NEW DELHI: Urging people to depend less on cash for their daily lives, Prime minister Narendra Modi has sought people’s support to take his fight against black money to the “next level”.
Sharing his vision of ‘New India’, in his monthly radio talk show Mann Ki Baat, PM Modi said that it can be achieved when 125 crore Indians take a pledge and unitedly work towards it. The thought of New India was recently a theme in the Prime Minister's speeches, including his address to the BJP workers after jubilating poll results for his party in the five states on early this month. In fact, on Narendra Modi app, the Prime Minister had asked the people to take a pledge and join him in building a New India by 2022 - the year when the country completes 75 years of Independence.
"My dear countrymen, we must take our fight against black money and corruption to the next level. .... We should contribute towards ensuring reducing the use of cash, of currency notes," the Prime Minister said on Sunday in his radio show.
Pursuing people to adopt digital mode of payment in their daily needs like paying school fees, buy medicines or items from fair price shops or purchase air and train tickets, he said "we can do this in our day to day lives. You can't imagine how you can serve the country in this way and become a brave soldier in the fight against black money and corruption."
Observing that the budget had announced that there would be 2500 crore digital transactions this year, he said if 125 crore countrymen can resolve, "they need not wait for a year; they can do it in six months."
While touching upon his favourite "Swachch Bharat" drive, PM Modi said people of the country are getting angry as far as dirt is concerned and this will lead to more efforts towards cleanliness. In fact, Prime minister talked about wastage of food saying it is unfortunate and an injustice to the poor.
While speaking at length about a common urban issue of depression and how it can be overcome by expressing one's feeling to the near and dear ones, PM Modi urged the people to help those suffering from it to overcome it. He also said about the importance of Yoga in everyone’s life while dealing the issue of depression.
Expressing gratitude to the people, Modi said over the last few months the country has witnessed an atmosphere in which people in large numbers have participated in the digital payment, 'Digidhan' movement, PM said that it is a brave act against corruption and black money.
"There has also been an increase in curiosity about cashless transactions. The poorest of the poor are making attempts to learn, and people are gradually moving towards doing business without cash. There has been a surge in various modes of digital payment after demonetisation," he said. He added that BHIM App, which was launched only two and half month ago has already been downloaded by one and half crore people.
While greeting people of Bangladesh on their independence day, PM said India will always stand with them in the struggle for peace, security and development in the region.
"I hope that Bangladesh marches ahead on the path of progress. I also assure the citizens of Bangladesh that India is a strong partner, and a good friend, and we will continue to work together shoulder to shoulder to contribute towards the peace, security and development of this entire region," the Prime Minister said.
He said it was a matter of pride that Rabindra Nath Tagore, who has authored the national anthem of Bangladesh and India, had given up his Knighthood in protest against the 1919 massacre of people in Jallianwala Bagh by the British. This had also provided an "inspiration and a mission in life" to a young teenager, who until then had spent his days playing merrily in the fields. This youngster was none other than Bhagat Singh, then 12-years old, to evolve as a martyr. Modi also referred to the Champaran Satyagraha launched by Mahatma Gandhi in 1917, saying "through his demeanour and deeds, he could inspire the poorest of the poor, the most illiterate, to unite and come together out into the open for the struggle against the British Rule.
"This was a manifestation of an incredible inner strength, through which we can experience the vastness of Mahatma Gandhi's great persona," the Prime Minister said.
He said the government of India has taken "a very important decision" to give working women maternity leave of 26 weeks, instead of the earlier 12 weeks, for their pregnancy and delivery, a practice only two or three countries in the world that are ahead of India in this matter.
“The basic aim is to ensure proper care of the newborn, the future citizen of India, from the time of birth. The newborn should get the complete love and attention of the mother."