Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said criticism is part of democracy, and gives it strength, but what the country witnessed during the last nine years was compulsive criticism by people who were not able to accept the world appreciating India’s potential and looking towards it with hope and expectation.
The prime minister was replying to a two-day discussion on the motion of thanks to President Droupadi Murmu’s address to Parliament in the Lok Sabha. The motion was adopted unanimously after rejection of all amendments.
PM Modi told the Lok Sabha that he had always looked forward to constructive criticism and an evaluation of his government, as he valued criticism as a purification ritual. What came was just allegations by compulsive critics, he said.
He said his critics lost polls and blamed electronic voting machines; if there was a bad court verdict, they blamed the Supreme Court. In cases where corruption was being investigated, there was abuse of investigating agencies and they were mentioned in the House; if Armed forces performed, they would be criticised too, and the critics couldn’t accept economic achievements too.
The prime minister said such criticism will not pass muster with the people who are experiencing basic facilities for the first time now. He said instead of a dynasty, he was a member of the family of 140 crore Indians. “The blessings of 140 crore Indians is my ‘Suraksha Kavach’”, the Prime Minister remarked.
Modi said the world looks towards India with hope and expectation because there is stability in India and its goodwill is increasing. For the last two to three decades, India had instability and today India has a stable and decisive government. A government running with full majority has the capacity to take decisions. “We are having reforms today not out of compulsion but out of conviction,” he said.
The prime minister said, “We are witnessing moments of pride now. There was Covid-19 and then came the Ukraine war. Everybody had seen how the nation was taken care of, how the nation responded. Challenges and difficulties do come but people face them with a resolve. Many countries are facing instability, inflation, unemployment, even in the Indian neighbourhood.”
At such a time which Indian won’t be proud that India has become the 5th largest economy in the world? Today there is faith in India. At such a time, India has got an opportunity to head the G20 group. Those who do not feel proud of this should introspect, he said.
India provided Covid-19 vaccines freely, and even supplied vaccines and medicines to 150 countries. Many countries today thank India at international forums proudly. People wonder at India’s digital structure. Many countries tried to help their people but failed. India used its digital prowess to provide help to people easily.
In the last nine years, 90,000 startups have come up in the country; India has the third largest number in the world. They have spread over smaller towns too. There are 108 unicorns; each with Rs 6,000 crore to Rs 7,000 crore value. India is number two in mobile manufacturing. India is third internationally in domestic air traffic, third in energy consumption, fourth in renewable energy, with sports achievements in every field. “In every field we see hope and expectation, the nation is full of dreams,” he said.
But here in Parliament, he said some people were sad and looked disappointed. One reason for this could be they lost in elections. Another reason could be that during the 10 years of UPA rule, inflation was double digit, unemployment was rising, and for employment the MGNREGA law passed with little result. The 2004 to 2014 decade was a decade of “ghotalas”, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, terrorist attacks continued; none felt safe. In those 10 years, India had little voice internationally and none cared to listen to India.
The UPA rule turned every opportunity into a problem, he said. They were stuck in 2G when the opportunity for technology came. There was a cash for vote scam when the civil nuclear deal came and scandals when the Commonwealth games were taking place. There was a coal scam, terrorist attacks and for years the blood of innocent citizens was spilt. There were controversies in defence deals, helicopter purchase. “The 2004-2014 decade was a lost decade. The 2030 decade is a decade of opportunity,” the prime minister added.
The prime minister said he thought election defeats would bring his critics together. Instead, they had come together because of the Enforcement Directorate. Amidst shouts of “Modi, Modi,” he said, “Faith in Modi is not because of some headlines on TV.”
People benefiting from the Government’s performance wouldn’t believe any charges against him. Eighty crore got free rations, poor farmers got quarterly allowances, over three crore poor got houses, there were free gas connections for nine crore houses, 11 crore women had got toilets in their homes and similarly there were facilities like drinking water and Ayushman Bharat medical help.
The government believed in precedence to the deprived. The vanchit were left high and dry earlier. Dalits, backwards got power for the first time, the country was celebrating an Adivasi as the President of the country. Women are being empowered because it empowered the whole society and then the whole nation.
After the UPA rule, he said if his government had left things as it is, there would have been no noise. In fact, people had lost hope. Indians are today full of positivity, he had seen it across the country, he said. Indians dream and are connected with creativity. Aadhaar and GST were criticised but GST had helped. HAL was abused, it is the biggest hub of helicopter manufacturing and has big orders. Today, people are able to unfurl the national flag at Lalchowk in Srinagar only because of the Government’s various initiatives.