Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday while speaking at a rally at the temple town of Deoghar cautioned against 'short-cut' politics based on populism, which he said can lead to “short-circuit” of a nation.
Modi also asserted at a separate function at Patna on the occasion centenary celebrations of Bihar assembly that India was the “mother of all democracies”.
He said the nation drew from the legacy of ancient republics like Vaishali, and expressed satisfaction over the nation's march towards becoming a 'mature democracy.'
“India is a democracy because we believe in Samanjasya (harmony)….. We are often told that India is the largest democracy. I would like countrymen to remember that we are not just the largest; India is the mother of all democracies,” he claimed.
He recalled that the state was home to Vaishali, said to be the oldest republic in the world.
“Many people say that democracy came to India because of western influence. By doing so they undermine the legacy of Bihar,” the PM said, recalling events like Champaran Satyagrah of Mahatma Gandhi to make his point.
He also said the nation was “on its way to becoming a mature democracy” which was evident from “better attendance of lawmakers inside Parliament and state assemblies” and “discarding of obsolete laws”.
Addressing a Bharatiya Janata Party organised public rally earlier in the day at Deoghar after inaugurating and laying foundation stones of projects worth over Rs 16,800 crore, the prime minister said that those who indulge in “short-cut politics” would not have got such projects done.
Modi also said India is land of faith and spirituality, and pilgrimages shaped “us as a better society and country”, as he spoke at the public meeting, held ahead of the auspicious Shravani Mela.
"The government is making investment to provide modern infrastructure at places associated with faith, spirituality and historical importance," he said, referring to Ayodhya, Kashi Vishawnath and Baba Baidyanath temple in Deoghar.
Urging people to refrain from politics based on populist measures, Modi said it is a challenge before the country.
"The country faces a major challenge of short-cut politics, but it is a big truth that the country whose politics is based on it can have short-circuit... It can destroy a country," Modi said.
"It is very easy to get votes from people by taking populist measures, adopting short-cut politics without thinking about far-reaching consequences,” the PM said.
While some analysts saw this as a reference to opposition led state governments who have taken costly populist measures, others wondered whether it was a veiled reference to events in Sri Lanka where the government has been overturned by a popular upsurge following an economic crisis which came about after a spending splurge.
Emphasising his belief that freebies are not good for any nation in the long run, Modi asked “ If government gives everything for free, then from where will it garner money to build infrastructure.”
Earlier, it was all about satta bhav (to enjoy power) now it is about seva bhav (will to do service), Modi said.
The BJP government is taking development everywhere, to everyone, he added.
Earlier in the day the prime minister unveiled multiple projects in Jharkhand, flagged off a Kolkata-bound Indigo flight from the new 653-acre airport, built at a cost of Rs 401 crore.
Modi said the new initiatives would go a long way in boosting development in eastern India.
The prime minister also stated that the projects, totaling Rs 16,800 crore, would give a huge impetus to Jharkhand's connectivity, and strengthen sectors such as energy, health, faith and tourism.
"When steps are taken to improve the lives for common citizens, national assets are created and new opportunities of national development emerge...The new projects not only benefit Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal but also accelerate development in east India,” he said.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren who also spoke at the venue, asserted Jharkhand would be one of the leading states in the next five to seven years if support from the Union government continued.
At the same time, in a veiled attack Soren reminded all that the state's contribution should not be forgotten.
"We have seen that the labourers who construct a building are often forgotten," he said at the inauguration of Deoghar airport by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Jharkhand has been contributing to nation building for years through its minerals, including coal and iron," Soren who in the past criticised the NDA government for not paying a huge sum of Rs 1.36 lakh crore for coal and other mineral royalties, said.
Of the projects inaugurated by the PM during the day are an in-patient department and an operation theatre at AIIMS, Deoghar.
He also dedicated two railway initiatives to people -- Godda-Hansdiha electrified route and Garhwa-Mahuria doubling project -- which would facilitate seamless traffic movement of goods for industries and power houses.
Several amenities on Baba Baidyanath Dham premises, including congregation halls for pilgrims, were also inaugurated by the PM.
Modi said the airport and the facilities at the temple complex would promote tourism.
"Around 70 new locations have been connected through airports, heliports and water aerodromes in the last 5-6 years under the Centre's UDAN scheme. Today, people can travel on along 400 new air routes. More than one crore people have access to affordable air travel, many for the first time," he said.
The PM also unveiled energy infrastructure projects, including the Bokaro-Angul section of Jagdishpur-Haldia-Bokaro-Dhamra pipeline of GAIL.
The prime minister said that efforts had been underway over the past eight years to strengthen the infrastructure of railways, roadways and airways in the region.
Projects for which foundation stones have been laid include Ranchi station redevelopment, Jasidih bypass line and a depot in Godda, besides road widening initiatives.
Modi, during his Jharkhand visit, also embarked on a 12-km roadshow here amid tight security.
Enthusiasts, most of them in saffron attire, waited on both sides of the road as the PM's carcade made its way through the meandering roads of the district, with Modi waving at the crowd and greeting people with folded hands.
The PM later offered prayers at Baba Baidyanath Dham temple.