New Delhi: Making a strong pitch for people’s participation in the journey of development and democracy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the 9th Jagran Forum of the world’s most read newspaper Dainik Jagran, said the first step is to have faith in the people and their strengths.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurates the 9th Jagran Forum as Chairman & Managing Director of Jagran Prakashan Ltd. Mahendra Mohan Gupta and Dainik Jagran CEO and Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Gupta look on
(L to R): Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh, Jharkhand CM Raghubar Das, and Uttarakhand CM Harish Rawat with senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh during an interaction
"Our definition of democracy can’t be restricted to elections and governments alone. Democracy is strengthened by jan bhagidari (peoples’ participation)," he said, adding that development should be turned into a mass movement to integrate every Indian.
PM Modi addressing the audience
Flanked by Mahendra Mohan Gupta, PM Modi presents the Janhit Jagran Award to social activist Anuradha Gupta
The PM exchanges pleasantries with classical singer Chhannulal Mishra
"Then loktantra (democracy) becomes lok shakti (people’s power)," he said. Like Mahatma Gandhi struggled to achieve freedom, similarly we should make development a people’s movement, he added.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh with Jairam Ramesh
"Everyone must think like they are working for India’s progress," he said. He termed awareness as the most important need to help the country develop.
(Foreground) Jagran and mid-day Infomedia Director Shailesh Gupta at the event yesterday
In a veiled dig at the previous governments, he said had people’s participation in the country’s development been made a policy after Independence, the pace of development would have been 1,000 times faster.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses a session
"Nowadays, all work is left to the government. In Gandhi’s model, everything was done by the people," Modi said while referring to the impact of programmes like Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Give It UP for giving up LPG subsidy.
PM Modi and Mahendra Mohan Gupta release the book Discourse On Democracy
As many as 52 lakh people have given up their LPG subsidy, which has benefited 46 lakh people, he shared. The Prime Minister while highlighting the need to protect democracy from the influence of money power, said the two threats to democracy are mantantra and moneytantra.
PM Modi bids goodbye to other dignitaries present at the Jagran Forum
Jagran CMD Mahendra Mohan Gupta, Dainik Jagran CEO and Editor-in-Chief Sanjay Gupta and Jagran and mid-day Infomedia Director Shailesh Gupta were present at the event. "Dainik Jagran has done a lot of work for inclusiveness," Sanjay Gupta said in his welcome speech.
He said inclusive democracy is at the centre of the discussion at the Forum. "The commitment to make our democracy inclusive is visible at many places in our Constitution. In our democratic journey of more than six decades, we have almost fulfilled this commitment," he said.
But he added that democracy has its limitations too. "Perhaps due to this inclusiveness, a bit of chaos has entered our democracy. I am sure that despite these issues, nobody here will question inclusiveness."
Addressing the event, the Prime Minister also spoke about "mission mode" journalism and the role of the fourth state, saying this mission mode should not receive a blow, either from the inside or outside.
PM Modi linked the disruptions in Parliament with the loss of the poor in the country. "People only talk about GST and Parliament but there are several other schemes to uplift the poor that are pending in Parliament," he said.
While calling for a push to entrepreneurship, he said merely restricting ourselves to private and public sector will limit our development. There is a need to focus on personal sector.
"The personal sector is a source of great strength," he said, listing the government’s initiative ‘PM Mudra Yojna’ which offers loans to small entrepreneurs.