Prime Minister Narendra Modi
In a veiled dig at the Congress, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched an attack on “political dynasty”, calling it a disease and the biggest “enemy of democracy.”
Speaking at the second National Youth Parliament Festival, being held at the Central Hall of Parliament, the PM said that the days of those who won elections on the basis of their surnames are numbered, but there are still some who think only about protecting their families in politics.
Prime Minister Modi said that the biggest enemy facing the country is “rajneetik vanshvaad” (political dynasty.) “Political dynasty is a challenge that the country is faced with and it has to be rooted out. While it’s true that the days of those that won elections only on the basis of surnames are numbered, this disease of dynasty has not ended completely. There are still people whose ideas, thoughts and goals are all about keeping their families in politics,” Modi said.
He said dynasties burden the country with “akshamta” (inability), and results in lack of respect for the law. “Instead of putting the nation first, political dynasties only seek to entrench the idea of ‘only me and my family’ into the national psyche. This is also a big reason for political and social corruption. Those born and bred in political dynasties think that since their earlier generations got away with corruption, they can as well. They are surrounded by many living examples of that idea at their homes. Therefore, neither do these people have any respect for the law, nor do they have any fear of it,” Modi said.
The PM said that the responsibility of changing this long-held perception is on the youth of the country as he urged more of them to join politics. “More and more of you should come into politics. Not to take, or own, or become someone, but to do something. You should move forward with your thinking and your vision. As long as our youth don’t come into politics, this poison of dynasty will continue to weaken our democracy. To save the country, it is essential that you come into politics,” he said.
The Prime Minister added that those who once carried forward “corruption as a legacy” were now feeling the “burden” of it. “Today, our citizens are more aware and stand only with honest people in politics. Honesty and performance are becoming the prerequisites of today’s politics. And it is this awareness that has added to the pressure on their representatives in power edifices to perform. Now they know that if they have to go into an election, their CVs must be strong. They should a solid account of work to speak for themselves. However, there’s still some change that needs to come and it can only be brought by our youth,” Modi said.
Since the National Youth Parliament Day is observed on the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, the PM’s address was interspersed with glowing references to the monk. He said that Swami Vivekananda had focused on the growth of both individuals and institutions and the National Education Policy (NEP) marks a step forward in that regard. “This policy gives top priority to the desires of the youth, as well as their talents and understanding. Pick whatever subject, combination or stream you want. If you want to take a break from a course and pursue another, you can. You need no longer fear that the hard work that you put in for the previous course would go to waste. You will get a certificate for however much you have studied a particular course and it will take you forward,” Modi said.
He said the ecosystem that the NEP seeks to develop would make available a system of education which would prevent the urge of going abroad. “Today, we are trying to put together an ecosystem in the pursuit of which our youth frequently venture abroad. Our youth are attracted to modern education systems overseas as they offer better entrepreneurial opportunities and recognize and respect talent. We believe that such a system should be made available in our country and we are committed to making it happen. Our youngsters should be able to develop their own talent in accordance with their abilities and for this an environment is being created,” the PM said.
Modi said that in times of crisis, there are opportunities to build new structures, and, as a case in point, he cited the Gujarat State Disaster Management Act, which was brought into force in 2003 when he was chief minister. It was a precursor to a national Act which has helped save many lives during the pandemic, he said. “Earlier, disaster management was considered a part of the agriculture department. We used to consider either floods or droughts as disasters. If there was too much water, it was a disaster, if there was too little, then also it was a disaster. When floods came, giving compensation was the primary job of disaster management.
However, taking lessons from the Kutch earthquake in 2003, we introduced the Gujarat State Disaster Management Act. For the first time in the country, disaster management was taken away from the agriculture department and vested in the Home department. Taking a cue from the Gujarat Act, the central government, in 2005, brought the Disaster Management Act in force for the entire country. With the help of this Act, and feeding off its strength, the country fought a long and determined battle against the pandemic. It is this Act that helped us save so many lives,” the PM said.