Ambedkar Jayanti: Narendra Modi says digital money will do for the poor what Babasaheb did for India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated various development works and launched the BHIM-Aadhaar app in Nagpur to mark the birth anniversary of BR Ambedkar.

Modi dedicated to the nation 14 units of thermal power plants at Koradi, Chandrapur and Parli with a total capacity of 3,230 MW. He also laid the foundation stones for the proposed Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Indian Institute of Management (IIM) and All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) at a function in Nagpur.

'Digital money'

He also stressed the importance of a cashless economy and said that the BHIM-Aadhaar app will help the poor.

"The day is not far that the poorest of the poor will call Digidhan (digital money) Nijidhan (personal wealth)," said the prime minister.

"Many experts were opposing me after my call for a less-cash society," Modi said. "But even families many times put a limit on the amount of cash given to their child...Therefore, trade and business can be done with less cash," he said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

"Digital money will empower the poor...BHIM app will help the poor in the same way Ambedkar helped the country," he said.

He also explained how currency printing is very expensive. "If we move in the direction of less cash, it will be better. For the security of an ATM, there are five police personnel present there. But with digital money, your mobile phone becomes your ATM," Modi said.

"Paperless banking is soon going to become a part of life...Some people used to say poor people do not have smartphones. But the poor can use these apps with basic phones too. Even if some of the poor do not have mobile phones, now they can use thumbprint," he said.

"Even many developed countries do not have technology like the BHIM-Aadhaar app which India has," said the prime minister. "Universities abroad will come to India to study the BHIM-Aadhaar concept. This is going to become a reference point," the prime minister said.

"Whether you appreciate the idea of a cashless society or not, you will definitely be angry about corruption, which is something BHIM-Aadhaar app will fight against," said Modi, adding that financial incentives will be given to youth who teach other people about digital money and BHIM-Aadhaar app.

Modi's dream of housing for all by 2022

The prime minister also said that "housing for the poorest of the poor" was a dream he had for India in 2022. He promised that his government will deliver on this dream.

He also said that the current times were an opportunity for India. "We did not get the golden opportunity to die for the nation. But we have the opportunity to live for the nation," he said.

"The 21st century is the century of knowledge. It is an opportunity of leadership for India," he said.

'Ambedkar gave us nothing but amrit'

The prime minister also praised Ambedkar and his contribution to the development of the country.

"In my life, I have always experienced that the inspiration to go forward in life despite scarcity comes from Babasaheb Ambedkar," Modi said.

"People often have temptations to indulge in acts of revenge for earlier injustices. But Ambedkar, despite having faced great difficulties and injustices, did not let this bitterness come out," he said. "The Constitution was made pro-people. The sentiment of revenge was never expressed in the Constitution."

"Babasaheb Ambedkar, despite tolerating poison throughout his life, gave us nothing but amrit (nectar)," he said.

Arriving in Nagpur on a day-long visit for various engagements, Modi started his day with a visit to the historic monument, Deekshabhoomi, where Babasaheb Ambedkar and over 6,00,000 followers had embraced Buddhism on 14 October, 1956.

This 'Dharmantar' is considered the biggest mass religious conversion at a single location in history that took place 61 years ago.

Modi, accompanied by Union Minister Ramdas Athawale and Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, went around the Deekshabhoomi and later garlanded a large bust of Babasaheb Ambedkar installed there.

A series of functions has been organised to mark the Ambedkar Jayanti on Friday across Maharashtra, including at Deekshabhoomi in Nagpur and Chaityabhoomi in Mumbai, where Babasaheb Ambedkar was cremated following his death on 6 December, 1956.

With inputs from IANS

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Updated Date: Apr 14, 2017 15:18:58 IST

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