Modi calls for fight against corruption, nepotism and dynasty system
New Delhi, August 15, 2022
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said corruption as well as nepotism and the dynasty system were two of the major challeges that India had to tackle as it aims to emerge as a developed nation in the 25 years to 2047, when it will celebrate 100 years of independence.
"In a democracy like India where people are struggling with poverty and do not have a place to live, there are people who do not have a place to keep their ill-gotten money. This is not an ideal situation," he said in his address to the nation from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort in the national capital on the 76th Independence Day.
"So we have to fight against corruption with all our might. In the last eight years, we have been successful in working for the betterment of the country by saving two lakh crore rupees which used to go into the wrong hands, using all the modern systems like Direct Benefit Transfer, Aadhaar and Mobile. Those who fled the country after looting banks during the tenure of the previous government, we have seized their property and are trying to get them back. Some have been forced to go behind the bars. We are trying to ensure that those who looted the country are compelled to return," he said.
Modi said the country was entering a crucial phase in the fight against corruption. "The corrupt are eating away the country like termites. I have to fight against it, intensify the fight and have to take it to a decisive point. So, my 130 crore countrymen, please bless me and support me! Today I have come to seek your support and cooperation so that I can fight this battle. I hope the country becomes victorious in this war. The lives of the ordinary citizens have been ruined by corruption. So, I want to make sure that the ordinary citizens are once again able to live with dignity.
"My dear countrymen, it is a matter of great concern that although abhorrence of corruption in the country is visible and expressed, sometimes the generosity towards the corrupt is shown which is not acceptable in any country.
"And many people have gone so shameless that despite being convicted in court, having been proved corrupt, having been sentenced for imprisonment, while still serving in jail, they continue to glorify, take pride and continue to elevate their status. Unless there is hatred towards filth in the society, the consciousness for cleanliness does not arise, unless we develop hatred towards the corrupt and corruption, until we relegate these people to social shaming, such mentality will not change. And that's why we need to be very aware of corruption and corrupt people," he said.
The Prime Minister said that his reference to nepotism or dynasty was not just in the context of politics.
"Not at all. Unfortunately, it is being nourished in other Indian institutions as well. Family bias, nepotism has gripped many of our institutions today. This is sadly harming the immense talent pool of our country. The future potential of my country is suffering. Those who are legitimate contenders of these opportunities and are genuinely eligible get sidelined due to nepotism. This is a good reason for corruption. Since they feel that they stand no chance to avail opportunities as per norms, these potential and deserving candidates resort to paying bribes to get a job. All of us have to work hard on fighting nepotism by becoming more aware and creating an antipathy for this. Only such efforts can save our institutions and ingrain ethical behaviour in our future generations. This is mandatory to ensure a bright future of our institutions. Similarly, in politics too, family bias or dynasty has done the most injustice to the country's strength. It becomes a way to benefit only the family and has no connection towards the national good.
"And therefore, while remembering the Constitution of India, standing under the tricolor from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I want to say with an open heart to all the countrymen -- let us all join hands for the purification and cleansing of Indian politics and for the cleansing of all the institutions of India, we have to liberate the country from this family mentality and move towards taking the country forward on the basis of merit. It is more imperative now than ever. Otherwise, everyone will carry heavy resentment that s/he was deserving but could not succeed as there was no family member vouching for them in the ecosystem. Such a mentality is not good for any country.
"Dear youth of my country, for your bright future, for your dreams, I seek your support in the fight against nepotism. I want your support in the fight against dynastic politics. I consider this as my constitutional responsibility. The responsibility of a democracy. I believe in the power of words spoken from the ramparts of this Red Fort. And hence I request you to support this opportunity. We have noticed this in the accolades we received at the sports world in the last few days. It’s not that we did not have such great talent in the past. It is not that our sons and daughters, the youth of India, are not achieving anything in the world of sports. But sadly they have been pushed out due to the nepotism channel. The ones that qualified to reach the competition in other countries were least bothered about winning medals for the country. But when transparency was reinstated, selection was on the merit of the sportsperson and the talent was honoured on the playgrounds. It is a moment of pride today to see the tricolor flying high and the national anthem reverberating at the stadiums globally.
"One feels proud when there is freedom from dynasty and nepotism, and such results come along. My dear countrymen, there are many challenges no doubt. But if there are crores of problems before this country, then there are also crores of solutions and I have faith in 130 crore countrymen," he said.
Modi said the nation must make five resolves, including one to make India a developed country over the next 25 years.
He said that if the nation continued to glorify its journey over the last 75 years and kept patting its own back, its dreams might be pushed further back. So, even if the past 75 years have been wonderful, full of various challenges and certain unfulfilled dreams, yet today when we are entering the "Azadi Ka AmritKaal", the next 25 years are very significant for the country.
He said the second resolve that people must make is to ensure that there is not even an "ounce" of slavery in the country. "It should be nipped there itself. We have to liberate ourselves from the slavery mind set which is visible in innumerable things within and around us," he said.
He said people must feel proud of their heritage and legacy. Equally important is the country's unity and solidarity, he said.
"Fifth Pran is the duty of the citizens, in which even the Prime Minister, Chief Minister cannot be an exclusion as they are also responsible citizens and have a duty towards the nation. This virtue is going to be the vital life force if we want to achieve the dreams we have for the next 25 years," he said.
He spoke about how strong resolve had helped the country implement the National Cleanliness Mission, cross the target of 200 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccinatios and achieve 10 per cent ethanol blending in petrol.
"Providing electricity connection to 2.5 crore people in such a short time was not a small task, but the country has done it. Today the country is rapidly providing 'water from tap' to the homes of lakhs of families. Freedom from open defecation has become possible in India today.
"Experience tells us that we can achieve our goals once we are determined. Be it the goal of renewable energy, the intention of building new medical colleges in the country or creating a workforce of doctors, the pace has increased a lot in every field. And that's why I say that the coming 25 years should be of huge resolutions, this should be our life and this should be our pledge," he said.
Modi also talked about the mentality of slavery. "How long will we live on the certificates of the world? Shall we not set our own standards? Can a country of 130 crores not make an effort to exceed its standards? Under no circumstances should we try to look like others. It should be our temperament to grow with our own potential," he said.
"And I look with hope the way the new National Education Policy has been formulated with a lot of brainstorming, with the exchange of ideas from various people and is at the root of the country’s education policy. The skill that we have emphasized is such a power, which will give us the strength to be free from slavery.
"We have seen that sometimes our talent gets tied in the shackles of language. This is the result of slave mentality. We should be proud of every language of our country," he said.
Referring to Digital India and start-ups, Modi said this had been achieved by "that pool of talent who lives in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, or in villages and belongs to poor families. These are our youngsters who are coming before the world today with new discoveries. We have to give up the colonial-era mentality. Instead, we must rely on our capabilities."
The Prime Minister stressed the need to celebrate the diversity of India.
"The peaceful co-existence of innumerable traditions and creeds are our pride. For us all are equal. No one is inferior or superior; all are our own. This feeling of oneness is important for unity. The foundations of unity can be laid in every home only if son and daughter enjoy equality. If the family seeds gender discrimination across its generations then the spirit of Unity can never be woven in society. Gender equality is our first stipulation. When we talk of Unity, why not have only one parameter or standard -- that of India First. All my endeavours, everything that I am thinking, saying, envisioning or visualising is in accordance with India First. This way the path to Unity can be opened for all of us," he said.
Modi also talked about one of his "enduring pains" and "deepest feelings of agony".
"What I wish to share is that it hurts me to say that we have witnessed a perversion in our day-to-day speaking, behavior. We have been casually using language and words that are insulting to women. Can we not pledge to get rid of everything in our behavior, culture and everyday life that humiliates and demeans women? Women's pride is going to be a huge asset in fulfilling the dreams of the nation. I see this power and therefore I am insistent on it," he said.
He also stressed on the duties of citizens. "While trying to understand all the countries in the world that have made progress; every country that has achieved something, even in personal life, few things emerged. One is disciplined life, and the other is devotion to duty. There should be success in the life of the individual, of the society, of the family, of the nation. This is the fundamental path and the fundamental vital force.
"It is the job of the government to make efforts to provide 24 hours electricity but it is the duty of the citizen to save as many units as he can. It is the responsibility and efforts of the government to supply water to every field, but a voice should come from each of my fields that we will move forward by saving water by focusing on 'per drop more crop'. It is our duty to do chemical free farming, organic farming and natural farming. Friends, whether it is police or people, ruler or administrator, no one can be untouched by this civic duty. If everyone performs the duties of a citizen, I am sure that we can achieve the desired goals ahead of time," he said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the goal of self-reliance. "We all need to think how long we will be dependent on other people of the world. Can we outsource when our country needs food grains? When the country decided that we will meet our food requirements, did the country demonstrate it or not? Once we take a resolution, it is possible. And, therefore, ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ becomes the responsibility of every citizen, every government and every unit of society. ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ is not a government agenda or a government programme. This is a mass movement of society, which we have to take forward," he said.
Modi made a special mention of the fact that, for the first time, a home-grown howitzer gun, Advanced Towed Artillery Gun System (ATAGS), developed under the Government’s "Make in India" initiative, fired during the ceremonial 21-gun salute. today. The gun is completely indigenous, designed and developed by DRDO, standing as a testament to India’s growing capacity of developing arms and ammunition indigenously.
"Today we heard this sound after 75 years of independence for which our ears were yearning to hear. For the first time after 75 years, the Made in India cannon has saluted the Tricolour from the Red Fort. Will there be any Indian who will not be inspired by this sound? Today I want to congratulate the soldiers of the army of my country from my heart. I salute the way the army jawans have shouldered this responsibility of self-reliance in an organized way and with courage. The soldier of the army carries death in his hands. He stands firmly in the middle when there is no gap between death and life. The resolution of our country is not small when the armed forces make a list and decide not to import 300 defence products.
"In this resolution, I can see the seed of a bright future of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' that will convert this dream into a banyan tree. Salute! Salute! Salute to my army officers!"
Modi also spoke of the Production-Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme for the manufacturing sector. "One lakh crore rupees, people from around the world are coming to India to try their luck. They are bringing new technology along with them. They are generating new employment opportunities. India is becoming a manufacturing hub. It is building a foundation for a self-reliant India. Be it manufacturing of electronic goods or mobile phones, today the country is progressing at a very fast pace. Which Indian wouldn't be proud when our Brahmos is exported to the world? Today the Vande Bharat train and our metro coaches are becoming objects of attraction for the world.
"We have to become self-reliant in the energy sector. How long will we be dependent on others in the field of energy? We should be self-reliant in the fields of solar energy, wind energy, and various other renewable energy sources like Mission Hydrogen, bio fuel and electric vehicles," he said.
The Prime Minister also spoke of topics like natural farming and the roles of the MSME sector and of farmers.
"Till today we always remember our revered Lal Bahadur Shastri ji for his inspirational clarion call of Jai Jawan Jai Kisan meaning 'Hail the Soldier, Hail the Farmer'. Later Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji added a new link of Jai Vigyan which meant 'Hail Science' and we gave it utmost importance. But in this new phase Amrit Kaal now it is imperative to add Jai Anusandhaan that is 'Hail Innovation'. Jai Jawan Jai Kisan Jai Vigyan Jai Anusandhaan," he said.
"I repose my utmost faith in our youth of the nation. Witness the power of indigenous innovations. Today we have many success stories to show to the world - UPI-BHIM, our digital payment, our compelling position in the domain of Fintech. Today in the world, 40 per cent of real time digital financial transactions are happening in my country. India has shown innovation prowess to the world," he said.
"I can foresee that India will march ahead phenomenally in this decade which is hailed as the techade for humanity. It is a decade of technology. In the field of IT india has become a force to reckon with globally. We have the competencies to contribute in this techade," he said.
Among other topics, the Prime Minister also dwelt on empowerment of women. "The more we pay attention to this aspect, the more opportunities and facilities we provide to our daughters, they will return us much more than that. They will take the country to a new height. If the considerable efforts of our ‘Nari Shakti’ are added to the hard work that is required to fulfill the dreams in this ‘Amrit Kaal’, then it will take less hard work and our time limit will also be reduced. Our dreams will be more intense, vivacious and resplendent," he said.
"Today I also want to thank the framers of the Constitution of India for giving us the federal structure. Our dreams are bound to be realized if we walk shoulder to shoulder by maintaining this spirit and respecting its sentiments in this ‘Amrit Kaal’. Programmes may differ, working styles may differ, but resolutions can’t differ, dreams for a nation cannot be different," he added.