NEW DELHI: Seventy-five years after the 1942 Quit India movement, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said the movement’s spirit should be rekindled for a movement for nation building between 2017 and 2022.
“Poverty, lack of education and malnutrition – these are big challenges our nation faces. We need to bring a positive change in this regard,” Mr Modi said in the Lok Sabha during a special discussion on the occasion of 75th anniversary of Quit India movement.
In 1942, Mr. Modi said, the clarion call was “Karenge Ya Marenge (Do or Die)” today the call should be “Karenge aur Karke Rahenge (Will do and will definitely achieve).
He said that the recollection of movements such as the Quit India Movement, is a source of inspiration, and added that the current generation has a responsibility of passing on the legacy of such movements, to the future generations.
The Prime Minister recalled that even as senior leaders like Mahatma Gandhi were jailed at the beginning of the Quit India Movement, a new generation of leaders emerged to fill the vacuum and take the movement forward.
The Prime Minister noted that the freedom struggle went through several phases, and recalled various leaders and movements that emerged at various points since 1857. He added that the Quit India Movement that began in 1942, was a decisive movement.
Quoting Gandhiji, the Prime Minister said that all sections of people joined in, responding to Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call of “Do or Die.” He said that from political leaders to the common man, everyone was imbued with this spirit. Five years was all it took to achieve the objective of independence, once the entire country shared this common resolve, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister quoted the writer Ramvriksha Benipuri, and the poet Sohanlal Dwivedi to describe the mood that prevailed at that time.
The Prime Minister noted that corruption, poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition are challenges that India now needs to overcome. He also mentioned the role played by women in the freedom struggle, and said that women can add immense strength to our common objectives, even today.
Speaking about rights and duties, the Prime Minister said that while we are well aware of our rights, we cannot forget our duties, and these too, must become part of our way of life.
The Prime Minister said that colonialism began in India, and its end too, began with India’s independence, which was soon followed by the fall of colonialism across Asia and Africa.
In 1942, conditions internationally became favourable for India to get independence, the Prime Minister said, noting that today again, the global conditions are favourable for India. He said, that from 1857 to 1942, the move towards freedom was incremental, but the years from 1942 to 1947, were transformative, and delivered on the objective.
The Prime Minister urged the Members of Parliament to rise above differences, and join in a common effort to create an India of the dreams of the freedom fighters in the next five years, from 2017 to 2022, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of independence.
He said the next five years should also be about “Sankalp se Siddhi” – a resolve which will lead us to accomplishment.
Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said while the spirit of Quit India movement was to urge the colonial rulers to leave India, in the present time the appeal should be for “uniting India”.
“There is a need for a movement now so that from Kashmir to Kanyakumari we can build up a strong and well organised India.Our freedom fighters had envisioned a dream of an inclusive India,” she said.