75 years of Quit India: Modi calls for building a ‘New India’ by 2022
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that people should come together to build a ‘New India’ by 2022, the 75th year of independent India, and emphasized his government’s commitment to fight against poverty, corruption, casteism, terrorism and communalism.
He was speaking during a special session of Parliament on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement (1942).
Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who also spoke in Parliament, used the opportunity to criticize the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
“Today it looks secularism and free speech are in danger. If we have to preserve freedom, we will have to defeat forces endangering it. Quit India movement is a memory which encourages all of us to make sure that if we want keep our freedom safe, we will have to struggle against all oppressive powers no matter how strong and capable they are.”
During his speech, the Prime Minister said everyone’s aim over the next five years should be on positive changes that make India an inspiration for other countries. “In 1942, conditions internationally became favourable for India to get independence. Today again, the global conditions are favourable for India,” he added.
Recalling Mahatma Gandhi’s contribution, Modi said that the independence struggle had seen people from all walks of life coming together. He urged lawmakers to rise above party lines and differences and contribute to India’s growth.
Some of those differences were evident in Gandhi’s speech.
“We will not allow the idea of India to be a prisoner to narrow mindedness and communal ideology,” she said, even as she seemed to take a swipe at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s ideological parent Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh by referring to organizations that did not support the Quit India movement. To be sure, even B.R. Ambedkar and C.R. Rajagopalachari did not participate in the movement. Nor did many of the communist leaders of the time.
To mark the occasion, the Lok Sabha unanimously passed a resolution promising to work tirelessly in the next five years to build the India of Mahatma Gandhi’s dream. It was read out by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
“We, the representatives of more than 125 crore people, resolve to take along every citizen in working towards building a nation as envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters by 2022 when we will celebrate 75th anniversary of our independence. We shall remain committed and dedicated to build a strong, prosperous, clean and glorious India which is free of corruption. We are committed to welfare of all sections and promote harmony and patriotism.”
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