Force of history is on India’s side: PM

December 27th, 2008 - 11:30 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghNew Delhi, Dec 27 (IANS) The “force of history” was on India’s side, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said here Saturday, adding that “those who wish to weaken our unity and hurt our nation should remember that India has always endured and emerged stronger”.”A united India has made history this past century and a united India will continue to do so in the march of progress. Those who wish to weaken our unity and hurt our nation should remember that India has always endured and emerged stronger,” he said, while delivering a lecture in memory of Bhimsen Sachar, a former Punjab chief minister.

“The force of history is on our side. Those who wish to see us diminished will be disappointed. India knows how to rise to a challenge. It will,” he said.

“We will not betray the sacred memory of people like Bhimsen Sachar who dedicated their lives to build a new India free from the fear of war, want and exploitation.”

Underlining that “the world sees us as a ‘Rising Power’”, he noted: “This journey is one of the most exciting and important journeys made by any people in modern history. But we have miles to go, and mountains to cross. We have weathered many storms, but the waters remain choppy.

“There remain old problems, and there are new challenges. The ship of New India has not yet arrived at the shores that our founding fathers set their eyes on. We must come together and work unitedly to realise their dreams and meet our goals.”

Calling for building a “national platform for our sustained development and progress”, he pointed out “many developmental hurdles we need to cross”.

“Regions that are economically backward must catch up with the developed ones. People who are socially and/or economically less privileged have to catch up with the better off. This requires a unity of purpose, a strong, cohesive national effort.”

Urging political parties and people to “eschew the temptation of focussing on narrow agendas” and “shun the politics of divisiveness and the politics based on our narrow identities”, he said no Indian could be empowered by diminishing India.

“As a free society, as an open society, we will see a diversity of opinion on public policy. But if that diversity of opinion is articulated purely in sectional, communal, sectarian, caste-based, regional or extremist agendas, it would weaken the national fabric. No Indian can be empowered by diminishing India,” Manmohan Singh said.

“Today, we need to emphasise our unflinching commitment to the unity and integrity of India. This is based on the foundation of secularism - the cornerstone of our nationhood. This is our civilisational strength. Our composite culture and secular commitments have evolved over centuries of cultural synthesis,” he said.

He urged “every Indian to fight the cancer of communalism, casteism and linguistic chauvinism that eat the very vitals of our democracy and our Republic”.

“I urge you to embrace the politics of national development. Let us work together to devalue the currency of so-called ‘vote bank’ politics, and mint a new currency of the politics of national development and unity,” the prime minister said.

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