March 13, 2023
NEW DELHI – Sharply attacking senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his recent controversial remarks on Indian democracy during his visit to the UK, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday asserted that the roots of Indian democracy were drawn from the country’s centuries-old history and no power on earth could harm its democratic traditions.
Some people were constantly putting India’s democracy in the dock and there was need to remain alert against them, he said without directly naming Rahul while laying the foundation stone of key development projects at Hubballi-Dharwad in Karnataka.
”It is unfortunate that India’s democracy was questioned in London. The roots of India’s democracy are drawn from our centuries-old history. No power in the world can harm India’s democratic traditions,” he declared.
The PM said that 21st century India was moving ahead by modernising its cities. He said Hubballi-Dharwad was included in the smart city project and many smart projects have been dedicated today. “Technology, infrastructure and smart governance will take the Hubballi-Dharwad region to new heights,” he said.
He lamented the thought process of yesteryears that expansion of quality education institutions would lead to dilution of their brand. This thinking led to a massive loss for the young generation and the new India was now leaving this process of thinking behind, he said.
“Good education should reach everywhere, to everyone. Larger number of quality institutions will ensure the reach of good education to more people,” he added.
Highlighting that the central and state governments were working together to provide clean drinking water to Dharwad and its surrounding areas, the PM informed that the foundation stone for a scheme worth more than Rs 1,000 crores has been laid under the ”Jal Jeevan Mission” under which water from the Renuka Sagar reservoir and the Malaprabha river would be brought to more than 1.25 lakh houses through taps.
“Better and advanced infrastructure is not only good to look at but also makes the lives of people easier,” the PM remarked. Highlighting the difficulties faced by people of all communities and ages due to lack of better roads and hospitals, he noted that every citizen was reaping the benefits of advanced infrastructure being developed across the nation.
He gave examples of students, farmers and the middle class who were making use of better connectivity to reach their destinations. Throwing light on the work done towards modernising infrastructure in the last nine years, he said the network of roads in villages has more than doubled through the PM Sadak Yojana, and the National Highway network has increased by more than 55 per cent. He also informed that the number of airports in the country has more than doubled in the last 9 years.
The PM said that earlier India was not that prominent in the world of Internet. Today it was among the most powerful digital economies. This happened because the government made the cheap Internet available and took it to villages. “On an average, 2.5 lakh broadband connections were given every day in the last 9 years,” he informed.
“This speed is coming in the development of infra because today, infrastructure is being built according to the needs of the country. Earlier, rail and road projects were announced after weighing the political profit and loss. We have come up with the PM Gatishakti National Master Plan for the entire country. So that wherever there is a need in the country, infrastructure can be built at a fast pace,” he added.
Referring to the focus on social infrastructure, he recalled the days of scarcity in the critical areas of housing, toilets, cooking gas, hospitals and drinking water etc. He elaborated how these issues have been addressed and all these facilities were being now made available. “Today we are giving all the resources to the youth to realise their resolutions in the next 25 years,” he said.