On Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered a speech at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. He assured the listeners that he shall defend the rights of people from all faiths in his country. This comes at a time when increasing right-wing activities are being reported in India.
In his speech he focussed on the importance of a global society. And asked world leaders to think about using cultures, traditions and religions to overcome the rising incidents of extremism, violence and divisions across the globe. He highlighted that “culture must connect, not divide, our world” and it should be a way of better understanding and greater respect between people of different nations and faiths.
Modi’s confirmation about protecting all religions was much needed, as the minorities have been tensed after news of attacks on churches and ‘ghar-wapsi’ programmes by the Sangh Parivar bodies. “We will defend and protect the rights and liberty of every citizen. We will ensure that every citizen of every faith, culture and creed has an equal place in our society; belief in future; and the confidence to pursue it,” the Prime Minister said.
Keeping in mind the UN meet on climate change to be held in Paris later this year, the Prime Minister informed his audience that India has a target of adding 175,000 MW of clean and renewable energy in the next seven years.
While talking about the government’s efforts for the country’s development, the PM remarked, “We shall judge our progress not just by the cold statistics of growth, but by the warm glow of belief and hope on human faces. For me, it means many things.”
He observed that the strength of a nation is determined by empowerment of the weakest, every citizen should join hands for the country’s development; and that the government is focussing on making this a reality since it came to power