NEW DELHI, Dec 1: Prime Minister rendra Modi on Tuesday said it is easy to get divided but instead opportunities must be sought to unite.
Concluding the debate in the Rajya Sabha to mark the 125th birth anniversary celebrations of BR Ambedkar, one of the prime architects of the Constitution, Modi said: “The mantra of unity should be in focus... There are many excuses to be divided, but we must look for opportunities to be united.”
Replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on the Constitution, Modi underlined the ‘mantra of ekta’, saying there can be “many excuses for disintegration” in a diverse country like India but ways should be explored to keep the country united.
“If we have a guiding light today, then that is our Constitution. The main reason behind celebrating our Constitution is to make our young people aware of our great leaders of the past. The country cannot forget Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s contributions to the tion. I am sure during meetings, there would have been pressure from all corners, different views, but still we got a perfect Constitution,” the PM said.
“Our constitution is a social document, it is not about only laws. Baba Saheb Ambedkar used to say that industrialization is very important for India,” he further added.
“Unity and harmony is the tradition of India. We have to continue to explore reasons for strengthening the unity of the country. There will be many excuses for disintegration in a diverse country like India. It is our responsibility to unite people,” Modi said.
“Nobody can raise questions over patriotism of the 125 crore citizens of the country. Nobody needs to give certificate of patriotism every now and then,” he said.
Modi’s comment assumes significance in the context of recent cases where some people, including from the ruling BJP, said those feeling unsafe like filmstar Aamir Khan should leave the country.
The Prime Minister said the decision to mark Constitution Day was to make future generations aware of the Constitution and the eminent people who formulated it. He noted that Ambedkar helped frame a Constitution that stands for social justice but added that it would not work unless those values are inculcated in the society.
“The Constitution Babasaheb (as Ambedkar is popularly called) made has social justice... But it will not be effective if the society is not ready to change. Social awareness is also needed, and this is the message that should go from the House,” he said.
Contending that “enough fighting” has already taken place even between regions, he said he has a proposal to put in place a scheme ‘Ek Bharat, Shresht Bharat’ to strengthen the unity of the country. Giving a glimpse of his idea which is still taking shape, he said the proposal could involve one state celebrating some other by holding annual festivals and learning languages.
Underlining that the country cannot move forward by ‘tu tu, mai mai’ (bickerings), Modi advocated the need for consensus while decrying the tendency to link everything to politics. With several bills stuck in Rajya Sabha where the ruling NDA does not have adequate numbers, the Prime Minister reached out to its members saying the Upper House should work by rising above the question of partiality.
Modi said he had thought of a programme to push tiol integration - “Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat” - under which every state can observe a year dedicated to another state. During this period, culture and language of the other state would be highlighted. “Why not teach Malayalam alphabets to children in schools in Chhattisgarh or show Malayalam movies in Chhattisgarh?” he said.
In his 40-minute reply to the debate during which the government came under attack over ‘intolerance’, Modi said, “if there is any incident of atrocity against anybody, it is a blot on all of us, for the society as well as the tion. We should feel the pain and take this to ensure such things do not happen.”
Though he did not specify any such incident, the statement may be seen a reference to the Dadri case where a Muslim man was lynched over beef-eating rumours.
Asserting that the tion can be taken forward only through unity and harmony, Modi pitched for “equality and affection”, saying, “There is a lot of strength in equality and affection... We have to recognise that the amount of power we have, others also have the same.”
The discussion started in the Upper House on Friday. (IANS)