Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said India's growth story is being disrupted by forces with a colonial mindset, including in the name of freedom of expression.
Addressing a Constitution Day event organised by the Supreme Court, he said a colonial mindset still exists, years after the end of colonialism, and these forces are putting obstacles in the path of growth of the developing nations.
Modi said today, there is no country in the world that exists as a colony of another, but that does not mean that the colonial mindset is a thing of the past too.
"We are seeing that this mindset is giving rise to many distortions. The most obvious example of this is seen in the obstacles faced by us in the development journey of developing countries," he added.
The prime minister said efforts are being made to close out the same means, the same path for the developing countries, by which the developed world has reached where it is today.
"We are the only country that is in the process of achieving the goals of the Paris agreement ahead of time and yet, in the name of environment, various pressures are being created on India. All this is the result of a colonial mindset. But the unfortunate thing is that in our country too, due to such a mindset, obstacles are being put in the path of development, sometimes in the name of freedom of expression and sometimes with the help of something else," he said.
Modi said this colonial mindset is a huge obstacle in further strengthening the determination that was created during the freedom movement.
"We have to remove it. And for this, our biggest strength, our biggest inspiration is our Constitution," he said.
Modi said both the government and the judiciary are born out of the Constitution and hence, they are twins.
The government and the judiciary have come into existence only because of the Constitution, he said, adding that the two complement each other even while being different.
The prime minister also underlined the importance of the concept of separation of powers and said there is a need to show collective resolve within the spirit of the Constitution as the common man deserves more than what he has currently.
"On the strong foundation of separation of powers, we have to pave the path of collective responsibility, create a roadmap, determine goals and take the country to its destination," he said.
Modi said, "Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas is a powerful manifestation of the Constitution's spirit."
He said a government dedicated to the Constitution does not discriminate when it comes to development and "we have shown that."
"Today, the poorest of the poor are getting the same access to quality infrastructure, which was once limited to resourceful people. Today, the country has as much focus on the development of Ladakh, Andaman and the northeast as it is on metro cities like Delhi and Mumbai," he said.
Addressing the gathering which included several Supreme Court and high court judges, the prime minister said, "All of us may have different roles, different responsibilities, different ways of working, but the source of our faith, inspiration and energy is the same -- our Constitution."
He said even after so many years of independence, a large number of people in the country are condemned to suffer exclusion in the areas of basic needs such as drinking water, toilet and electricity.
"Working to make their lives easier is the best tribute to the Constitution," Modi said and expressed satisfaction that a massive campaign to turn this exclusion into inclusion is underway in the country.
During the COVID-19 period, free foodgrains were provided to more than 80 crore people for several months, he said.
The government is giving free foodgrains to the poor by spending more than Rs 2,60,000 crore on the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana, Modi said, adding that the scheme was extended on Wednesday.
He said when the needs and concerns of the poor, women, transgenders, street vendors, divyangs (differently-abled people) and other segments will get addressed, they will be included in the process of nation-building and their faith in the Constitution will be strengthened.
Chief Justice of India NV Ramana, Union law minister Kiren Rijiju, senior Supreme Court and high court judges, attorney general KK Venugopal and president of the Supreme Court Bar Association Vikas Singh were among those present on the occasion.