Narendra Modi’s speech in Central Hall of Parliament
Prime Minister designate Narendra Modi delivered his inaugural speech in the Central hall of Parliament yesterday ready for his swearing in as Prime Minister on 26th May.
The Times of India has published the speech in full and you can find it below. The speech is most notable for the references to the poor and the way in which the poor will be the new government’s top priority. Modi’s party, the BJP lost the 2004 general election largely because they had concentrated too much on growth, investment and the middle classes, a lesson Modi has clearly noted.
Narendra Modi also makes reference to service and at one point broke down when using the word ‘kripa’ which means blessing or grace. Modi commented that L.K. Advani, a senior member of the BJP, had said that “Narendra Bhai has done him kripa”. At that point he broke down and after pause said “Please don’t use this word. Can a son ever do his mother kripa? It can never be. Like India is my mother, the same way the BJP is also my mother. And therefore, a son can never do kripa, he can only dedicatedly serve his mother. Kripa is by the party, it has done me the favour of giving me an opportunity to serve it”. This leaves an interesting and important observation as to the nature of the man about to become India’s Prime Minister.
Modi also said “The coming year 2015-16 is important to us all, it will be Pandit Deendayal Updhyaya’s centenary year, chairaveti, chairevetimantra was given by him and this led to establishing a system of sacrifice and hard work. We have to think about how to fulfil his dreams and work and strive to fulfil them”.
Deendayal Updhyaya developed a strong political philosophy known as Integral Humanism. Part of this thinking rejects the idea that India has to mimic Western concepts such as individualism and democratic positioning such as communism or capitalism and that India should return to its cultural roots including decentralisation and a self-reliant economy based upon the village.
It is unclear how far Modi ascribes to these views, but his closeness to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a right-wing Hindu nationalist group, and his reference in his inaugural speech to Deendayal Updhyaya would suggest that this will colour some of his thinking.
The full text of the speech as published in The Times of India is as follows:
“Full text of Narendra Modi’s speech in Central Hall of Parliament
TNN | May 21, 2014, 11.08 AM IST
Respected Advaniji, our national president Rajnathji and all Chief Ministers of Bharatiya Janata Party and newly elected members, I am grateful to all of you for having unanimously given me a new responsibility. I am thankful and grateful, particularly to Advaniji and Rajnathji as they have given me blessings.
I was thinking of Atalji’s health. Had his health been good, he would have been with us today and his presence would have completed this moment. His blessings are with us and will be with us in future.
We are here in the temple of democracy. We will work with all purity… not for the post but the people of the country. Work and responsibility are the biggest things. I accept the responsibility you have reposed in me.
For me post is not important, I have not considered that post is important in life but in my view responsibility is the bigger thing.
We will have to dedicate ourselves to fulfil this responsibility. In last September 13, 2013, the BJP parliamentary board gave a responsibility to me and from September 15, I started my work and with full sense of responsibility of a worker. The parishram yagya, which I began at that time and when the campaigning ended on May 10, 2014, I rang up my president and wanted to meet him before going to Ahmedabad. He asked if I was not tired and needed a break but I insisted on reporting to him as the responsibility given to me had been completed on May 10.
And like a disciplined solider I reported to my president that from September 13 to May 10, I have tried to fulfil my responsibility to the best of my ability. In this campaign, I had to cancel only one event and that too in Ghosi where our district president had died suddenly.
And I told him that as a loyal and committed worker, I am reporting to you on this sacred land. Whatever was given to me, I have tried to do and fulfil the role of a party worker.
After I became Chief Minister, I saw Chief Minister’s chamber for the first time. Today also it is the same situation as I have come to this historic Central Hall for the first time.
I salute all freedom fighters and also salute makers of the Constitution of our country as because of them, the world is witnessing the power of democracy. When global leaders called me, I told them about millions of voters of India. They were surprised. It is the power of our Constitution that a poor person belonging to a poor and deprived family is standing here today. This is the power of our Constitution and hallmark of our democratic elections that a common citizen can also reach this height. The BJP’s victory and somebody else’s loss is a point for debate later. Citizens have realised that this democratic setup can fulfill their aspirations. Their faith in democracy has strengthened further.
A government is a one which thinks about the poor, listens to the poor and which exists for the poor. Therefore, the new government is dedicated to the poor, millions of youth and mothers and daughters who are striving for their respect and honour. Villagers, farmers, Dalits and the oppressed, this government is for them, for their aspirations and this is our responsibility. And this is our responsibility.
I have seen new facets of our country in my campaign. I have seen people who had only one piece of clothing on their body but had the BJP’s flag. This section is looking at us with hope and aspirations. And therefore, our dream is to fulfil their dreams.
Advaniji has used, I would urge Advaniji not to use that word. He said that Narendra Bhai has done him kripa.
(Breaks down and there is a pause for a few moments)
Please don’t use this word. Can a son ever do his mother kripa? It can never be. Like India is my mother, the same way the BJP is also my mother. And therefore, a son can never do kripa, he can only dedicatedly serve his mother. Kripa is by the party, it has done me the favour of giving me an opportunity to serve it.
Various governments in the past tried to do some good work in their own way for which they deserve appreciation. Whatever good has happened, we will carry it forward. We will give something to the country. People should not become pessimistic. I have not seen television and media, everyone has been analysing this verdict… people have voted for hope. This verdict is of hope. I had said earlier that this election is of hope.
A new hope has arisen in the common man. This is the biggest significance of this election results.
But by giving the BJP an absolute majority they have voted for hope and trust. People have voted for hope and faith and I will do everything to fulfil their aspirations. There should be no room for pessimism and because with pessimism nothing can be achieved. The government’s motto will be to be with everyone and for everyone’s development. This is the time for new hope and strength.
An era of responsibility has begun. In 2019, I will meet the MPs again with a report card. My government is not for myself but for the country. The government is for the poor and we want to do something for them.
I will strive my best to fulfil the responsibility you have reposed in me. You will never have to look down on the work it will do.
We were not fortunate to have died for the country, but for every citizen born in independent India, he should dedicate himself to live for the country. Every moment of our lives and every speck of our body should be dedicated to 125 crore people of this country, we have to carry this dream. The country will then progress rapidly.
I am by nature an optimist. It is written in my DNA. Disappointment does not just gel with me. On this occasion, I wish to repeat what I had said in my speech in a college here. Just see this glass of water, some say that it is half filled with water and some say it is half empty. My thinking is of third type. I say this glass is half filled with water and half with air. You may be seeing it half empty but I don’t see it that way. That’s why I say that I am by nature an optimist. And for traversing a constructive path, it is important and essential to be an optimist. Only an optimistic person can bring and instil hope in the country. Pessimistic persons can never give hope to the country. Adverse times and hardships do come in everybody’s life. In 2001 when earthquake struck Gujarat, we were all stricken by death and there was destruction everywhere. Everyone the world over thought it was all over. But in no time, Gujarat once again stood up on its feet. We will have to leave pessimism behind. Who says that such an aware democratic country — the largest in the world cannot move forward? If 125 crore Indians resolve to take one step forward, the entire country will travel 125 crore steps forward.
Which is the other country in the world which has six seasons? This land of ours is blessed, our land is fertile, full of natural resources. People from our country go abroad and earn name and fame, we only have to give opportunity to them here.
In this election, we stressed on two things — sabka saath, sabka vikas. We want everyone’s progress and development but it is as important that we take everybody along with us. This election symbolised new hope, I have such able colleagues with me and with guidance from my senior leaders, I have full faith that the responsibility which was given to me on September 13, 2013 and which was completed on May 16, 2014 and with the new responsibility given to me today, I assure you that when we meet in 2019, I will place before you my report card. I will try and achieve the pinnacle of perseverance and hard work.
The coming year 2015-16 is important to us all, it will be Pandit Deendayal Updhyaya’s centenary year, chairaveti, chairevetimantra was given by him and this led to establishing a system of sacrifice and hard work. We have to think about how to fulfil his dreams and work and strive to fulfil them. Party and the government should also think about this as to how to celebrate this coming event. Anthodia, the service of the downtrodden, that is what Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya had stressed. That is why I say that this government is for the poor and deprived. In global perspective also, this election of India and its results are being viewed in a very constructive and positive manner. And the first message that goes out to the world is that it is not important that millions of people have made some party victorious or made someone a prime minister. But it is important that millions have given a good mandate and have held India’s position high in the world that is the message of these elections. Who won and who lost is not important. These are the results which will attract the world to India and to its democratic traditions, and capabilities. Hope has been kindled in a common citizen of India and the same hope has arisen in humanitarian forces in the world. This is a very good sign.
Brothers and sisters, once again I express my gratitude to millions of workers who have toiled hard for this victory. Modi which is before you and which you can see is because Modi is hoisted by senior leaders of my party on their shoulders. Whatever we have achieved today, is because of sacrifices made by past five generations. Jan Sangh was not known to the people, some thought it is a social, cultural organisation. Today, I salute all those generations who made sacrifices for nationalist causes. We should not forget that we are here today because of sacrifices made by the past generations. This victory is of millions of our workers. If we think like this, there will not be any opportunity for our society and party to have any complaints. BJP is the party which relies on its strong organisation, that is our strength and none of us is either away or above the organisation.
You have given me this new responsibility, Advaniji has given me blessings. You have reposed faith in me and have expectations from me and I assure you that you will not have any occasion of feeling let down. Once again, I thank you all.”