Nine years of hope, aspiration and trust

May 29, 2023 08:39 PM IST

As the Modi government completes nine years, it has helped raise India’s global stature and pushed for inclusive development

This month marks the completion of nine years of the Narendra Modi government. During this period, there have been revolutionary changes in all sectors as India continued its growth and development story unhindered. I have been a witness to this transformation. First as a common citizen, then as governor, later as President, and now as a former President, I have experienced it from very close quarters. The entire world is awestruck by the revolutionary changes India has gone through in the past nine years, and several countries are following in our footsteps by implementing our success stories. The past nine years have been dedicated to the making of a New India.

The government, led by Prime Minister Modi, ensured that the new Parliament House was completed in record time (AFP) PREMIUM
The government, led by Prime Minister Modi, ensured that the new Parliament House was completed in record time (AFP)

It is a matter of great satisfaction and happiness to see India’s growing stature and strength in important global forums during the past nine years. This rising aura of India is important because, today, the world does not want war but peace. Under the leadership of Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi, India’s voice and opinion matter on all important issues — be it peace and cooperation, ecology and environment, and trade and commerce. The manner in which India is hosting various important G20 meetings — the recent one was held in Srinagar — signifies its growing influence in the international arena.

What elates me the most about India’s journey is the empowerment of our poor and backward classes, our farmers and villagers, our Dalit and tribal communities, and our women and young people. Today, women power is making its mark in all spheres of life. The world recognises the prowess of India’s young. The Narendra Modi government is deeply committed to social justice and welfare, and this is because Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (inclusive development for all) has been its guiding principle.

During the past nine years, banking facilities were made available to 480 million citizens, electricity to around 18,000 unelectrified villages and 40 million households, pucca houses to over 30 million poor people, toilets to 110 million people, and cooking gas connections to 95 million women. Similarly, 550 million Indians were covered under Aayushman Bharat Yojana, hundreds of thousands of villages were linked via robust optical fibre networks, monthly pensions were given to farmers and labourers, and 100 million farmers were provided with a cushion through the Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojna. Over 800 million poor and needy people were also supported with free rations. All these are fundamental needs and rights of millions of Indians, who waited for decades to receive these amenities.

In the past nine years, there has been a considerable hike in the per capita income as well as farm incomes. The Narendra Modi government has connected every village across the country with metalled roads. We also saw a massive expansion of our national highways, while corridors of development were constructed in every state. India also showed remarkable improvement in infrastructure development.

PM Modi is not only taking the nation ahead in every sphere of growth and development, he is also rectifying historical wrongs – a grand Ram Temple is coming up in Ayodhya, Article 370 has been abolished in Jammu and Kashmir, a decisive battle is being waged against terrorism, and Muslim women have been liberated from the curse of triple talaq.

The last nine years have been dedicated to getting rid of the colonial legacy and mindsets. Race Course Road is now Lok Kalyan Marg, Raj Path is now Kartavya Path, National Memorial has finally been dedicated to the nation, while a grand statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose now adorns the historic India Gate. The Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue, has been dedicated to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and his contributions to the nation now inspire millions of Indians.

India is celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. We are the world’s largest democracy. But the temple of our democracy, Parliament House, was being run from a British-era building, which was not even constructed to run as Sansad Bhawan. The necessity for a new Parliament House was felt for many years. As a Member of Parliament, I, too, felt the need for a new Sansad Bhawan. Though the issue was discussed many times, no government took the initiative to undertake this important national project.

It was PM Modi who not only undertook this important and challenging task but also ensured that our new Parliament House was completed in record time. The entire nation has been witness to this historic moment. It will contribute to the preservation and promotion of our democratic values and principles. The establishment of “Sengol”, a symbol of transfer of power during Independence, in the new Parliament House is also a moment of great pride and honour.

PM Modi’s vision has catapulted India into the league of top five economic superpowers in just nine years. India is also on the path of attaining self-sufficiency in the defence production sector. The past nine years have seen the completion of several key projects that were started with much fanfare by previous governments but could not be finished.

I consider the past nine years as filled with hope, aspirations and trust, a remarkable confluence of progress, focus on the environment, humanism and social welfare. This period has laid a strong foundation for our country’s future and will help in achieving the goal of a developed India by 2047. It’s time again for us to rededicate ourselves in the service of our nation and take a pledge to put India on the high pedestal of Vishwaguru.

Ram Nath Kovind is former President of India.The views expressed are personal

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