Chennai: Amid protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in several parts of the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday said India was developing at a rapid pace and things that were seen as impossible were becoming a reality, but vested interests were trying to mislead the nation and cause unrest.
In his video address aired at an event held by a Tamil magazine here, the Prime Minister said his government's policy initiatives have helped further India's economic and social integration. Taking a veiled swipe at the Congress, he said one of the things he found when he came to Delhi was that those who got opportunity to rule the nation for "many, many years, loved to keep things in a pendulum mode. "We all know what a pendulum is, moving here and there. Keep things uncertain. Cause the problem, further it and then pretend to solve it.
Things have changed now. Our government has taken up the mission to solve problems persisting for decades." Listing the initiatives, including abrogation of Article 370, abolition of triple talaq and GST implementation, he said, "Today, as India is developing at a rapid pace and things that were seen as impossible are becoming a reality. However, a ..vested interest group is unable to digest the changes. They are trying their level best to mislead, confuse and cause unrest. "The Opposition including the Congress, Left parties and the DMK in Tamil Nadu have held several protests against the CAA and aspects like the National Register of Citizens," he said. The Prime Minister said, during such times, there was an increasing responsibility for a magazine like "Thuglak" to keep the people aware, just as its founder-editor Cho S Ramaswamy would have done.
Showering praise on Cho as the master of satire, he said, "Satire is the best way to make your point and educate people." The Prime Minister also mentioned 10 per cent reservation for the upper caste poor, healthcare scheme of Ayushman Bharat and the setting up of OBC commission as among his government's initiatives. Further, he said it was the people of India who will guide the country's growth trajectory and take it to new heights, adding he always believed in two reasons for "our great civilisation's progress." These were India's celebration of harmony, diversity and brotherhood and the will and zeal of the people.
"Whenever the people of India decide to do something, no force has been able to stop that and my last five years in the government has validated this belief. We have made remarkable progress in several sectors because the change has been powered by the spirit of 130 crore Indians." Citing examples like senior citizens giving up railway concession and donation of pension for clean India and relinquishment of gas subsidies, he said people desired to be active stakeholders and not spectators in taking the nation forward. "Governments or media houses, will have to respect the spirit and keep pace with it." He appreciated the role of media in nation building, including in areas like environment protection. "I hope the same spirit gets reinforced in the times to come," the Prime Minister said. He lauded Tamil Nadu as a guiding light for centuries and home to the world's oldest language and recalled his UN address with Tamil quotes in September last.
The Prime Minsiter also listed projects, including one of the defence corridors, being set up in Tamil Nadu and initiatives in other sectors, including handloom clusters and fisheries. Noted for his sarcasm, Cho Ramaswamy was a multi-faceted personality and he died in 2016 at 82. Founder of popular Tamil magazine "Thuglak," he was an actor, theatre artiste, lawyer, and he distinguished himself as an ace political commentator. The magazine held its annual readers connect event here on Tuesday which also coincided with the commemoration of its 50th anniversary.