Monday, 15th September 2014

Learn from Nepal and renounce violence, Modi says in Independence Day speech


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India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his Independence Day speech to the nation, called on people who chose violence to learn from the example of Nepal and give up arms.

Addressing the nation from the Red Fort in New Delhi during India's 68th Independence Day celebrations on Friday, August 15, Modi praised Nepal for ending its armed internal conflict and heading towards resolving issues through peaceful means.

"There was a time in Nepal when their youngsters had opted for the path of violence but today I witness that the same youngsters are waiting for their constitution. The same people associated with them are framing the constitution," he said.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at the end of his speech from the Red Fort to mark the country's 68th Independence Day in New Delhi on Friday, August 15, 2014. Modi condemned a spate of rapes as a source of shame for India and urged an end to communal violence on August 15 as he vowed to improve the lives of the nation's poor in his first Independence Day speech. (AFP/Prakash Singh)Referencing his speech to Nepal's Constituent Assembly on Aug 3, he said: "And I further said that if Nepal could present the best example of moving from the weapons to the books then it could provide inspiration to the youngsters in the world to abandon the path of violence."

If Nepal -- the land of Buddha, which struggled with decade-long violence, could send the world a message of solutions through peace, Modi said, why could India not do the same. "So it's the call of the hour that we renounce the path of violence and take the path of brotherhood."

Using his trip to Nepal as a backdrop, Modi segued into the topic of division and discrimination inside India and the violence it has led to, appealing for peace within his country.

"Even after Independence, we have had to face the poison of casteism and communalism. How long these evils will continue? Whom does it benefit? We have had enough of fights, many have been killed. Friends, look behind and you will find that nobody has benefited from it. Except casting a slur on Mother India, we have done nothing," he said, before calling for a 10-year moratorium on social ills like ' of casteism, communalism, regionalism, and discrimination on social and economic basis'.

"Let's resolve for once in our hearts, let's put a moratorium on all such activities for ten years, we shall march ahead to a society which will be free from all such tensions. And you will see that how much strength we get from peace, unity, goodwill and brotherhood. Let's experiment it for once," he said.

PORTION OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT OF MODI SPEECH REFERENCING NEPAL:

"My dear brothers and sisters, the law will take its own course, strict action will be taken, but as a member of the society, as parents, we also have some responsibilities. If somebody tells me that those who have taken guns on their shoulders and kill innocent people are maoists, are terrorists, but they are also somebody's children. I would like to ask of such parents if they had ever asked their children as to why they were taking a wrong path. Every parent must take this responsibility, he must know that his misguided son is bent on killing innocent people. He is not able to serve himself nor his family nor the country. I want to say to those youngsters who have chosen the path of violence that whatever they are and wherever they are, it is all because of mother India only that they have got it. Whoever you are it is all because of your parents. I want to ask you to think how green, how beautiful and how beneficial this earth can become if you shoulder the plough instead of the gun which spills blood on this land. How long shall we have bloodshed on this land, how long shall we take the lives of the innocent people and what have we got after all this? The path of violence has not yielded anything to us.

"Brothers and sisters, I had gone to Nepal recently. There I said something publicly to draw the attention of the whole world. There was a time when the Emperor Ashoka who had chosen the path of wars, got converted to the path of Buddha at the sight of violence. There was a time in Nepal when their youngsters had opted for the path of violence but today I witness that the same youngsters are waiting for their constitution. The same people associated with them are framing the constitution. And I further said that if Nepal could present the best example of moving from the weapons to the books then it could provide inspiration to the youngsters in the world to abandon the path of violence.

"Brothers and sisters, If Nepal, land of Budhha, can give message to the world then why can't India too do the same? So it's the call of the hour that we renounce the path of violence and take the path of brotherhood.

"Brothers and sisters, for one reason or the other, we have had communal tensions for ages. This led to the division of the country. Even after Independence, we have had to face the poison of casteism and communalism. How long these evils will continue? Whom does it benefit? We have had enough of fights, many have been killed. Friends, look behind and you will find that nobody has benefited from it. Except casting a slur on Mother India, we have done nothing. Therefore, I appeal to all those people that whether it is the poison of casteism, communalism, regionalism, discrimination on social and economic basis, all these are obstacles in our way forward. Let's resolve for once in our hearts, let's put a moratorium on all such activities for ten years, we shall march ahead to a society which will be free from all such tensions. And you will see that how much strength we get from peace, unity, goodwill and brotherhood. Let's experiment it for once.

"My dear countrymen, believe in my words, I do assure you. Shun all the sins committed so far, give up that way, follow the way of goodwill and brotherhood, and let's resolve to take the country forward. I believe we can do that.

"With advancement of science, brothers and sisters, we have a rising feeling of modernity in our mind, but what do we do? Have we ever thought what the sex ratio in the country is like? 940 girls are born against per thousand boys. Who is causing this imbalance in the society? Certainly not God. I request the doctors not to kill the girl growing in the womb of a mother just to line their own pockets.  I advise mothers and sisters not to sacrifice daughters in the hope of son. Sometimes mother-father feel tempted to have son in the hope of supporting them in old age. I am a person who has worked in public life. I have come across families with five sons, each having bungalows, access to fleet of cars, but parents are forced to live in old-age homes, Vriddhashrams.  I have seen such families. I have also seen families with only daughter as progeny, that daughter sacrifices her dreams, doesn't get married, and spends entire life in taking care of old parents.  This disparity points to female foeticide and the polluted and tainted mind the 21st century has. We will have to liberate from it, and that is message to us of this Freedom festival."

SOURCE: http://pmindia.gov.in/en/news_updates/pms-address-to-the-nation-from-the-ramparts-of-the-red-fort-on-the-68th-independence-day/


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