Mohali: India has enormous challenges but development should be the only focus, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday, adding politics should be confined to elections.
Speaking at the 15th edition of the Indian School of Business Leadership Summit 2017, the Vice-President underlined the importance of collectively rooting out corruption, communalism, casteism, fundamentalism, criminalisation of politics, gender discrimination and atrocities on women and weaker sections.
"We have to tap into our inner strengths and with a collective will and tireless striving as Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore said 'we must build a new India'. "We need to keep adding new chapters to India's fascinating growth story. All of us should be the co-authors of this evolving document," he said.
Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, Naidu said the father of the nation once talked about 'Ram Rajya' "where there is no deception, exploitation, discrimination or harassment...that is called 'adarsh' (ideal) state".
Naidu said that as a nation, one needed to focus on development. "The challenges are enormous. The agenda has to be development, development, development through good governance and not controversies. We are a free nation now, we are independent, we do not have any foreign rulers now, we are ruling ourselves...politics should be confined to elections, once the elections are over everybody should focus on development. "States must compete with each other, and then the Centre and states must work together like Team India," he said.
Naidu said terrorism had no religion and it was the enemy of humanity. "In my view, the India of tomorrow will be a country which will translate the dreams of our freedom fighters into tangible reality. It will be an India that will transform the quality of life of the citizens," he said, asserting that the country was marching on the path of progress.
Referring to the concept of 'Smart Cities', Naidu said these were the cities where life was comfortable like having round-the-clock water supply and electricity, rain water harvesting, good roads, cycling tracks, public transport etc.
"Of course, smart cities cannot be built overnight. They cannot be built by just making a statement...smart cities require a smart leader...smart not in terms of height, or one who wears good coat, hat etc...but a leader with a vision, conviction and clarity," he said.
Talking about his vision for the country, the Vice-President said, "It will be an India that will internalise and live the values of democracy and inclusion as a way of life. "It will be an India that places people, especially those who are the poorest of the poor at the centre of the development process. It will be an India that encourages each Indian to realize his or her potential. "It will be an India where women get equal opportunities along with men. See our 'puranas', women are given highest importance. All the rivers in our country — Ganga, Yamuna, Kaveri, Narmada, Mahanadi, Tapti are named after women. We also call our country 'Bharat Mata' or Mother India," he said.
Naidu also called for innovations in multiple spheres. "Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given a call of 'Reform, Perform and Transform'," he said while pointing out that innovation was the need of the hour.
Quoting the World Bank, the Vice-President said the country remains a favourite destination among global investors.
"A statement by the World Bank said with 1.2 billion people and the world's third largest economy in purchasing power parity terms, India's recent growth has been a significant achievement. "Life expectancy has more than doubled, literacy rates have quadrupled, health conditions have improved, and a sizable middle class has emerged. India is now home to globally recognised companies in pharmaceuticals, steel, information and space technologies, and enjoys a voice on the international stage that is more in keeping with its size and potential," Naidu said quoting the global body.
Your guide to the latest election news, analysis, commentary, live updates and schedule for Lok Sabha Elections 2019 on firstpost.com/elections. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram or like our Facebook page for updates from all 543 constituencies for the upcoming general elections.
Updated Date: Sep 22, 2017 18:59:07 IST