In a “Mann ki Baat” address, which coincided with the seventh anniversary of his government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said there had been many successes along with trials too especially the COVID-19 pandemic which has hit lives hard across the country and dealt a blow to economy. He expressed confidence that India will prevail over the virus.
“India now moves ahead not under the pressure of other countries but with its own convictions,” he asserted, saying it makes everyone proud.
“When we witness that now India gives a befitting reply to those who conspire against us, then our confidence soars. When India does not compromise on the issues of national security, when the strength of our armed forces increases, we feel that yes, we are on the right path,” Mr. Modi said.
Many old disputes have also been resolved with complete peace and harmony, and a new confidence underpinned by peace and development has arisen from the northeast to Kashmir, he said.
Water, oxygen supply
Noting that in seven decades after Independence only 3.5 crore rural homes had water connections, he said 4.5 crore houses have been given clean water connections in the last 21 months alone. Of these, 15 months were during the coronavirus period, he added.
His address also spoke of the massive second wave of the pandemic that has hit India and the effort and resolve it took to take India’s oxygen production and supply from 900 metric tonnes to 9,000 metric tonnes in a matter of days.
“No one had had the experience of dealing with this once in a century pandemic, but Indians across the country on the strength of their resolve and confidence are fighting the pandemic and together we shall prevail over the virus,” he said.
Mr. Modi spoke to corona warriors including oxygen express driver Shirsha Gajhini and Air Force pilot group captain Patnaik who had been transporting oxygen and tankers across the country and from offshore to India.
In these seven years, India has worked to show the world a new direction in digital transactions, and it is also setting records in launching satellites and constructing roads, Mr Modi said.
India has overcome many difficult tests as well, and each time it emerged stronger, he said. “In the form of the corona pandemic, we are being continuously put to test. This is a crisis that has plagued the whole world. So many people have lost their loved ones. Even big countries were not spared from its devastation,” he said.