Unanimity lacking in fighting terrorism: Modi - GulfToday

Unanimity lacking in fighting terrorism: Modi


Narendra Modi speaks during the 74th Session of the General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York. Agence France-Presse

Prime Minister Narendra Modi decried the lack of unanimity in fighting terrorism, the biggest challenge for humanity, in his address to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday.

“The lack of unanimity amongst us on the issue of terrorism, dents those very principles, that are the basis for the creation of the UN,” Modi said, addressing the 74th Session of the UNGA.

“We believe that this (terrorism) is one of the biggest challenges, not for any single country, but for the entire world and humanity,” he said.

India has given the world ‘Buddha’ and not “yudh” (war), and that is why when it raises its voice against terror, it not only has seriousness, but also anger, Modi noted.

“We belong to a country that has given the world, not war, but Buddha’s message of peace. And that is the reason why, our voice against terrorism, to alert the world about this evil, rings with seriousness and the outrage.” Modi’s speech was focused on development and inspiring the world to take on the challenges of development.

In a brief segment on terrorism, he recalled India’s contribution to peacekeeping operations, which adds weight to India’s voice against terrorism.

“The largest number of supreme sacrifices made by soldiers of any country for UN Peacekeeping missions is from India,” he said.

The Prime Minister emphasised before the world that he had been voted back to power by an overwhelming mandate in which 600 million people had voted, the largest such election anywhere in the world, to stress the massive mandate he had got, thus conveying to the world that his every move had the backing of the people.

Modi detailed the development works his government has brought about since 2014, when he was first voted to power, − from Swachh Bharat, building 11 crore toilets, free healthcare for 50 crore people, the Jan Dhan Yojana for linking people to bank accounts, Digital India, to bringing potable water to the people − to tell the world about the inclusiveness of his governance.

Though he did not mention Kashmir in his speech, the import of his address was clear − that his every move was aimed to bring governance to every citizen, something that Jammu and Kashmir was deprived of due to Article 370. The Prime Minister emphasised that he had got people’s overwhelming mandate to go forward.

“At a time when the entire world is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the world’s biggest elections took place with 600 million people, the most number of people in the world, voting for me and my government. And due to that I am again here in fornt of you. But the message behind this victory is more significant,” Modi said, as he outlined the development and welfare programmes his government has been pushing.

He said that Digital India has helped establish peoples’ rights and remove corruption, saving to the tune of $20 billion, which is “a message of hope for the world.” Modi said that India has decided to rid itself of single use plastic in the next five years and bring potable water to 15 crore households, besides building roads in the far flung villages.

By 2022, when the country celebrates 75 years of its Independence, India would build two crore more houses, he said, adding that by 2025, India would rid itself of tuberculosis.

Modi said that all the work is being done through peoples’ participation − “jan bhagidari se jan kalyan”. “And this is not just for India, but for the world − ‘Jan Kalyan se Jag Kalyan’,” he said, outlining India’s vision of its leadership role for developing countries.

“The progress is for everyone,” he said, adding that in his interactions with other developing countries, he had heard how they faced challenges in the path of their development.

“When I listen to their problems and get to learn from them, my resolve gets strengthened. As I go forward to bring about development for my country, it should be able to help other countries as well,” he said.

Highlighting India’s message of inclusiveness, Modi quoted Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar of 3,000 years ago and said, “We belong to all places and we belong to everyone.” “The sense of belonging beyond borders is unique to India,” he said.

Indo-Asian News Service

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