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Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said that the country is becoming fully capable of meeting any external and internal challenges, while deriving inspiration from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. 

In a video message on the occasion of 'Rashtriya Ekta Diwas', the 146th birth anniversary of India's first deputy prime minister and home minister Sardar Patel, PM Modi said collective efforts, like those seen during the coronavirus crisis, will take the nation to new heights. 

Noting that the nation is paying tribute to Sardar Patel who gave his life for 'Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat', the Prime Minister said that Patel lives not only in history but also in the hearts of all Indians. 

"Sardar Patel always wanted India to be strong, inclusive, sensitive and alert, humble and developed. He always put the interest of the country first. Today, deriving inspiration from him, India is becoming fully capable of dealing with all kinds of challenges, external and internal," PM Modi said. 

The Prime Minister also said that India is today taking inspiration from the spirit of 'Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat' to achieve self-reliance and safeguard its interests. 

"In the last seven years, the country has got rid of the decades-old unwanted laws, and has taken the ideals that cherish national unity to new heights. Be it Jammu and Kashmir, North East or any village in the Himalayas, today all are progressing on the path of progress," PM Modi said. 

He also said the modern infrastructure development in the country is working to remove the geographical and cultural distances. The country is today witnessing a "great maha yagna of social, economic and constitutional integration", and its capability and determination on every front - water, land, air, space - is unprecedented, he said. 

"India has started on a new mission of self-reliance to safeguard its interests," Modi said. He said the spirit of everyone's effort should be made the basis of the pace of development and to make a self-reliant India. 

"Where the lack of unity brings new crisis, the collective effort of everyone takes the country to new heights," he said. He cited the fight against coronavirus as an example of what the country can achieve through collective efforts. 

"From new COVID-19 hospitals to ventilators, from manufacturing essential medicines to crossing the milestone of 100 crore vaccine doses-- these have been made possible only because of the efforts of every Indian, every government, every industry," he said. 

Modi said the combined result of several reforms undertaken over the years has made India an attractive investment destination. "We now have to make this spirit of everyone's effort the basis of the pace of development, to make a self-reliant India," he said. 

He said every action should be taken with "broader national goals" in mind and to see how one is supporting it in a self-reliant India. "Indian industry can also set targets of how much it needs to depend on foreign raw materials or components," he said. 

He said farmers can also strengthen their participation in self-reliant India by adopting new farming techniques and new crops (cultivation), according to the needs of the country. "Our cooperative institutions should also strengthen small farmers of the country. The more we focus on our small farmers, the more we come forward for their betterment. We will be able to create a new trust even in remote villages and we will have to do this," he said. 

PM Modi also said everybody will have to contribute to enrich the spirit of 'One India', and “only when we remain united will we be able to move forward, and only then will the country achieve its goals."

The form of today's India, as per Sardar Patel's idea, should be one where women have equal opportunity, where the Dalits, deprived sections, tribals and forest dwellers, every citizen of the country feels equal. He said the country is today working in the direction of achieving the same kind of India, where there is no discrimination in facilities like house, electricity, water, and setting new goals regularly. 

"If the dynamism of the society is added to the government, it is not difficult to achieve the biggest of resolutions, everything is possible," he said. 

These things may seem ordinary, but their results will be unprecedented. Over the years, we have seen how people's participation has strengthened the country even in small matters like cleanliness, he said. 

"As a citizen, when we moved ahead as one India, we also got success and we also contributed to the excellence of India. You always remember- even the smallest work is great if there is a good spirit behind it. The joy that is there in serving the country cannot be described in words," he said. 

"For the integrity and unity of the country, while fulfilling our civic duties, our every effort is a true tribute to Sardar Patelji. Taking inspiration from our accomplishments, let us move forward, give new heights to the unity and excellence of the country," he added.

With PTI inputs

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