‘Can’t paint big picture on small canvas’: PM Modi on building stronger India

Sep 19, 2023 02:04 PM IST

PM Modi said after 1952, 41 heads of states addressed MPs in the old Parliament building, and more than 4,000 bills were passed

NEW DELHI: In his last speech from the Central Hall of the old Parliament building, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India has to work on a bigger canvas in the next 25 years of Amrit Kaal, and that the reforms carried out in the country must cater to the aspirations of 1.4 billion Indians.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets parliamentarians during an event organised in the Central Hall of Parliament on the occasion of the shifting of Parliament to the new building on Tuesday (PTI)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets parliamentarians during an event organised in the Central Hall of Parliament on the occasion of the shifting of Parliament to the new building on Tuesday (PTI)

He also suggested that the old building be renamed Constitution House, a befitting tribute to the makers of modern India.

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“Can we make large pictures on a small canvas? If we can’t widen the scope of our thoughts, we won’t be able to draw the picture of the new India. India has to work on a bigger canvas in the Amrit Kaal of the next 25 years. We have to first complete the mission of making an Atmanirbhar Bharat,” PM Modi said at an event before Parliament shifts to the new building.

The PM said critics had initially questioned if India’s self-reliance pitch could withstand the pressures. “But shouldn’t we remain self-reliant on defence, energy and edible oil? To become self-reliant on these issues, your heart needs to beat for the country,” he said.

“We have to take steps to make India number one in manufacturing. Now we can’t be satisfied easily. In all areas, we have to pass the global standard. It won’t be enough to say that this is the best product in my village or state or country. We have to make it the best in the world,” Modi said, “Our universities have to be the best in the world. They can no longer stay behind others. In sports too, the country wants to see the tricolour fluttering.”

As he reiterated his commitment to make India a developed country and the world’s third-largest economy, PM Modi stressed that India needed to step up. “The results will come faster only if we move faster. We are moving ahead with the resolve to become the top three economies. Some of us might be pessimists, but the world thinks we will definitely reach the top three. India’s banking sector’s strength has become a point of discussion among global leaders.”

He underlined that India, the world’s most populous country, was not satisfied with where it was. “The aspirations are at the highest level in one thousand years. Now, India doesn’t want to stop where it has already reached. When an aspirational society dreams and resolves, it becomes our duty to remove old laws. Our legislation, our debates and the signals from Parliament must encourage India’s aspirations. The aspirational India should also be at the core of our reforms,” he said.

PM Modi indicated that the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) had served its purpose and now India has emerged as Vishwamitra, a friend of the entire world. “Now, India’s position is different. We have now evolved as Vishwamitra… At G20, we have formed a biofuel alliance. It will be a major movement and India will lead that movement,” Modi said.

PM Modi also spoke about focusing on the quality of life and how India can help fulfil the global requirement of skilled manpower. “We opened 150 nursing colleges. In the entire world, there is a huge demand for nurses. We will provide skilled manpower to the world. for this, we have to make the right decisions at the right time. We can’t make ourselves hostages to political gains and losses.”

Speaking about the old parliament building, PM Modi said: ”The Central Hall makes us nostalgic but also inspires us. Our Constitution was given shape here. Even after Independence, leaders met here on historic occasions to make important decisions. After 1952, 41 heads of states addressed us. The President addressed us 86 times. More than 4,000 bills were passed.”

PM Modi, who referred to the historic laws passed in the old building including the one in 2019 to revoke the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, also took a swipe at the Congress government led by Rajiv Gandhi that piloted a law to negate the Supreme Court verdict in the Shah Banu case.

“We took a wrong direction after the Shah Banu case but now we corrected it and passed the triple talaq bill. We also passed the transgender law to give them more opportunities. We passed laws on the divyang to give them a better future.”

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