Vice President's Secretariat
azadi ka amrit mahotsav

Text of Vice-President's speech at NDTV 'Indian of the Year 2024' Awards

Posted On: 23 MAR 2024 8:19PM by PIB Delhi

Good evening all of you.

Friends, It is a delighted to be the part of NDTV's Indian of the Year event.

Warmest Greetings and Wishes to all for a joyous and colourful Holi.This is going to be very different because we never imagined at least me and Mr Tyagi in 1989 to 1991 we had to suffer the pain to sustain our financial credibility physical gold of this country had to be airlifted to be placed to two Swiss bank and now I am told their maybe a week where foreign exchange adition may be more than 6 billion and it is now over 600 billion in total.

Congratulations to the distinguished awardees. I can tell you all of them have earned it. They well deserved of it, and when you have award like this then awardees become source of inspiration and motivation for many others. It carries stamp of credibility.

Something that happened with respect to our civilian awards Padma awards, if an award is driven by patronage, if iconic status is generated by event management then it doesn't have acceptability.I congratulate the jury for having chosen people who have really contributed to the growth, rise of this country.

This award will inspire many to join our marathon March for a Viksit Bharat@2027.

The reverberation of Viksit Bharat is palpable in every corner of our great nation today. It is more than just a call to leapfrog into the future; it is a definite promise it is a firm promise that in 2047 we will be a developed nation, none will be left behind. The development of this country in last decade has been plateau not pyramidical. The benefit has accrued to one and all and in every no can corner of this country.

Recent years have been a testament to India's journey from fragile five economies in the world. We had the good fortune to be in the big five leaving behind Canada, UK and France. It is matter of time and I can say less than 2 years, the country will be in big 3 economies in the world ahead of Germany and Japan. So our Amrit Kaal which from every consideration is our Gaurav Kaal in a sense laying foundation for a developed nation in 2047.

National mood in the country is one of hope and possibility. We have seen unprecedented rise, those who claim to know economy and who thought and put it in public domain that rise will not be more than 5.5% did not respond when the rise was over 7.5%. We exponential infrastructural growth, that is envied by the world. Bharat Mandapam, Yashobhoomi, New building of Parliament, Our expressways just imagine where we are, even from a global benchmark we are in the big league.

Well spread out digital penetration the benefit is available in the village in tier- II cities people are reaching to a level where they never imagined, they are reaping dividends of it and then upsurge and emergence of new vistas of opportunities.

Our young people today have an ecosystem where they can exploit their energy and talent their potential and realize their aspirations and dreams. Affirmative governance has made it possible.

Friends, India’s G20 Presidency will ever be remembered for epochal accomplishments – inclusion of African Union as G20 member and voice of Global South taking centre stage. Our soft diplomatic power got enhanced. The entire world witnessed 5000 old civilizational culture of this country, this is where we are.

India in the world is only constitutionally structured democracy that is at all levels, at the village level, at the municipal level, at the state level and Central level. We have a robust justice system. India is obvious pacemaker for global peace and harmony. Media is imminently suited to be an agent to convey right perspectives to understand India rather than be a prey to orchestrated narratives seeking to taint, tarnish and demean our image and institution.

 Democratic Values optimally blossom and flourish with there being equality before law; accountable and transparent governance; where patronage, nepotism and favouritism have no space. There was time when these three pernicious tendencies dominated our working but that soothingly is a matter of the past. Privilege pedigree has disappeared, Equality before law is writing on the wall because you thought they are immune to law they are above law they are different than others have realised is to their pain what can we greater pain to humans soul young boy and girl living in the largest democracy that some people are more equal than others they are more privileged that system has gone. In the process moral of our youth has gone up.

 

Global Institutions, earlier used to treat us the way they treat our neighbours and other countries. What a big changeQ! - All global Institutions without exception are praising India, applauding our growth and recognizing our historic achievements. IMF has recognized India as a bright spot of investment and opportunity while World Economic Forum is confident of India becoming a developed nation in 2047.

India is at the cusp of immense possibilities. It is no longer a nation with potential or a sleeping giant as some indicated. It is on the rise, the rise is unstoppable and the rise is incremental.  India's extraordinary growth story transcends beyond skeptics, exemplifying visionary leadership, inclusive development and unwavering perseverance.

Just imagine if these steps have not been taken, where would have been be today. Look at the pant make COVID but earlier to that there was some massive banking inclusion. They thought it was difficult to have them a bank account they had. I don't wish to go to other social parameters like every house has a gas connection, a fresh water tap it has or it is on the way to getting it, a toilet. Every village has a center where you can ensure delivery. Lines have disappeared there was a time when people use to take leave।

 “आज मुझे छुट्टी लेनी है क्योंकि मुझे आज बिजली का बिल जमा करना है|” "आज मुझे छुट्टी लेनी है क्योंकि मुझे आज पासपोर्ट की एप्लीकेशन जमा करनी है।"

We have transformed we are in the big league of the Nations that have availed technology for rendering services and this have contributed massively to transparent accountable governance.

We are amongst few countries in single digit that are extremely alive to the power of disruptive technologies. Our Quantum computing commission is in place, Green Hydrogen mission allocation has been made. In artificial intelligence, machine learning, blockchain our focus is there, Gone are the days when we use to wait that technology will be developed in the west we will be in the queue to get it they will decide how much we will get it. India is now the epicenter, India leads harnessing these technologies. Media in such a scenario is an important factor and a great stakeholder in promoting these affirmative changes. It can contribute massively in building great Bharat. A Bharat of our dreams foundation of which has been laid down in Amrit kaal.

No nation can grow without unflinching steadfast emanating from hard commitment to its nationalism and culture in all its facets. Spirit of Nationalism must be deeply embedded in our thought process. How can some people compromise our nationalism? I appeal to the media through you, Economic nationalism is quintessentially fundamental to growth. If Bharat practices economic nationalism, We will save billions in foreign exchange. Correspondingly, employment will be generated here, and entrepreneurship will blossom. If Industry, Commerce and Business decide, the raw materials will not leave our shores, there will be value addition. Things will go a long way, Media can do a great job.

Media has a cutting edge role in imbibing a spirit of economic nationalism.  No fiscal gain can be premise to compromise on our commitment to Economic Nationalism. We should not important item which is available in the country will need to subscribe to Swadeshi. Media shapes public opinion, disseminates information and wields influence over social discourse. It is one of the main pillars of a society and country.

As the fourth pillar of democracy, media credibility lies solely within its own control. It should be effective and there ought to be no hindrance in its way while upholding high standards. Its smooth functioning is the collective responsibility shared by the media, government, and society. Media serves its cause best by being objective and not get involved in politics. It should take all care and precautions so as not to become a battleground for partisan politics.

 Media cannot be a platform for freefall of untenable information that damages democratic fabric of the vibrant, if you start floating information without due diligence it can rack our economy social fabric, How can we have in vibrant robust democracy like ours that media will give wings to any kind of misinformation it has to be neutralized and that I am sure Media should be doing. We are living in times where the public is extremely aware.

 Informed public is the spinal strength of democracy. Misinformation can be ruinous. Media is a natural watchdog to contain and curb such freefall of misinformation and falsehood. If the media does not do it  then who will do it. There is an urgent need for media and media houses to reflect to have a mechanism in this direction. Fearless informed independent media is the safest assurance to nurturing democracy.

 Let me tell you I will make one reference: only  Citizenship Amendment Act debate is taking place. It is in high decibel, it is orchestrated and the situation is crystal clear.  Citizenship Amendment Act does not deprive any Indian citizen of his or her citizenship. CAA does not entitle any man or woman presently living outside of the country to get its benefit. CAA is a reprieve to those persecuted who are in this country for more than a decade or several decades also.

Now if you go by ethos, India has been a century a place for those who have been persecuted over centuries and impression is generated differently. Media in such a situation has to play a role.

Media cannot be a registered recognized or unrecognized political party, the media has to do its job. Decades ago some people in the media leveraged decision making of high caliber. It went to the extent of positioning in the cabinet in the government. Media should not be a power broker, the media has only to do its job, the fourth pillar of democracy is also accountable. I appeal to everyone in the media that we are having a Bharat today home to one-sixth of humanity. The world is looking at us looking at us with hope, confidence and optimism that Bharat is a stabilizing force. We have a visionary Prime Minister who has been invited by both the parties to conflagration. We are vindicating our age old ethos of peace and harmony. I am sure Media will engage in self regulation.

Our young journalists in the villages and towns and in states are doing a great job. They are excellent. They are human resources unrivaled to nature. India has a large category of veteran Journalists. This group constitutes a global think tank by and large our journalists are ethically oriented.

When everything is right we put it in spoiled by some and that media should come forward by self regulation friends tonight we came together to recognise the Indian of the year. Let us not only applaud their achievement but also recommit ourselves to the values they represent integrity, resilience and relentless pursuit of excellence.

Thank you to NDTV for providing a platform to shine a spotlight on these remarkable individuals and organizations. Together, let us continue to build a stronger, more prosperous, and more inclusive India.

I can tell you in conclusion we are proud of our Institution, Executive the world recognise this India's executive progress led by Shri Narendra Modi, the world recognizes the power of Indian judiciary, robust effective expeditions independent, the world recognizes power of our  legislature in States and in parliament.I therefore, appeal to fourth pillar of democracy that is performing well but come to that level to be in sync to ensure the marathon march of every Bhartiya for marathon March for Bharat@2047 succeeds beyond our imaginations.

 

 Thank you. Jai Hind.

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MS/RC/JK



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