'I would consider my task done...': PM Modi opens up on his legacy ahead of seeking record third term

PM Modi said that while most of governments start losing support by the end of the second term, the BJP government is seeing an increase in its support base.

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'I would consider my task done...': PM Modi opens up on his legacy ahead of seeking record third term


Appreciating India's transformation in the fields of infrastructure, UPI, women empowerment and sustainable growth, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India is a democracy, not just because it is mentioned in the Constitution, but also because it is in the 'genes of every Indian'.

In an interview with the US-based magazine Newsweek, Prime Minister Modi also opened up on his legacy and said that he is motivated by the impact he could make in the lives of every Indian. In the run-up to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, PM Modi said that while most of governments start losing support by the end of the second term, the BJP government is seeing an increase in its support base.

He further said that the government has an 'excellent record' in fulfilling promises and has worked with the motto of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas' -- which means--Together, for everyone's growth, with everyone's trust and everyone's efforts.A year after India overtook China to become the world's most populous country, its rapid upward economic trajectory and increasing diplomatic, scientific and military weight make it an emerging superpower of ever-growing importance to the United States and the world, Newsweek reported. 

"We have an excellent track record of fulfilling our promises. It was a big thing for the people, as they were used to promises never being fulfilled," PM Modi said.

"By the end of the second term, even the most popular governments start losing support. Discontent toward governments has also increased in the last few years in the world. India stands out as an exception, where popular support for our government is increasing," he added.

Notably, PM Modi is the first Indian Prime Minister after Indira Gandhi to have been featured on the cover of Newsweek magazine. Appreciating India's development in the areas of infrastructure and environment, he said that New Delhi's transformation in the last decade has been accelerated by the rapid overhaul of its infrastructure.

He said that in the last 10 years, the National Highways network has increased by 60 percent, and airports have doubled, adding that India's rapid economic growth is to ensure the empowerment of the poor and their social mobility.

Stressing on government's focus on the environment, PM Modi said that there is no contradiction between our physical infrastructure building and our commitment to fight climate change.

He highlighted schemes like solar-powered pumps for farmers, rooftop solar programs, energy-efficient bulbs, and efficient streetlights. He added that India is well on its way to fulfilling the energy commitment made in the Paris Conference by 2030. Reiterating his earlier remark that India is the 'mother of democracy', Prime Minister Modi highlighted the multiple traditional and historical examples that show the roots of democracy in the country.

"We are a democracy, not only because our Constitution says so, but also because it is in our genes. India is the mother of democracy. Be it Uttaramerur in Tamil Nadu, where you can find inscriptions about India's democratic values from 1100 to 1200 years ago, or speak of our scriptures which give examples of political power being exercised by broad-based consultative bodies," he further said.

Highlighting the rising voter participation in the country, PM Modi called it a 'big certificate' for the people's faith in Indian democracy. Refuting all allegations of diminishing media freedom in the country, he said that some people "conflate their own dissonance with the people with dubious claims of diminishing media freedom."

"There are a few people in India and in the West who have lost (connection with) the people of India--their thought processes, feelings and aspirations. These people also tend to live in their own echo chamber of alternate realities," he added.

PM Modi also refuted all the allegations of discrimination against minorities and strongly asserted that all communities are living happily and thriving in India.

"These are usual tropes of some people who don't bother to meet people outside their bubbles. Even India's minorities don't buy this narrative anymore. Minorities from all religions, be it Muslim, Christians, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain or even a micro-minority like Parsis are living happily and thriving in India," he said.

He added that the government has come up with a unique saturation coverage approach so that the benefits of schemes and initiatives reach everyone without any discrimination.

Speaking on Unified Payments Interface (UPI), which is considered one of the major achievements of the Modi government, the Prime Minister termed it an example of 'Indian innovation at its best' adding that it holds the lesson that there should be democratization of technology.

"I feel there are three important lessons from the success of UPI. First, technology should be open, interoperable, scalable and secure. Second, there should be democratization of technology. Third, people should be trusted to adapt quickly to technology and evolve," PM Modi said.

"UPI is a fine example of Indian innovation at its best. I see UPI as a simple tool that broke countless barriers, from financial barriers to geographical barriers. It has opened the world of digital transactions to the person at the last mile," he added.

PM Modi weighed on India's demography -- the median age of 28 years -- as well as the government's poverty eradication drive and welfare schemes, while affirming that the government is committed to channelling this demographic dividend to transform India into a developed country by 2047.

"For us, the aim of rapid economic growth is to ensure the empowerment of the poor and their social mobility. You will be happy to know that the biggest beneficiaries of India's rapid growth in the last 10 years have been India's poor," he added.

Speaking on the role of women in India's growth, PM Modi said that his government changed the lexicon from 'women's development' to 'women-led development.' He hailed the Women Reservation Bill passed in the Parliament and also highlighted the government schemes which has women among the major beneficiaries.

"Women are at the forefront of India's development story today. We have changed the lexicon from women's development to women-led development. I am happy to see you also using it," PM Modi said.

"We passed the pathbreaking legislation to provide 33 percent reservation for women in our Parliament and State legislatures. In the forthcoming general elections, we have 15 percent more women enrolled as new voters," he added.

The Prime Minister emphasised that the maternal mortality ratio has dropped from 130 in 2014 to 97 in 2020 and women's nutritional status has also improved. He added that India is among the most progressive maternity benefit laws in the world, offering fully paid leave of 26 weeks and has mandated compulsory creche (daycare) facilities in any establishment with more than 50 employees.

He further highlighted that women are benefitting from the opening of more bank accounts and other innovative schemes like Namo Drone Didi, and the Lakhpati Didi scheme; adding that women are seeing increased participation across all sectors, including the armed forces.

Hailing the government's decision to abrogate Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said that rapid transformation has taken place in the valley and people have now got new hopes in their lives.

"I would encourage you to visit Jammu and Kashmir to witness firsthand the sweeping positive changes happening on the ground. Do not go by what I or others tell you. I went to Jammu and Kashmir just last month. For the first time, people have a new hope in their lives. The process of development, good governance and empowerment of the people is to be seen to be believed," PM Modi said.

He further highlighted that over 21 million tourists visited Jammu and Kashmir last 2023 and there has been a 'significant decline' in the number of terror incidents while adding that protests and stone pelting which disrupted life in the valley are a thing of the past now."Post the revocation of Article 370, [which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir] the region has become a welcoming destination for global events, hosting significant gatherings like the Formula 4 racing event, Miss World and G20 meetings. Digital economy, startups, innovation and smart solutions are taking wings," he added.

Prime Minister Modi called the Pran Pratishtha of Ayodhya Ram Mandir as a 'historic moment' of the nation's unity. Recalling the 11-day special ritual followed by him before the ceremony, he said felt like carrying the aspirations of countless devotees, eagerly anticipating the historic day.

"The name of Shri Ram is imprinted on our national consciousness. His life has set the contours of thoughts and values in our civilization. His name echoes across the length and breadth of our sacred land. Therefore, during the 11-day special ritual I observed, I made a pilgrimage to the places that carry the footprints of Shri Ram. My journey that took me to various corners of the country showed the revered place Shri Ram holds within each of us," he said.

"The return of Shri Ram to his birthplace marked a historic moment of unity for the nation. It was a culmination of centuries of perseverance and sacrifice. During the 11 days leading up to this auspicious event, I carried with me the aspirations of countless devotees, eagerly anticipating this day. The ceremony itself brought the nation together into a celebration, akin to a second Diwali. Every home was illuminated by the light of Ram Jyoti. I see it as a divine blessing that I could experience the consecration ceremony as a representative of 1.4 billion Indians," PM Modi added.

Opening up on his legacy, as he gears up to contest for seeking a record third term in power, Prime Minister Modi said that he will consider his task done if every Indian is able to live a life of dignity and achieve their dreams.

"I think it is not my job to think about how I will be remembered, neither does this thought motivate me," he said.

"My motivation is the impact I could make in the lives of every Indian, whom I consider my family. If they are able to live a life of dignity, achieve their dreams, I would consider my task done. But till then, I am going to work tirelessly and devotedly to fulfill the aspirations of 1.4 billion Indians," PM Modi added. 

(This story has not been edited by DNA staff and is published from ANI)

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