Every Indian can now speak of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation from the Red Fort on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day in New Delhi on Thursday. (UNI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation from the Red Fort on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day in New Delhi on Thursday. (UNI)

‘Why Art 370 supporters didn’t make it permanent’?

* Spl status led to separatism, terrorism, dynastic rules

* Those spreading terror must be razed to ground

Sanjeev Pargal
JAMMU, Aug 16: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that every Indian can now speak of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’ as he maintained that system which prevailed in Jammu and Kashmir during past 70 years had aggravated separatism, given birth to terrorism, encouraged dynastic rules and strengthened the foundation of corruption and discrimination.
In his Address to the Nation from the ramparts of Red Fort on Independence Day on Thursday, Modi referred in detail the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A, re-organization of Jammu and Kashmir, discrimination meted out to refugees, Dalits, women, Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddis, Sippies, Baltis, safai karamcharis and questioned opponents of scrapping of special Constitutional provisions of J&K asking why they didn’t convert Article 370 into a permanent provision for the last 70 years despite having majority.
Acting tough on terrorism, the Prime Minister said it was clear policy of the Government that those who are spreading fear and fostering violence must be razed to the ground and their all malafide intentions are curbed through “our policies and strategies.”
“I can proudly say that every Indian today can speak of ‘One Nation, One Constitution’ and we are trying to fulfill Sardar (Vallabh Bhai Patel) Sahib’s dream of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. So we must develop such systems which strengthen the country’s unity and serve as a cementing force, and this process must go on continuously,” he said.
Describing abrogation of Articles 370 and 35-A as “hallmark of Government”, the Prime Minister said: “We don’t avoid problems, nor do we let them fester. There is no time to delay or neglect problems. The work that was not done in last 70 years has been accomplished within 70 days after this new Government came to power”.
Noting the fact that both the Articles have been abrogated with two-third majority in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha, he said this means that everyone wanted this decision, but perhaps they were waiting for somebody to initiate and carry it forward.
“I have come to accomplish the task assigned to me by my countrymen. I work selflessly,” he declared.
Taking on the Opposition without naming any political party including the Congress, which has been in forefront in opposing special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi asked: “If Article 370 was so crucial then why the ruling parties didn’t make it permanent during last 70 years despite having a majority? If there was so much of conviction, you should have moved ahead and made it permanent. This means that you (a reference towards the Congress) knew all along that the decision taken was not right but you didn’t have the courage and the will to amend it. Concerns about political future kept coming up for them, but for me, the country’s future is everything and political future has no meaning”.
He asserted that the system that prevailed over past 70 years in Jammu and Kashmir (a reference towards Special Constitutional provisions) had aggravated separatism and given birth to terrorism besides encouraging dynastic rule and strengthening foundations of corruption and discrimination.
“We have to make efforts so that the women of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh get their rights. We have to make efforts so that my Dalit brothers and sisters living there, get the rights which they have been deprived of so far. The rights enjoyed by the tribal people of India must be available to my tribal brothers and sisters of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh. There are several such communities, like Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddies, Sippies or Balties-all such communities must be empowered with political rights,” the Prime Minister said.
Referring to denial of citizenship rights to West Pakistani refugees and safai karamcharis in Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said it was surprising that there were legal restrictions on safai karamchari brothers and sisters and their dreams were trampled upon. “Now, we have freed them from such shackles”.
He said when India was partitioned, crores of people had to leave behind their ancestral homes for no fault of theirs. “Those (a reference towards West Pakistani refugees), who settled down in Jammu and Kashmir got neither hymen rights, nor citizenship rights,” he added and said the Government also intend to take steps for welfare of the people of hill regions.
Maintaining that Constitution makers and great personalities like Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel took these bold and important decisions even during those difficult times, the Prime Minister recalled that Patel kept the goals of national integration and political unification in mind. The exercise towards national integration was a successful one, but some difficulties have been faced because of Articles 370 and 35-A, he asserted.
Referring to re-organization of Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said the Government is moving forward in this direction.
“For 70 years, every Government made efforts to do something but the desired results were not achieved, and when desired results are not achieved, there is a need to think afresh and take new steps. It is our responsibility to see that aspirations of the people of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh get fulfilled. It is our collective responsibility to give new wings to the dreams of the people of the State. This responsibility has to be shouldered by all 130 crore countrymen. To meet this commitment, we have made endeavours to remove whatever hurdlers were there in the way,” the Prime Minister said.
Maintaining that peace and prosperity of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh can be an inspiration for India, Modi said they can greatly contribute to India’s development.
“We need to make efforts to bring back their glorious past. The new system that has come into being after the recent step will create facilities that will directly benefit the people of the State. Now, anybody in Jammu and Kashmir, like the rest of Indians, can reach out to the Government in Delhi. There will be no hurdles in between. We have put in place such a system.
“Our recent action to strike down Articles 370 and 35A has been welcomed by the entire country and also by people from all political parties of the country, without exception. Some have openly supported us while others give their tacit support. But some in the corridors of power, in a bid to take mileage from vote-bank politics, have been talking in favour of Article 370,” the Prime Minister said.
Without naming Pakistan, Modi sent out a strong message to perpetrators of terrorism.
“It is our clear policy that those who are spreading fear and fostering violence must be razed to the ground. We have made this clear through our policies and strategies to curb all such malafide intentions. We have no inhibitions. Our Army, Border Security Forces and security agencies have done a commendable job. They always stand tall in their uniforms and guard us from all adversities. They have martyred their lives to ensure a bright future for us. I salute and I pay my homage to them. It is important that we take timely steps towards reforms,” he said..
Asserting that India has to play a vital role in reinstating world peace, Modi said at the same time: “We cannot remain silent spectators in the global environment. We are putting up a tough fight against terrorist organizations. In any part of the world, an act of terrorism should be regarded as an attack on humanity”.
He called upon all forces to unite against those who promote and give shelter to terrorist outfits. India should contribute in exposing these anti-humanitarian activities and is resolute to unite all world forces to end terrorism, he added.
Without naming Pakistan, Modi said India should play a crucial role in the war against terrorism and unite all forces to expose those who give shelter to terrorists, those who encourage terrorism and those who export terrorism.
“Some terrorist organizations have not only targeted India, but are also damaging our neighbouring countries. Bangladesh and Afghanistan are also grappling with terrorist activities. In Sri Lanka, sadly, innocent people have been killed en-masse inside a church. This is such a heart wrenching event. Hence, we all have to unite and act proactively to bring security, peace and harmony in this sub-continent,” he added.

Modi announces much awaited post of CDS
In much awaited and significant decision from the defence point of view, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff-CDS and said after this post comes into existence all three forces will get effective leadership at the top level.
“It (the creation of the post of CDS) was in line with the changing war and security environment in the world and today I want to announce an important decision from Red Fort. The subject experts on the issue have been demanding this for a long time. Today we have decided that we will now have a Chief of Defence Staff. The CDS System is a very important and compelling task in our dream to reform the strategic pace of Hindustan in the world,” he said.
Pointing out that deliberations were on since a long time to bring reforms in military infrastructure, armed forces and military resources, Modi said previous Governments have also discussed the same. Several Commissions were formed and all the reports have brought to light the same issues, he added.
“There is hardly any difference, but this has been stated repeatedly. There indeed is coordination between our Navy, Army and Air Force. We can be proud of the arrangement of our armed forces. Any Hindustani can be proud of Indian Military. They also strive for modernity in their own way. The world is changing today and the scope of war is also changing, the nature of war is changing. It is becoming technology driven; in the circumstances India too should not have a fragmented approach. Our entire military power will have to work in unison and move forward. Things cannot move smoothly if anyone from the Navy, Army and Air Force is a step ahead from the other two forces, while the other two are lagging behind. All the three should move simultaneously at the same pace. There should be good coordination and it should be relevant with the hope and aspirations of our people,” the Prime Minister said.