Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the focus on talking about and fighting for rights in the 75 years since Independence had kept the country “weak” and the next 25 years would be for hard work, sacrifice and “ tapasya ” or penance.
Mr. Modi was addressing the launch of the Brahma Kumaris’ year-long programme of events as part of the government’s celebration of 75 years of Independence, Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav . Addressing the gathering virtually, Mr. Modi called for preserving Indian culture, civilisation, values and promoting spirituality and diversity, while continuously modernising technology, infrastructure, education and health.
He said the coming 25 years, which will end with the celebration of 100 years of Independence in 2047, was not a time for dreaming but for fulfilling resolutions.
“The coming 25 years are the period of utmost hard work, sacrifice, and tapasya . This is a period of 25 years to get back what our society has lost in hundreds of years of slavery,” Mr. Modi said.
He said it should be acknowledged that the evil of ignoring duties had become a part of the national life.
“In the last 75 years, we only kept talking about rights, fighting for rights and wasting time. The talk of rights, to some extent, for some time, may be right in a particular circumstance, but forgetting one’s duties completely has played a huge role in keeping India weak,” Mr. Modi said.
He called on everyone to walk “on the path of duty”, which he said would lead the country reach new heights.
Mr. Modi also called on organisations like the Brahma Kumaris that have international presence to encourage people to visit the country. He said there had been a tendency to tarnish India’s image on the international stage but if people visited the country they would get to know it. He asked the Brahma Kumaris to send 500 people each from the locations of their international centres to India every year.
“We cannot get away from this [tendency to tarnish India’s image] by saying this is just politics. This is not politics, this is the question of our country. Today, when we are celebrating the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav , it is also our responsibility that the world should know India properly,” Mr. Modi said.