As PM Narendra Modi returns from the historic visit to the USA, his speech at the 74th UNGA on the last day of his tour has certainly summarised the aspirations and values of 1.3 billion Indians around the world. Honouring the time limit, in his 17 minutes long speech at the UN General Assembly, Narendra Modi stood as a formidable world leader, an exemplary statesman, as he addressed 17 relevant issues with absolute finesse. From India’s growing economy to its deep cultural and spiritual roots, PM Modi’s speech is one which will surely guide the discourse for times to come.
Strong and vibrant Democracy
Being the leader of the world’s largest democracy, PM Modi in his speech reiterated India’s commitment to democratic values and also pointed out how the world’s largest elections had empowered him to speak from the podium at the 74th UNGA.
“This year, the world’s biggest election took place. In the world’s biggest democracy, the highest ever number of voters voted my government into power for a second term with an even stronger mandate than before.
Swachh Bharat mission
Swachh Bharat Abhiyan was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as an ode to the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi on his birth anniversary on October 2, 2014, and Prime Minister Modi himself, on numerous occasions has gone out to clean the streets to send a message about the importance of cleanliness. Major focus was also given on construction of toilets across the nation
“When a developing country is able to successfully implement the world’s biggest sanitation campaign within the Clean India Mission, building over 110 million toilets in just 5 years for its countrymen, all its achievements and outcomes are an inspirational message for the entire world.”
PM Modi was also honoured by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the United States for his efforts towards the same.
Health Insurance scheme
Under the flagship health scheme of the Modi government , Ayushman Bharat—Pradhan Mantri Jan Aarogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY) countrymen are being treated in private hospitals .
“When a developing country, successfully runs the world’s biggest health assurance scheme, giving 500 million people the facility of an annual health cover of 500,000 Rs for free treatment, the achievements and responsive systems that result from this scheme show the world a new path.”
PMJAY could surely serve as a benchmark for developing nations to further boost the wellbeing of their people.
Digital Identification Program
PM Modi also highlighted the success of AADHAR, which is India’s digital identification program to streamline several issues that government was facing in absence of such technology.
“When a developing country, launches for its citizens, the world’s biggest digital identification program, giving them a biometric identity , thereby ensuring they can avail of their rights, and saves more than 20 billion dollars by checking corruption, the modern systems that result from it, give the world a new hope.”
Single use plastics
PM Modi’s concern for the environment has surely transcended into real ground action to combat environmental issues which are now of serious global concern. His call to curb single use plastics will surely add to the number of efforts taken by his government in this regard.
“I am pleased to inform this august assembly that even as I am addressing you today, a very large campaign is being started across the entire country to make India free of single use plastic.”
PM Modi’s speech at the UNGA is sure to inspire more developing nations to join hands toward providing clean water to all global citizens. With Water Conservation being the prime focus of the Modi Government and the setting up of the Jal Shakti Ministry, the Indian government is planning to invest 3,60,000 crore rupees in next five years under the Jal Jeevan mission which aims to provide 55 litres of clean drinking water per person by 2024.
“In the next 5 years, apart from promoting water conservation, we are going to ensure water supply to 150 million homes.”
Infrastructure has been a major priority for the Modi government over its tenure. Indian Government has made a significant investment in public transport, highway construction, railways, and water transport and air connectivity. The Indian government is expected to spend over 100 lakh crores on infrastructure development over the next five years.
“In the next 5 years, we are going to build over 125,000 kilometres of new roads.”
Under India’s ambitious mega housing scheme, the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY), the flagship housing scheme of Modi government has been highly successful providing housing in urban as well as rural areas. Lakhs of people from marginalized section of society in rural areas got houses under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. Moreover this housing push has also created more than 60 lakh jobs from 2015 to 2019.
“By the year 2022, when India celebrates its 75th Independence Day, we plan to build 20 million houses for the poor.”
TB free India
Indian citizens have been the victims of laggy government efforts to counter Tuberculosis. PM Modi by his comments from the podium at the UNGA has certainly voiced India’s plan to further improve the wellbeing of its citizens and in a way taken the lead to counter this disease which affected more than 20 lakh Indians in just 2018.
“Though the world may have set itself the target of eradicating TB by 2030, in India we are working towards eradicating it by 2025.”
Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana which was launched by the Modi Government with the objective of fasting the process of financial inclusion and also to ensure access to various financial services like availability of basic savings bank account, access to need based credit, remittances facility, insurance and pension to the hitherto excluded sections i.e. weaker sections and low income groups.
“the world’s biggest financial inclusion scheme, opening over 370 million bank accounts for the poor in just 5 years,” PM Modi also underlined the impact of financial inclusion on underprivileged sections of our society. “The systems that result, build confidence in the poor across the entire world.”
Be it Governments massive focus on renewable energy or shifting to cleaner fuel sources like in the case of Ujjwala scheme, PM Narendra Modi and his government has been working proactively to counter this global concern with utmost sincerity and diligence.
“If you look at it from a historic and per capita emission perspective, India’s contribution to Global Warming is very low. However, India is one of the leading nations when it comes to taking steps to address this issue.”
PM Modi also outlined India’s efforts towards shifting to renewable energy resources and said, “On one hand, we are working towards achieving the target of 450 Giga Watts of renewable energy, and on the other hand, we have also taken the initiative to create the International Solar Alliance.”
Fight terrorism together (global terrorism)
India has been one of the biggest victims of terrorism and over the past few years has transformed its policy to counter this threat in a more proactive way, marking a major shift from the earlier passive policy. Operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the North east regions have further advanced India’s credibility as a global anti-terrorist force and PM Modi made the most out of the podium provided to him and called upon the international community to join hands with India to counter terrorists and the states that sponsor terrorism.
“The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism dents those very principles, that are the basis for the creation of the U.N.
And that is why, for the sake of humanity, I firmly believe, that it is absolutely imperative, that the world unites against terrorism, and that the world stands as one against terrorism.”
From the podium, Pm Modi also called for deeper cooperation among nations to work towards global peace and prosperity and also outlined the requirements of innovative multilateral mechanisms to further unite the world.
“In the last 5 years, India has worked towards strengthening its centuries old great tradition of fraternity among nations and welfare of the world, which is indeed, in line with the key objectives of the United Nations.
The issues that India raises, the kind of new global platforms that India has come forward to build, seek collective efforts to address serious global challenges and issues”
Tamizh poet Kaniyan Pungundranar and Swami Vivekananda
Despite being thousands of kilometres away from his homeland, PM Modi also put forward India’s deep cultural roots and how these cultural roots drive Indian values of non-violence and Peace. In his speech Pm Modi cited great Tamizh poet Kaniyan Pungundranar and great Indian Spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda.
“3000 years ago, a great poet of India, Kariyan Pungun-dra-naar, wrote in Tamil the most ancient language of the world:“Ya-dum, Oo-ray, Yaav-rum Ke-rir” which means We belong to all places, and to everyone.”
“One Hundred and Twenty Five years ago, the Great Spiritual Guru, Swami Vivekananda, gave this message to the world during the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago. The message was, “Harmony and Peace…. And NOT Dissension”. Today, the message from the world’s largest democracy, for the International community is still the same: “Harmony and Peace”.
PM Modi also reiterated India’s strong commitment to world peace and laid out how Indian values have been a major factor in making India a major peace power in the world.
“ largest number of supreme sacrifices made by soldiers of any country for UN Peace keeping missions is from India.
We belong to a country, that has given the world, not war, but Buddha’s message of peace.”
Jankalyan or welfare of the people has been a major part of PM Modi’s term and was also surely reflected in his speech at the UNGA, PM Mod from the podium also called for active public participation to further accelerate’ jankalyan’ throughout the world.
“Our values and culture see divinity in every being and strive for the welfare of all. Therefore, the very core of our approach is public welfare through public participation and this public welfare is not just for India but for the entire world.”
Sabka sath sabka vikas (World progress)
Pm Modi through also voiced his governments motto in the UNGA where he called for collective efforts to develop India in a pluralistic and inclusive framework, saying “…we draw inspiration from our motto: Collective efforts , for growth of all, with everyone’s trust.”
“All our endeavours, are centred on 1.3 billion Indians. But the dreams that these efforts are trying to fulfil, are the same dreams that the entire world has, that that every country has, and that every society has.” PM Modi also said that these innovations in India can serve as an example for many growing countries to tackle challenges at home.
“The efforts are ours, but their fruits are for all, for the entire world. When I hear about their joys and sorrows, when I get to know about their dreams, my resolve to develop my country at a faster pace gets even stronger, so that India’s experience can be beneficial to these countries.”
PM Modi has a commitment to his people, and does not shy away from finding and working on solutions to the different issues faced by India and the world. Emerging as a true world leader, his leadership is a template for others to follow.