Pune: “Trust surplus” is seen today both in policies and hard work of the people in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday, as he received the Lokmanya Tilak National Award in Pune.
Development is impossible if there is an atmosphere of mistrust, Modi said in his acceptance speech at the event, where he shared the stage with NCP chief Sharad Pawar.
Modi spoke of India’s journey from “trust deficit” to “trust surplus”.
He said in the last nine years, people of India made big transformations possible. People of India made the country fifth largest economy in the world, he added.
Lokmanya Tilak understood the importance of free press, the PM said. “He changed the course of the freedom struggle. The British called him the father of Indian unrest,” he said.
Today, the country is believing in itself in every sphere, Modi said.
He also said today some people get uncomfortable if a road named after a foreign invader is renamed.
The PM said he feels honoured to receive the award named after Lokmanya Tilak, who was at the forefront of India’s freedom struggle.
He said there are several things we could learn from the life of Tilak.
“Tilak had great faith in the Bhagavad Gita. The British had sent him to Mandalay prison, but there also he continued his research on the Bhagavad Gita and wrote Gita Rahasya and introduced people to the power of karma,” Modi said.
He said Tilak insisted that people believe in themselves.
“He used to make them believe in themselves. When people at that time made up their mind that it was impossible for India to break the chains of slavery, he gave people the confidence of freedom. He had trust in our traditions, he had trust in our people, workers, he had trust in the prowess of India,” Modi said.
In an atmosphere of mistrust, the nation’s development is not possible, he said.
“Yesterday, I got a tweet from one Manoj Pochat, who reminded me of my Pune visit 10 years ago. I had then spoken in the Fergusson college about trust deficit. Today, he has requested me to speak about a journey from trust deficit to trust surplus,” he said.
“Today, trust surplus is seen both in policies and hard work of the people in the country,” the PM said.
“In the last nine years, people of India laid the foundations of big developments and made big transformations possible, and that is why India became the fifth largest economy in the world. It is the people of India who made it happen,” he said.
Lokmanya Tilak had this unique ability to identify young talent, he said, adding that (late Hindutva ideologue) Veer Savarkar was one such example.
Tilak realised the capability of Veer Savarkar and was instrumental in his education abroad, he said.
“When an award is named after Lokmanya Tilak, the responsibility increases,” he said.
The PM also said Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was deeply impacted by a speech of Lokmanya Tilak.
Tilak had gone to Ahmedabad to address the people. More than 40,000 people came to listen to him, he said.
“Among them was Patel, who was deeply impacted by his speech. Later, Patel later became president of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation. Look at his thinking. He decided to install Tilak’s bust in Ahmedabad and chose the Victoria Garden, which was made in the memory of Queen Victoria, for it,” said Modi.
Patel faced lot of opposition as attempts were made to stop him, but he resolved that if Tilak’s bust was not allowed to be installed in the garden, he will give up his position, the PM said.
“Finally, the statue was installed and in 1929, Mahatma Gandhi inaugurated the bust of Tilak. While living in Ahmedabad, I got the opportunity to visit the statue numerous times,” he said.
Modi said one can imagine that in the times of slavery, Sardar Patel challenged the British empire for the “son of the country”.
“In today’s scenario, if a road named after a foreign invader is renamed after an Indian personality, some people make a hue and cry and get sleepless nights,” he said.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, India believed in its scientists and they made an Indian vaccine and Pune played a vital role in that. We are talking about ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) because we know India can do it,” he said.
Modi said he has given Rs 1 lakh received with the Lokmanya Tilak National Award to Namami Gange project.
On the occasion, Pawar said the first surgical strike in India was during Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s period.
The NCP leader said the country had seen two eras: One of Tilak and another of Mahatma Gandhi.