New Delhi: Settlement of the Ram Temple issue, abrogation of Article 370, criminalization of Triple Talaq, and the amendment to the Citizenship Act were among the key achievements listed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday during his second term. He also asserted that his government’s decisions in the last one year were aimed at fulfilling the dream of making India a global leader.
“In 2019 the people of India voted not merely for continuity but also with the dream of taking India to new heights and making it a global leader,” said Modi in an open letter to the country’s citizens on the first anniversary of his second term.
“Article 370 (abrogation) furthered the spirit of national unity and integration,” he said. Under Article 370 of the Constitution, the Centre abrogated Jammu and Kashmir’s special status and bifurcated the state into Union Territories in August last year.
Referring to the Supreme Court’s judgement on the Ram temple in Ayodhya, Modi said: “It brought an amicable end to a debate persisting for centuries”.
The Supreme Court in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title case paved the way for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
In reference to the legislation made last year about giving instant oral triple talaq Modi said: “The barbaric practice of Triple Talaq has been confined to the dustbin of history”. Triple Talaq is ruled to be a criminal offense with provisions of jail term up to three years.
“It was an expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness,” said Modi referring to the amendment to the Citizenship Act.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from three neighboring countries on the ground of religious persecution. The bill had prompted intense protests in various parts of the country with the Opposition parties and social groups alleging that it was discriminatory.
Chief of Defence
Listing other key decisions of his government that added “momentum to the nation’s development trajectory”, Modi said the creation of the post of the Chief of Defence Staff was a long-pending reform that has improved coordination among the armed forces.
India has also stepped up for Mission Gaganyaan. “Empowering the poor, farmers, women, and youth has remained our priority. PM Kisan Samman Nidhi now includes all farmers. In just one year, more than Rs 72,000 crore has been deposited in the accounts of over 9 crores 50 lakh farmers,” Modi said.
Jal Jeevan Mission
Modi says this mission will ensure supply of potable drinking water through piped connections to over 15 crore rural households.
A huge campaign for free vaccination is being conducted for better health of the country’s 50 crore livestock. “For the first time in our country’s history, farmers, farm labourers, small shopkeepers and workers in unorganised sector are assured the provision of regular monthly pension of Rs 3,000 after the age of 60 years,” he said.
A separate department has also been created for fishermen along with the facility of availing bank loans.
“Several other decisions have been taken to strengthen the fisheries sector which will boost the blue economy,” he said.
“It has been decided to constitute a Vyapari Kalyan Board for timely resolution of the problems of the traders. Higher quantum of financial assistance is being provided to more than 7 crore women attached to self help groups,” Modi said in his letter.
Recently the amount for loans without guarantee for self-help groups has been doubled to Rs 20 lakh from the earlier Rs 10 lakh, he said.
“Keeping in mind the education of tribal children, we have begun the construction of more than 400 new Eklavya Model Residential Schools,” Modi said.
“As a result, whether it be the Consumer Protection Act, the amendment to Chit Fund Law or laws to provide more protection to women, children and Divyang, their passage in the Parliament was expedited,” he said.
“Rural-urban gap is shrinking. For the first time, the number of rural Indians using the internet is 10 percent more than the number of urban Indians,” Modi said about the result of the policies and decisions of the government.
“The list of such historic actions and decisions taken in national interest would be too long to detail in this letter. But I must say that every day of this year, my government has worked round the clock with full vigour, taking and implementing these decisions,” Modi said.
Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas
“The light of ‘Jan Shakti’ and ‘Rashtra Shakti’ has ignited the entire nation. Powered by the Mantra of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ India is marching forward in all spheres,” Modi said.