Source: The Hitavada      Date: 01 Aug 2017 12:01:04

AHEAD of the Independence Day Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has harked back to the spirit of the momentous five years from 1942 to 1947 which shaped the destiny of modern, independent India. Those five years marked intense struggle of the countrymen to get freed from the imperial British yoke. The entire nation was fired by the singular spirit of freedom which saw millions of Indians making unprecedented sacrifices, which ultimately culminated into the British raj being thrown out. Then the people were mesmerised by the impassioned call by Mahatma Gandhi to “Quit India” to the British rulers and were drawn to the epochal struggle in a rare unity of purpose, forgetting all barriers of caste,creed,religion. Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi has invoked that spirit of the freedom movement for building a modern, new India. 

Giving a call for building a “New India” during his recent monthly ‘Man ki baat’ dialogue with the countrymen, the Prime Minister has identified the ills that plagues the nation’s march towards becoming a modern, developed and economically prosperous, an inclusive society. These ills are becoming the impediments in the nation’s development path. They include, as the Prime Minister has identified them, communalism, casteism, corruption,terrorism, poverty and dirt. These indeed are the enemies of the nation.

Mr. Modi’s call envisages a single-minded commitment by the entire population of the country to achieve the goal that he has set for the nation’s march towards a New India which would have no place for caste, communal divides; which would envisage a corruption free society; a society which would be free of the spectre of terrorism; a society that will see the back of poverty; a community that will rid itself of the scourge of dirt and filth to create a healthy ambience all around.

The Prime Minister has acknowledged that efforts were made in the past to remove these ills and success was achieved but those of course are proving inadequate to address the needs of modern, developing India, an India which is aspiring to be among the top economically advanced nations of the world. While those successes took a very long time to achieve and left the nation much behind the rest of the developed world, the Prime Minister wants to set a time line for achieving the next set of development targets. Hence he has said that the next five years -- between 2017 and 2022 -- should be lived by the countrymen in the spirit of that period of the freedom struggle from 1942 to 1947.

Thus for the Prime Minister it is critical for the country to rededicate itself to the cause of eliminating the ills that are pulling the country back from the path of realising its potential. And this is only likely to be achieved through the selfless dedication of every member of the society, burying the caste, communal dividing lines. As the nation’s leader, Mr. Modi’s call to the countrymen, therefore, is for rising above narrow, sectarian confines and dedicating to the larger national goal. Building a New India is not a mere slogan. It is a call for a concrete action, not just by the Government of the day but a call for collective effort by the entire community.

Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ call had swept throughout the length and breadth of the country as liberating the nation from alien rule became the single-minded mission for every Indian, transcending every barrier and which Mr. Modi has identified as the ills plaguing the national cause now. What Mr. Modi expects is the spirit of spontaneity in the response from the people where nation building would become a people’s movement just as the freedom struggle had become. It is for the people to pick up the baton and march ahead collectively.