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Govt not an elected contractor, democracy works on ‘bhagidari’: Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi sounded almost like the late US president John F Kennedy, known for his infamous quote ‘ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’, when he called on others to contribute to India’s democracy.

india Updated: Apr 14, 2017 01:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a felicitation function at Parliament in New Delhi. (PTI File Photo)

The government is not an “elected contractor” but think what you can contribute for the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday.

His remarks, at the 50th anniversary of the Ladies wing of Indian Merchant Chamber, almost sounded like John F Kennedy’s best-known quote – ‘ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country’.

Talking about how his government is pushing women empowerment, the PM highlighted how the passport rules have been changed to give more flexibility to women.

“Now, women don’t need furnish certificates of her marriage or talaq. It also depends on her if she mentions her father’s name or mother’s name in the passport.”

Through video from here, the PM addressed the event in which Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, BJP MP Poonam Mahajan and Bollywood star Katrina Kaif were present among others.

Modi asked if corporate India can develop an “online platform that helps the youth to know which skill is in demand in which country.”

He also took potshots at the Congress when he spoke about his government’s target to give more gas connections to poor women. “During 2014 poll my rival party’s was mulling whether 9 or 12 cylinders should be subsidized. It was about Lok Sabha poll, about the PM, country’s agenda, but one party was stuck between 9 or 12 cylinders.”

But he also emphasized that when he talks about responsibilities, it is not necessarily of what the government can do.

“I talk about what we all can do. Can’t we celebrate the 75th year of Independence in 2022 with our contribution? Democracy is the journey of bhagidari,” Modi said.

He also asked for special awareness campaign for GST to teach small women employers and traders about the benefits of the new law.

Effusively praising the capabilities of Indian women, Modi maintained that from Panchayet to Parliament, from village wells to Silicon Valley Indian women are dominating everywhere.

“It’s a myth that Indian women are only housewives,” the PM added.

First Published: Apr 14, 2017 01:21 IST