Terming corruption, poverty and illiteracy as the greatest challenges, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called for special initiatives to end all such ills in the next five years with the pledge of ‘karenge aur kar ke rahenge’ (We will do and surely do).
Addressing the Lok Sabha on the 75th anniversary of the Quit India movement, the prime minister said from 2017 to 2022 when India turns 75, there is a need to create the same spirit that existed between 1942 and 1947.
He said the menace of corruption has adversely impacted the development journey of the country and has eaten the polity from the inside.
Corruption, poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition are the greatest challenges that India now needs to overcome and a common resolve is needed for this, he said, adding “We need to bring a positive change in this regard.”
“In 1942, the clarion call was ‘Karenge ya marenge’ (Do or Die) - today it is ‘Karenge Aur Kar Ke Rahenge.’ The next five years should also be about ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi’, a resolve which will lead us to accomplishment,” Modi said.
He said in the next five years till 2022, India must try to bring positive changes so that it can become inspiration for many other nations.
India’s freedom from colonial rule was not only about India, but a defining moment in ending colonialism in other parts of the world too, the prime minister said.
He said from 1857 to 1942, the move towards freedom was incremental, but the years from 1942 to 1947, were transformative and delivered on the objective.
“In 1942, conditions internationally became favourable for India to get independence. Today again, the global conditions are favourable for India,” he said.
He urged the MPs to rise above differences and join in a common effort to create an India of the dreams of the freedom fighters in the next five years, from 2017 to 2022.
The PM specially remembered the role of women during the freedom struggle, saying they can add immense strength to the common objectives even today.
He said the Indian freedom struggle witnessed participation from a wide range of individuals over several years, specially after 1942 responding to the Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of ‘Do or Die’.
Modi recalled that even as many senior leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were jailed at the beginning of the Quit India movement, a new generation of leaders emerged to fill the vacuum and take the movement forward.
“The Quit India movement marked the rise of a new leadership. They supported Mahatma Gandhi during the movement,” he said.
Modi said the recollection of movements such as the Quit India was a source of inspiration and the current generation has a responsibility of passing on the legacy of such movements to the future generations.
“We remember the Quit India movement. Remembering such movements gives us strength as a nation,” he said.
During his nearly 30 minutes meeting, he remembered the role played by different leaders in different period of times which include Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jai Prakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, Chandrashekar Azad and Raj Guru.
He said during the Quit India movement, all parts of the country, all communities, farmers, labourers, teachers and others came together with the thought of “now or never”.
Modi said Gandhi had said that he would not be satisfied unless the country gets full freedom but never left the path of non-violence.
He also referred to the enactment of the GST Act saying the way the political parties and state governments had extended support to the legislation, a similar approach would be taken by all concerned to resolve the problems of the country.
The PM said the freedom struggle went through several phases and recalled various leaders and movements that emerged at various points since 1857.
He said the Quit India movement that began in 1942, was a decisive movement and from political leaders to the common man, everyone was imbued with the spirit of “Do or Die”.
“Five years was all it took to achieve the objective of independence, once the entire country shared this common resolve,” he said.
Speaking about rights and duties, Modi said while people are well aware of their rights, they cannot forget their duties, and these too, must become the way of life.
He said colonialism began in India and ended here too with India gaining independence. This was soon followed by the fall of colonialism across Asia and Africa.
The PM concluded with the resolve to overcome corruption, giving the poor their rights, giving the youth self-employment, ending malnutrition, the barriers towards women empowerment and illiteracy.
“We all will together to eliminate corruption and we will do it; We all together will empower the poor with their rights and we will do it; We all will together ensure employment to the youths and we will do it.
“We all will together eliminate malnutrition and we will do it; We will all together eliminate all hurdles for women empowerment and we will do it; We will all together end illiteracy and we will do it,” the PM said.
We require a Bharat Jodo movement: LS Speaker
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said there was a need to start an initiative to unite the people of the country, as was done during the Quit India Movement launched to gain country's independence in 1942.
"The freedom fighters then had said Bharat Chhodo (Quit India). Now, we require a Bharat Jodo (Unite India) movement," she said.
Mahajan said the movement can be run from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and cover all the regions of the country so that a strong and united India could be built.
"Our freedom fighters had dreamt of an India which has inclusive development. We will have to work hard that the fruits of development reach every part of the country," she said.
The Speaker said Mahatma Gandhi had said the poorest sections of the society should be the priority when it comes to the issues of development. This statement was reiterated by Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay by saying that the development should reach the last man.
"This is the concept of the Antyodaya (rise of the last person," she said.
"Lokmanya Bal Gangadhar Tilak had said 'freedom is my birth right and I shall have it'. Similarly, it is important to say now that 'Suraaj' (good governance) is my ultimate duty and I will do it," she further added.
Mahajan said the qualities of energy, courage, belief, determination and self-confidence that gave the country independence, have to be followed again so that "we are able to build an India of our dreams which is the best, strongest, prosperous and a world leader".