Prime Minister Narendra Modi today declared that he would like to run the country on the basis of consensus and not on majority in Parliament and called for a 10-year moratorium on caste and communal violence.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of historic Red Fort for the first time, he also asked the misguided youth who have taken to terrorism and naxalism to shed their guns and adopt the path of peace and development.
Less than three months after taking over as Prime Minister, Modi unveiled a roadmap for his government, announcing a financial inclusion scheme for the poor to open bank account with built-in insurance, development of model villages by MPs and launching of a scheme for elimination of open defecation.
He asked the corporates to work with the government as part of their social responsibility to install toilets, including separate ones for girl students, in all schools by next Independence Day.
In his 65-minute extempore speech in Hindi without any bullet-proof shield, he also announced that the Planning Commission, a socialist-era vestige, would be soon replaced with a new institution keeping in view the economic changes internally and globally.
Asserting that he was speaking not as the Prime Minister but as “prime servant”, Modi made a special mention of the services rendered by his predecessors and former governments for the country’s development.
Seeking the cooperation of all political parties and pledging to take their help, he referred to the Parliament session that concluded on Thursday, saying “it was a reflection of our thinking and intention to move forward not on the basis of majority but on the basis of strong foundation of consensus.
“You must have seen that by taking all parties, including opposition, along we achieved unprecedented success. The credit for it does not go just to the Prime Minister or the government but also to opposition, its leaders and each of its MPs. I salute all MPs and leaders of parties with whose help we ended this first session with success.”
Prime Minister Narendra Modi began his speech expressing gratitude to all previous Prime Ministers and governments to take India to great heights. In an apparent reference to recent incidents in some parts of the country, the Prime Minister said communalism and castism are an obstacle in the country’s progress.
“We see violence on the basis of religion and caste. How long? Who is benefiting? We have fought enough, killed enough. If you look back, you will find that nobody has gained anything…. It took us to even partition.
“I appeal that for the sake of country’s progress, there should be a 10-year moratorium on violence, at least for once, so that we are free from these ills. We should have peace, unity and harmony. Please believe my word, if we give up the path of violence and adopt the path of brotherhood, we will make progress,” he said.
Referring to terrorism and naxalism, Modi again wondered how long the violence would continue. “You will get nothing,” he told the misguided youth.
He cited the example of Nepal where Maoists have shunned the path of violence after a decade-long armed struggle and joined the political mainstream and nation-building.
“They (maoists) have given up arms and are now waiting for a new Constitution. It is an example of inspiration for the misguided youth. It is high time that misguided youth renounce violence and take the path of peace,” said Modi who recently visited Nepal.