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‘Harmony and peace’, India’s message to the world at UNGA, PM Modi reminds the world of Swami Vivekananda’s appeal

In his speech at the UNGA, PM Modi gave a strong message on terrorism to the world. Said terrorism is the biggest challenge today. Reminded the world of Swami Vivekananda's message on peace and harmony.

PM Modi addressing the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) reminded the world of Swami Vivekananda’s message at the Parliament of Religions and said that harmony and peace was India’s message 125 years back and remains that even today.

Addressing the session in Hindi, PM Modi said, it is a matter of honour to represent 130 crore Indians. It is also special because the world is celebrating 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

“World’s biggest democracy had its elections. I was elected by the people of India by turning up in huge number and giving me a bigger mandate. I am here because of that public mandate. But the message from this mandate is even bigger and more important,” he said.

“When a developing country starts the biggest cleanliness drive in the world, building over 11 crore toilets in 5 crore then it is inspiration for the world. When a developing country leads world’s health scheme, the world draws inspiration. When a developing country successfully concludes largest financial inclusion scheme, then the poor of the world get confidence. When a developing country runs a digital identification programme, gives them biometric identity and stops corruption by saving almost 20 billion dollars, it is a hope for the world.

“When I was coming here, I read on UN wall “No more single use plastic”. I am happy to announce that even today in India we are working towards making India single-use plastic free. In coming years, we will make strides in water conservation and enable water supply connection to 15 crore homes. In next 5 years, 1.25 lakh kms new roads will be connected. By 2022, when India celebrates 75 yrs of Independence, we will have 2 crore more homes for poor.

“The world may have set a target of 2030 for eradication of tuberculosis (TB), but in India, we have kept this target for 2025. How are we doing this? What has changed in New India?

“India is thousands of years old culture. It has its own traditions. Our sanskar and sanskriti sees ‘Shiv in jeev’ (God in every life form). Hence our life is about ‘jan bhagdari se jan kalyan‘ (betterment of people with partnership and contribution of people). Our aim is jan kalyan not only for India but for entire world. That way, we are striving for ‘jan kalyan se jagat kalyan‘ (betterment of the world with help of betterment of people). Hence our inspiration is ‘sabka saath sabka vikas sabka vishwas‘ (everyone’s support, development and trust).

“Our efforts are only as a matter of duty. They are keeping in mind 130 crore people at centre. Our efforts are for every country for every community, for everyone’s benefit. I get all the more determined when I see other countries are also working towards development just like India. When I see their struggle, my determination gets stronger and my efforts for development are increased,” PM Modi said.

Citing Tamil Poet Kaniyan Poongunranar, PM Modi said, “Before 3,000 years, India’s poet said in the ancient language Tamil that we respect everyone in the world as ours and pray for everyone’s wellbeing. This is the beauty of India. In last 5 years in India we have been working with the the sentiment of harmony and wellbeing of everyone. This is also aim of UN.”

Speaking on the environmental issues, PM Modi said these are world challenges and a collective effort needs to be done for the world problems. “Because of global warming, the frequency and intensity of natural disasters is increasing. We have set up Coalition of Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI) and I invite other countries to join us. It will help us build infrastructure through which we can diminish effect of disasters,” he said. CDRI is a global partnership of national governments, united nations agencies and others with an aim aims to promote resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks.

Stressing that India has always been a country of peace, PM Modi said, “India is a country which has shown the world not ‘Buddha’ and not ‘Yudhh’ (war). We have always given the message of peace. Hence when we raise our voice against terrorism, it has the sincerity and anger. We believe that it is not only one country’s responsibility but one of the biggest challenges faced by the humankind. World is divided on terrorism. For the sake of humanity, the world must come together to fight against terrorism.”

Reminding the assembly of Swami Vivekananda’s inspiring speech at Parliament of Religions, PM Modi said that “125 years back, Swami Vivekanand gave the message of ‘harmony and peace’ to the world. India still has the same message to give.”

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