Youth detest anarchy, question system: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached out to the country’s youth on Sunday, saying they will play an important role in taking India to greater heights in the next decade, and added that they hate anarchy, casteism and nepotism, a remark that came amid nationwide students’ protests against the amended citizenship act.
Protests by the youth, especially students of colleges and universities, have continued across the country since Parliament approved the new law that proposes to ease citizenship for minorities from three Muslim-majority countries - Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The protests, which turned into violent clashes with the police at several places including Delhi, have also criticised a proposed all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC), alleging that it is divisive.
Dedicating a major part of his 30-minute Mann Ki Baat radio address, which was the last edition of 2019, Modi said the youth also dislike chaos, instability and discrimination. He applauded them for believing in the system and questioning it when it does not work properly.
“The youth appreciate the system. Not just that, they prefer to follow the system. And in the event of the system not responding properly, they get restless and even courageously question the system itself. I consider this attribute as a virtue,” the PM said on Sunday.
“One can even say with certitude here, that the country’s youth detest anarchy of any sort. They despise any element of lack of governance and instability; abhorring any shades of nepotism, casteism, favouritism or gender discrimination,” he added.
The remarks came days after Modi said those who committed violence in protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, or CAA, must introspect.
Addressing the 60th edition – seventh of his second term – of the monthly radio programme, Modi said the young people are known by different terms. “Some call them millennials and for others they are Generation Z or Gen Z. This is also the ‘social media generation’, which is extremely talented.”
Quoting Swami Vivekananda having said that the young people who are full of energy and dynamism possess the power to usher in change, Modi expressed hope that the youth will play an important role in building modern India in the coming decade.
“I am of the firm belief that for India, this decade will be not only about development and progress of the youth but it will also prove to be about the country’s progress, harnessing their collective might. This generation will play a major role in modernising India, I feel it beyond any doubt,” he said.
The Prime Minister exhorted the youth about the importance of alumni meets in colleges and universities, and said some such events have contributed something for society.
Modi called upon people to promote indigenous products for the next three years till the completion of India’s 75th year of Independence. He urged people to promote local (swadeshi) products and insisted that such a programme should not be carried out by the government.
“Can we pledge that by 2022, when we achieve 75 years of Independence we insist and remain steadfast at least, for about two-three years on buying local products? Products made in India, made by the hands of our citizens, carrying the fragrance of the sweat of our countrymen, can’t we resolve to buy such things? I do not advocate this for a long time, just till 2022, till the completion of 75 years of Independence,” he said.
The PM also lauded members of both the Rajya Sabha and the Lok Sabha and the respective presiding officers for making the last two sessions of Parliament the most productive sittings of the past 60 years.
“Today, I wish to proudly mention, that the parliamentarians that you have elected have broken all the records of the last 60 years. In the last 6 months, both the sessions of the 17th Lok Sabha have been very productive. The Lok Sabha’s productivity stands at 114%, while that of the Rajya Sabha is 94%. And prior to that in the budget session, it had a productivity of 135%,” he said.
The Congress reacted sharply to Modi’s remarks that the youth detest anarchy. “PM and his policies are chief creators of anarchy pushing the youth into chaos and confusion rather than employment and development,” Congress spokesperson Jaiveer Shergill said.
Political analyst KK Kailash, who teaches at Hyderabad University, said, “Remember, just a few days back, the PM spoke about rights and duties. Connect both these together and you see that there is a classical conservative position, where there is an expectation that you obey rules and regulations. All conservative parties expect respect for authority. This is also framed in the context of a lot of violence that is taking place.”