“It is the need of the hour that we must become self-reliant,” he said. “We have to move forward based on our own abilities, in our own way, and there is only one way to do it — Atmanirbhar Bharat or Self-reliant India.”
Notwithstanding the severe criticism of the package for failing to put money into people’s pockets, Modi said the Rs 20-trillion package would usher in a new era of opportunities for every Indian, be it our farmers, workers, small entrepreneurs or youth associated with start-ups.
The PM said it was a “long battle” against the Covid-19 pandemic, “but we have started traversing on the path of victory”. He appealed to every Indian to follow all the rules and guidelines so that “inconveniences" confronting the population “do not turn into disasters”.
The PM said Indians had displayed patience so far and should continue to do so.
“This is one of the important reasons for India being safer and in a better state than many other countries,” he said.
In the letter, Modi recognised the concerns regarding the country’s economic recovery. "At such a time, there is also a widespread debate on how the economies of various countries, including India’s, will recover. However, given the way India has surprised the world with its unity and resolve in the fight against coronavirus, there is a firm belief that we will also set an example in economic revival. In the economic domain, through their strength, 130 crore Indians can not only surprise the world but also inspire it," the PM said.
He conceded millions have suffered and that his government was “working in a united and determined way to alleviate their troubles”. “In a crisis of this magnitude, it can certainly not be claimed that no one suffered any inconvenience or discomfort. Our labourers, migrant workers, artisans and craftsmen in small-scale industries, hawkers, and such fellow countrymen have undergone tremendous suffering,” he said. The BJP scored a huge win in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, results of which were announced on May 23 last year, the first government to return with a majority since 1984. Modi and his council of ministers took the oath of office on May 30, 2019.
In the letter, the PM said that “this day last year began a golden chapter in the history of Indian democracy”. He said people in 2014 voted for a “substantive transformation”. He said the last five years have seen the administrative apparatus broke itself free of status quo and from the swamp of corruption, as well as misgovernance. He said the lives of millions have been transformed, the dignity of the poor was enhanced with financial inclusion, free gas and electricity connections, and total sanitation coverage. He further said progress was towards ensuring "housing for all".
The PM also spoke about the achievements of the previous five-year tenure.
He said the people of India did not merely vote for continuity in 2019, but also with a dream of taking India to new heights. “The light of Jan Shakti (people’s power) and Rashtra Shakti (nation’s power) has ignited the entire nation,” he said, reiterating the slogan of "Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas".
Listing the highlights of the last one year, the prime minister has talked about the scrapping of the provisions of Article 370, the unanimous Ram Mandir judgment of the Supreme Court, and the law on triple talaq. “Amendment to the Citizenship Act was an expression of India’s compassion and spirit of inclusiveness,” he has said.
The PM has also spoken of the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme, the Jal Jeevan mission and the improved productivity of Parliament. “As a result of the policies and decisions of the government, the rural-urban gap is shrinking,” Modi said. He said that for the first time, the number of rural Indians using the internet is 10 per cent more than the number of urban Indians.
Modi said many feared that India will become a problem for the world when coronavirus
hits India. “But today, through sheer confidence and resilience, you have transformed the way the world looks at us,” he said. The PM said the people of India “have proven that the collective strength and potential of Indians is unparalleled compared even to the powerful and prosperous countries of the world".
Modi said he was aware that a lot needs to be done. “There are many challenges and problems that our country faces. I am working day and night. There could be deficiencies in me but there is nothing that our country lacks,” he said. Quoting a shloka, he said: “If we have action and duty on one hand, success is assured on the other hand.”