NEW DELHI – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday pledged to build a New India by 2022 that is free of casteism, terrorism and corruption, a day after Indian President Ram Nath Kovind pitched for the same.
“A New India is one that leaves behind a Chalta Hai (it’s okay) attitude. We have to think of Badal Sakta Hai (we can change). This attitude will help us as a nation,” Modi said in his Independence Day speech from the iconic Red Fort in the heart of the national capital.
“The millennials turn 18 next year. I invite India’s young to take this opportunity to shape the future of the nation and participate in India’s development,” he said.
Invoking Team India to run for a New India by 2022, Modi said: “By then, the poor shall have concrete houses, the farmer shall double his income, youths and women will get ample opportunities, an India free of casteism, terrorism, corruption, nepotism, a clean India.”
The prime minister also reached out to the youths in violence-hit Indian-controlled Kashmir, urging them to join the mainstream. “You have every right to make your voices heard in Indian democracy. My government is determined to restore to Kashmir its status of heaven on earth. Bullets or abuses won’t solve Kashmir’s problem… change can be brought only by embracing Kashmiris,” he said.
Modi also issued a stern warning to cow vigilantes, saying “violence in the name of faith is unacceptable.” “India is about peace, unity and amity. Casteism and communalism will not help us.” India celebrates 70 years of independence from Britain this year.