Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Saturday that the biggest barrier that has remained in India is poverty. He blamed the previous governments for not letting the poor and underprivileged progress. “We have to empower them, so that with their willpower and strength they can overcome this barrier,” the prime minister said, underscoring the importance of policies over slogans in the fight against poverty.
Speaking at the 2023 HT Leadership Summit, Prime Minister Modi interpreted the theme of the event — ‘Beyond Barriers’ — as a message that the public will support political representatives after breaking all barriers. “…A message was given to the world that India is moving forward on a path of a better future. Now when there is discussion about the upcoming elections, the theme of the summit is ‘Beyond Barriers’… 2024 election results will be beyond barriers…” he said.
The PM hit out at dynasty politics, which he called another barrier in India’s progress. He said there was a time when Indians used to think that they will only succeed if they are related to an influential family. “For a long time, India and Indians had to face numerous obstacles. Since 2014, India has been trying to break free of all barriers and I am happy that we are talking about beyond barriers. Our nation after independence did not go ahead with the pace that it could do… some barriers were of the mindset… after 2014, India has been working to go beyond the barriers. We went to a place on the moon where no one has reached… we are no.1 in digital transactions… we are no.3 in startups and we are leading the world through G20,” he added.
On the success of Chandrayaan-3, PM Modi noted that it has instilled self-confidence in the entire nation. “With the success of Chandrayaan, 140 crore people have not become scientists and astronauts but the entire country is feeling the self-confidence,” he said.
He further said with India’s changed mindset, the country is also leading climate action goals in the world. This has led to a profound shift towards environmental responsibility and sustainability, he added.
Modi highlighted the transformative power of financial inclusion, mentioning how the debit card, once a status symbol, was made accessible to the poor. “Good economics and good politics can coexist, today’s India is proof,” he said.
He also cited a host of development measures taken by his government to highlight the changes, asserting that India’s growing middle class and reducing poverty will become the foundation for a massive economic cycle. The country has risen to become fifth largest economy in the world and will occupy the third position in our third term, he added. Citing data, Modi said the number of those filing income tax returns has almost doubled in 2023 to 7.5 crore in 10 years while the mean income has risen by up to Rs 13 lakh.
Modi also said a lot of fear-mongering used to be done about the impact of Article 370 removal but his government opened the doors to development and peace in Jammu and Kashmir by removing it. Terrorism is ending there and tourism rising, Modi said, underlining that his government has committed to the region reaching new heights of development.
(with PTI inputs)