the Government has been laying constant emphasis on modernising the military as it firmly believes that lasting peace is possible only when India is politically and strategically strong.
Murmu’s comments during her address to the joint session of Parliament on the first day of Budget Session came amid India’s lingering border row with China in Eastern Ladakh as well as the challenges of Pakistan-backed cross-border terrorism in Jammu and Kashmir.
Without directly mentioning either Pakistan or China, the President, who is also the supreme commander of the armed forces, highlighted that “befitting response” was given to every “misadventure from LoC (Line of Control) to LAC (Line of Actual Control)” .
“My decisive Government has always kept the country’s interest paramount and shown the willpower to completely transform the policies and strategies when required,” she said.
“From surgical strike to a firm crackdown on terrorism, from a befitting response to every misadventure from LoC to LAC, from abrogation of Article 370 to Triple Talaq, my Government has been recognised as a decisive Government,” she said.
The president’s address reflects the views of the government of the day.
In September 2016, the Indian Army carried out surgical strikes against terrorist camps in Pakistan occupied Kashmir. A week back, Congress’ Digvijaya Singh made controversial remarks questioning the surgical strike. However, party leader Rahul Gandhi trashed the comments as “ridiculous”.
Murmu said “unprecedented infrastructure” has been developed in the border areas in the past few years from the point of view of national security.
“My Government firmly believes that lasting peace is possible only when we are strong politically and strategically. Therefore, we are constantly laying emphasis on the modernisation of our military strength,” she said.
India has emerged as a country that is “connecting” today’s “divided world” in some form or the other amid pressing global challenges and questions over relevance and efficacy of the decades-old international institutions, Murmu said.
She said the world is acknowledging New Delhi’s “tough stand” on terrorism, and described the current phase of India’s global relations as the “best” one.
Murmu said the Government “firmly” believed that lasting peace is possible only when the country is strong politically and strategically, and that is the reason why constant emphasis is being put on the modernisation of the country’s military strength.
In the over an hour-long speech, Murmu touched upon India’s ongoing presidency of the G-20, chairship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) as well as its role in the Quad with a focus on working for peace, stability and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific.
The world is looking towards India with “high hopes” and it is among those countries that are reinforcing the trust in the global supply, Murmu said, noting that the country’s identity as a nation was immortal in the past, and will remain so in the future as well.
The President said the goodwill that India has generated benefitted it during the crises in Afghanistan and Ukraine, especially in evacuation of Indian citizens from these countries.
“Today the world is also acknowledging India’s tough stand on terrorism. Due to this, India’s voice against terrorism is being heard seriously on every global platform,” she said.
“In October last year, a special meeting of the UNSC Counter-Terrorism Committee was organised for the first time in India. In this too, India made its position clear against terrorism,” Murmu added.
She said the Government is also “sincerely presenting” its concerns relating to cyber security before the whole world.
Murmu said the country has a Government that is “stable, fearless, decisive”, giving thrust to ‘virasat’ (heritage) as well as ‘vikas’ (development) and working for all classes without any discrimination.
The India of 2047, she said, should have no poverty with the middle class also being prosperous.
The Narendra Modi-led Government has always kept national interest supreme, India’s first tribal president said in her over hour-long speech.
“My decisive Government has always kept the country’s interest paramount and shown the willpower to completely transform the policies and strategies when required.
The president’s address reflects the views of the Government of the day.
“Today India has a Government which is stable, fearless, decisive and working with lofty ambitions. Today India has a Government which respects the honest. Today India has a Government working for permanent solution of the problems of the poor and their lasting empowerment,” she said.
The long felt urge to get rid of the scourge of mega scams and corruption in Government schemes is now being realised, the president said.
“My Government is of the firm opinion that corruption is the biggest enemy of democracy and social justice. Therefore, there has been a relentless fight against corruption in the last few years. We have ensured that the honest will be honoured in the system. There is increasing social consciousness in the country that there should be no sympathy for the corrupt in the society,” she said.
In the last nine years, the Modi Government has worked for all classes of citizens without any discrimination and as a result of its efforts, many basic facilities have either reached cent per cent of the population or are very close to that target, the president said.
The debate is no longer about “policy paralysis”, instead India is being recognised for its rapid development and the far-sightedness of her decisions, Murmu stated.
That is why, she said, India has now become the fifth largest economy in the world, up from the tenth spot.
Murmu said the Government is working at “unprecedented speed and scale” and giving pre-eminence to public welfare by leveraging innovation and technology.
“Today India has a Government which is committed to removing every obstacle being faced by women. Today India has a Government which is moving forward confidently to play its rightful role on the global stage,” she said.
The President said the Government in its nearly nine years in power has ushered in many positive changes for the first time and the biggest has been that the self-confidence of every Indian is at its peak. The world has changed the way it looks at India, she said.
The President highlighted the Government’s cultural, development and pro-poor agenda and noted that it has worked to build the Ram temple as well as a modern building of Parliament, the Kedarnath ‘dham’ and also Medical Colleges and Universities. India, Murmu said, has emerged as a space power and a centre for innovation.
If it has followed the path shown by saints like Shankaracharya and Guru Nanak, it has also been striving to make India a hub of high-tech knowledge, Murmu said.
She urged people to discharge their duties to the maximum to build in the next 25 years a developed India connected to its past glory and containing every golden chapter of modernity.
She said ‘Amrit Kaal’, described by the Government as the 25-year period culminating in the centenary of India’s independence, is the time to build an India which is ‘aatmanirbhar’ (self reliant) and also fulfils its humanitarian obligations.
It will be an India with no poverty and a prosperous middle class and whose youth and women are at the vanguard of guiding the nation, the president said, amid frequent thumping of desks by lawmakers at the Central Hall of Parliament.
Under the Modi Government, the country has seen many positive changes, she said, adding that the biggest change is that the “self-confidence of every Indian is at its peak and the world has changed the way it looks at India”.
While India used to depend on others to solve its problems, it is now working to solve global problems, Murmu said.
People have been given basic amenities missing for decades and modern infrastructure long aspired for is being built across the country, the president said. She cited the expansion of digital network and the crackdown on corruption during the Modi Government’s tenure.
The Government has fulfilled the aspirations of the deprived sections of society, the president said.
“The speed and scale at which my Government has been working is unprecedented and incomparable,” she said, noting that on an average nearly 11,000 houses are built every day for poor, 55,000 gas connections are being given every day and over Rs 700 crore loan given under the Mudra scheme daily.
She also highlighted the strides the country has made in aviation and defence sectors besides in expanding the Metro and rail networks under the government. Defence export has risen by six times, she noted.
“India has begun benefitting from the success of ‘made in India’ and ‘aatmanirbhar Bharat’ programmes,” she said.
The President said this year, India has assumed the presidency of an influential global group like G-20 and with the mantra of “one earth, one family, one future”.
India is attempting to find collective solutions to the current global challenges in collaboration with the G-20 member countries, she said.
“My Government does not want to limit it to just one diplomatic programme. Rather, it is an opportunity to showcase India’s potential and culture, through the efforts of the entire country. Therefore, G-20 meetings are being held in dozens of cities across the country throughout the year,” she said. (PTI)