New India to be free of casteism, communalism, terrorism and corruption: PM Modi
Modi said 2018 would be a special year for those born in the 21st century as they would turn 18 and be eligible to vote.india Updated: Dec 31, 2017 13:19 IST
Ringing in the new year 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted citizens on Sunday to aim for a new India that is free from poison of casteism, communalism, terrorism and corruption.
“Equal opportunities should be given to all and let peace, unity and amity be the only guiding forces of New India,” Modi said in 2017’s last edition of his radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’. (Highlights)
Showering praises on Kashmiri youth, he said, “Just last week, I had the chance of meeting some daughters of Jammu & Kashmir. I was amazed at the spirit that they had, the enthusiasm that was there in their hearts and dreams they nurtured.”
Modi also mentioned the inspiring story of Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak, who extricated himself from the sting of terrorism and hatred, and topped in Kashmir Administrative Examination. “Today he is an inspiration not only for J&K but India.”
In a bid to empower Muslim women, Modi said his government has changed a law to permit them to travel for the annual Haj pilgrimage without any male attendant or Mehram.
Referring to December 25, Christmas day when people across the world and India remember Lord Jesus Christ, he stressed on his teachings on service, and said “Serving people is the biggest identity of humankind.”
He also noted that 2017 was the 350th birth year of Guru Gobind Singh, and said the great values imparted by him were an inspiration for our lives today.
“It is a privilege that I got to participate in the anniversary celebrations at Patna Sahib at the beginning of this year,” Modi said.
‘Millenium’s first-born turn 18’
The upcoming New Year will be a “special one” for the youth as those who were born in the 21st century will turn 18 and be eligible to cast votes, he said.
“Your vote will become the foundation of a new India... You will not just be granting yourselves the right to vote but will be making yourselves the founders of the tomorrow’s India,” Modi said.
He also suggested a district-level organising of ‘Mock Parliament’ sessions to give the young adults a practical knowledge of the polity.
He exhorted the youth to use their voting right to usher in a “people’s revolution” for the country’s development.
Stress on Cleanliness
The Prime Minister also recounted the story of ‘Punyam Poonkavanam’ programme, a voluntary campaign started by police officer P Vijayan at Sabarimala temple, dedicated to Lord Ayyappa, in Kerala, to create awareness on cleanliness.
“The ongoing ‘Punyam Poonkavanam’ programme in Kerala’s Sabarimala temple is a great example to create awareness on cleanliness in the country,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi also said a cleanliness survey will be conducted from the January 4 to March 10 to evaluate achievements in the cleanliness of urban areas.
“Swachh Survekshan 2018... will cover a population of more than 40 crores in more than 4,000 cities,” he said.
ASEAN leaders as Republic Day chief guests
Towards the end of his address, Modi said the 2018 Republic Day celebrations would be “remembered through the ages” because the government for the first time in India’s history would host leaders of 10 Asean countries as chief guests on January 26.
He said the year 2017 was special for both Asean and India because the Southeast Asian bloc completed its 50 years of formation and the year also marked 25 years of India’s partnership with the grouping.
“India looks forward to welcoming leaders” from Asean comprising Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, he said.