Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday termed corruption, poverty and illiteracy the greatest challenges and called for special initiatives to end all such ills in the next five years with the pledge of ‘Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge’ (We will do and surely do).
Mr. Modi was addressing the Lok Sabha on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. ''From 2017 to 2022, when India turns 75, there is need to create the same spirit that existed between 1942 and 1947,'' he said.
The menace of corruption had adversely impacted the development journey of the country and eaten the polity from the inside. ''Corruption, poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition are the greatest challenges that India now needs to overcome and a common resolve is needed for this. We need to bring a positive change in this regard,” he said.
“In 1942, the clarion call was ‘Karenge Ya Marenge’ (Do or Die) — today it is ‘Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge.’ The next five years should also be about ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’, a resolve which will lead us to accomplishment,” he said.
In the next five years till 2022, India must try to bring positive changes so that it could become an inspiration to many nations. India’s freedom from colonial rule was not only about India, but a defining moment in ending colonialism in other parts of the world too, he said.
From 1857 to 1942, the move towards freedom was incremental, but the years from 1942 to 1947 were transformative and delivered on the objective. “In 1942, conditions internationally became favourable for India to get independence. Today again, the global conditions are favourable for India,” he said.
Mr. Modi urged MPs to rise above differences and join in a common effort to create an India of the dreams of the freedom fighters from 2017 to 2022.
The Prime Minister specially remembered the role of women in the freedom struggle, saying they could add immense strength to the common objectives even today. He said the freedom struggle witnessed the participation of a wide range of individuals over several years, specially after 1942 in response to Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of ‘Do or Die’
Mr. Modi recalled that even as many senior leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were jailed at the beginning of the Quit India movement, a new generation of leaders emerged to fill the vacuum and take the movement forward. “The Quit India movement marked the rise of a new leadership. They supported Mahatma Gandhi during the movement.”
Mr. Modi said the recollection of movements such as Quit India was a source of inspiration and the current generation had a responsibility of passing on the legacy of such movements to the future generations. “We remember the Quit India Movement. Remembering such movements gives us strength as a nation.”
During his nearly 30 minutes speech, he remembered the role played by different leaders in different period of times, which include Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jai Prakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Chandrashekar Azad and Raju Guru.
He said during the Quit India Movement, all parts of the country, all communities, farmers, labourers, teachers and others came together with the thought of “now or never“. Gandhiji had said that he would not be satisfied unless the country got full freedom but never left the path of non-violence.
Enactment of GST Act
Mr. Modi also referred to the enactment of the GST Act, saying the way the political parties and State governments extended support to it, a similar approach would be taken by all concerned to resolve the problems of the country.
The freedom struggle went through several phases and various leaders and movements emerged at various points since 1857. The Quit India Movement that began in 1942 was a decisive movement. “Five years was all it took to achieve the objective of independence, once the entire country shared this common resolve,” he said.
Speaking about rights and duties, Mr. Modi said that while people were well aware of their rights, they cannot forget their duties, and these too, must become the way of life.
Colonialism began in India and ended here too with India gaining independence. This was soon followed by the fall of colonialism across Asia and Africa, he noted.