Fri, Feb 24, 2017 | updated 01:50 PM IST

Targeting Pak indirectly, PM Modi says India will never bend before terrorism

Updated: Aug 15, 2016 12:05 IST

New Delhi, Aug. 15 (ANI): In what was probably one of the longest Independence Day speeches delivered by a Prime Minister, Narendra Modi sent out a veiled but stern message to Pakistan on Monday that India would never bend before state-sponsored terrorism or terrorists.

In a 90-minute-long address to the nation, which covered a wide gamut of issues, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, without naming Pakistan, said some countries glorify terrorists, but India is not one of them. He said it is a country that does not have a place for violence or encourages committing of atrocities on its citizens.

Deviating from the norm of restricting Independence Day speeches to issues of domestic import, Modi highlighted Pakistan's brutality in Gilgit- Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, and said the fact that people from those remote and deprived regions are approaching India for help and support should be seen as a certificate of credit of New Delhi's humanitarian approach and the greater need for shunning violence as a pursuit of one's life.

Modi's decision to use his Independence Day speech to expose Pakistan's brutalities in Balochistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir was a first by an Indian Prime Minister.

"Many innocents were killed in Peshawar terrorist attack, but there were tears in everyone's eyes in Parliament here," Modi said in his speech on the occasion of India's 70th Independence Day.

Shifting to other issues, the Prime Minister asserted that there cannot be a bigger freedom for any citizen than the freedom from poverty, and invited all SAARC countries to fight this curse.

On inflation, he claimed that his two-year-old government has been successful in bringing it down from ten to six percent, in spite of being faced by a series of challenges.

"I will continue to strive hard to ensure that this inflation doesn't affect the food plate of the poor," he said.

This third Independence Day address of Modi backed the RBI target of bringing inflation down to four percent.

"We are rising above the discussion of inflation versus growth and are working to ensure that prices do not rise above a certain level," he insisted.

"I admit that because of two years of drought, vegetable prices took a hit. Some issues cropped up. The harvest of pulses was less and that led to prices rising. This year however, the monsoon has been good so far, and I would like to congratulate our farmers, because they have shifted back to sowing pulses. They have increased the sowing of pulses," he added.

He also said that the government is committed to changing the situation where people are scared of filing their income tax or facing authorities of the department, particularly among middle class families.

"We have to change this situation and I will change it," he said, but warned that tax evaders would not be spared and could expect tough treatment under his watch.

He reminded the citizens of the country that their expectations have gone up because of the NDA government's commitment to provide good governance, especially in key sectors such as infrastructure, manufacturing and renewable energy.

The government, he said, is now laying 50,000 km of transmission lines per year as opposed to 35,000 km in the past. Major government hospitals have gone online in a big way to facilitate patients and their families in a better way. Passports were now being delivered within weeks instead of months. In the last 60 years, 14 crore people were given gas connections, but now in 60 weeks, four crore people have received gas connections. Seventy crore Indians are connected to Aadhaar and other social security schemes and over 70,000 villages are now free from open-defecation.

"Earlier, we used to make 70-75 kms of roads in a day. Today, we make over 100 kms in a day. We have found 9,000 lower ranks in which there will not be any interviews, there will not be any need of references and middlemen. These appointments are being done on merit. Today, the citizen is not happy with just the announcement of projects, the unveiling of plans. She/he wants to see the actual work being done on the ground," he added.

Modi said his government's resolve is to turn 'Swaraj' (self-rule) into 'Surajya' (good rule), adding that the aim is to fulfill the dream of "Ek Bharat, Sresth Bharat".

Remembering the stalwarts of the freedom struggle such as Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel and Jawaharlal Nehru, besides countless other people who had sacrificed their lives to end British rule over India, Prime Minister Modi said, "From the Vedas to Vivekananda, we have a long history. India is an ancient country with a rich cultural heritage. It is because of our great freedom fighters who laid down their lives that we are independent, and now was an opportunity to resolve to take the country to new heights."

"The onus is on 125 crore people of India to convert this 'Swaraj' (self-rule) into 'Surajya' (good rule)," he said.

He said it is easy to keep an account of the work done by the government, but difficult to know of it in-depth.

He said the meaning of 'Surajya' is a qualitative and positive change in the lives of the citizen of India, and for that both Niti (policies) and Neeyat (intention) had to be applied transparently and holistically.

With an eye on the forthcoming assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, Modi recalled the contributions of the Sikh community's 10th guru -- Guru Gobind Singh, whose 350th birth anniversary will be observed this year. Punjab, being the granary of India, he praised the farming community for its continued dedication towards meeting the goal of feeding India's 125crore citizenry.

He said the nation must take Guru Gobind Singh's missive that only those hands that have served are sacred to heart and mind.

In Uttar Pradesh and in other parts of the country, he said the Centre has launched good initiatives to ensure that benefits meet the goal of 'last man delivery' decisively.

He asserted that reform, perform and transform is his government's objective for every sector.

He also dwelled on issues such as guaranteeing education for the girl child, financial independence for women and of the goods and services tax giving strength to the Indian economy.

"We have worked to achieve one nation, one grid and one price. Only then, will we be able to progress in a real sense. Only financial growth is not important, social unity is also important," he said.

He did not forget to make a mention of the contribution of the nation's armed forces, saying that their sacrifices would not go in vain and that their families would be well taken care of through pension schemes devised by his government.

Before commencing his address to the nation, the Prime Minister was received below the ramparts of the fort by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, Minister of State (MoS) for Defence Dr. Subhash Bhamre, Defence Secretary G. Mohan Kumar and General Officer Commanding (GOC) Delhi area Lt. General Vijay Singh.

He inspected a tri-services guard of honour accompanied Wing Commander K. Srinivas. (ANI)

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Responding to the anti-militancy operations in Kashmir and disruptions by protesting youth at encounter sites, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah on Friday said the people's anger was justified as the Jammu and Kashmir Government had formed an alliance with the 'communal' forces.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb.24 (ANI): Hitting back at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "donkey" rebuttal to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, the Congress on Friday called on the former to seek votes based on policies and principles, adding that such remarks coming from him were unbecoming.

Full Story >>

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Condemning the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) for refusing to clear the award-winning film Lipstick Under My Burkha, member of the film board Ashoke Pandit on Friday said such an onslaught breaks the confidence of a filmmaker, adding that film industry is under threat from the attitude of Censor Board chairman Pahlaj Nihalani.

Full Story >>

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Amid scorching criticisms from the Opposition for spending, what many claim to be tax payers money, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhara Rao is all set to offer a gold moustache (bangaru meesalu) costing around Rs. 75,000 at Kuravi Veerabhadra Swamy Temple.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Following the deadly shooting in Kansas in which an Indian engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was killed by a gunman in an alleged racial attack, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has assured that India would undertake all arrangements to transport the mortal remains of the former to Hyderabad.

Full Story >>

Patna (Bihar) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Bihar Staff Selection Commission chairman and senior IAS officer Sudhir Kumar was arrested today in connection with the BSSC exam paper leak matter.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Following the deadly shooting in Kansas in which an Indian engineer, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, was killed by a gunman in an alleged racial attack, the Indian Consulate in Houston has stepped in to ensure the victims' mortal remains are brought back and adequate facilities are provided to another Indian, Alok Madasani, who was injured.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): In a tragic incident, one fireman was killed and four other suffered serious injuries after an LPG cylinder exploded in Vikaspuri.

Full Story >>

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Despite the current political turbulence in the state, there is no let-up in zeal and extravagance when it comes to celebrating the birthday of late Tamil Nadu chief minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Full Story >>

NewDelhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday expressed shock at the murder of an Indian engineer, who was shot dead in U.S. by a gunman in an alleged racial attack, and offered her condolences to the bereaved family, adding that India would provide all assistance and help to the victim's family.

Full Story >>

Kathua (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): The Border Security Force (BSF) on Friday apprehended a Pakistani national while he was crossing the International Border (IB) in Jammu and Kashmir's Kathua Sector.

Full Story >>

Kerala: Moral policing victim ends his life

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 08:54 IST

Palakkad [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): A 23-year-old man, who was harassed by a group of youth for allegedly indulging in immoral behaviour with his female friend, committed suicide on Thursday here.

Full Story >>

PM Modi greets nation on Maha Shivratri

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 08:29 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday greeted the nation on the holy occasion of Maha Shivratri.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): After meeting President Pranab Mukherjee yesterday, DMK working president M.K. Stalin will meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi today in the national capital to discuss the current political turbulence in Tamil Nadu.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India] Feb. 24 (ANI): Lashing out at Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati for her remark likening BJP Chief Amit Shah to Mumbai attack terrorist Ajmal Kasab, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday said that the former is resorting to such statements in clear desperation, as she could foresee her impending loss in the state Assembly Elections.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India] Feb. 24 (ANI): After suffering a rout in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) elections, the Congress party on Friday said it will introspect on the reasons for the loss and added that course correction will be undertaken by the grand old party.

Full Story >>

BJP claims BMC results prove boon for them

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 07:30 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], Feb. 24 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday said that the results of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) election turned out to be boon for the saffron party along with Shiv Sena.

Full Story >>

Kolkata[(West Bengal) [India], Feb. 24(ANI): Taking a swipe at 'Kasab' comment made by Bahujan Samaj Party(BSP) supremo Mayawati, the Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) on Friday said that former has lost her mental stability.

Full Story >>

Nation celebrates Maha Shivaratri

Updated: Feb 24, 2017 06:48 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb. 24(ANI): Maha Shivaratri which means the 'Great Night of Shiva' is being celebrated today as it is a festival celebrated annually in honour of lord Shiva.

Full Story >>

New Delhi [India] Feb. 24 (ANI): Hitting back at Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati for referring Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah as a terrorist, the saffron party on Friday said that those who give tickets to gangster-turned politician like Mukhtar Ansari should not talk about terrorism.

Full Story >>