Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

Salient points of PM Modi’s Interview to Network18


On his priorities in Government

PM Modi: My first priority after forming the government was that the atmosphere of despair should be removed and to create hope and belief in the country. That doesn’t happen with speeches. Concrete steps need to be taken, it has been shown to be done. And today after more than two years, I can say with certainty that there is hope not just in the people of this country, the trust of the entire world in India has grown.


PM Modi: This is perhaps the biggest tax reform since the independence of India. This reform will bring a big change in India. Very few people in the country pay taxes. Some people pay taxes because they are patriotic and they want to do something for the country. Some pay taxes because they don’t want to break the law. Some pay to avoid trouble. But most don’t pay because the process is complicated. They think they might get stuck in the process and won’t be able to come out. GST will simplify tax payments so much that anyone who wants to contribute to the country will come forward.Taxation systems will also be simplified and this will not only benefit the common man, the revenues will help develop the nation. Today, there are incidents of mistrust between states. This will end that situation, it will be transparent and strengthen the federal structure.

On Black Money:

PM Modi: We have made requisite legal changes so that the black money circulating inside the country can also be curbed. There’s a scheme which is running till the 30th of September. For all those who are still willing to come in the mainstream. I have said this in public that 30th of September is your last date. You may have made mistakes with whatever intentions. Whether it has been done willingly or unwillingly, here is your chance. Come into the mainstream. I have this plan for people to sleep peacefully at night. People must accept this. And no one should blame me if I take tough decisions after the 30th. This money belongs to the country’s poor. No one has the right to loot this. This is my commitment. I am working with full force and will continue the effort.

On Social Harmony in society:

PM Modi: The country has full faith that our agenda is only development. There is no confusion in the minds of people. But all those people who never wanted that a government like this to come to power, those who never wanted the previous regime to go… they are the ones who have trouble. So, development is our only issue and it will remain so. And this is not a political issue, this is my conviction. If we want to free this country of poverty then we need development. We will need to empower the poor.

As far as some incidents are concerned, they need to be condemned. It has no place in any civilised society. But we must not forget that law and order is a state subject. Some are selectively picking issues and blaming Modi for it. I don’t know what purpose does it serve for those who are doing this. But this is surely hurting the interest of the country. Such incidents must not happen. From a statistical point of view, whether it is communal violence, atrocities against Dalits or atrocities against tribals, data shows that such incidents have gone down in number compared with what it was under the previous government.

But the issue is not of what happened in their government and our government. The issue is that this is not befitting as per our society. We have a culture dating back thousands of years. We have seen some imbalances in our society and we have to intelligently take our society out of this imbalance. This is a social problem. It is deeply rooted. Politics on social imbalances is a disservice to society. To all those who have faced injustice for generations. If you look at dalit MPs and dalit MLAs, tribal MPs and tribal MLAs, the BJP has a sizable presence.

Ever since I celebrated the 125th anniversary of BabasahebBhimraoAmbedkar, when the UNO also celebrated his anniversary and 102 countries observed the 125th anniversary, and parliament discussed the life and works of BabasahebAmbedkar for two days, many people thought that Modi is a devotee of Ambedkar. They started having problems. All those who were self-appointed guardians of Dalits did not like it that Modi is with the Dalits, that Modi devotes himself to tribals. I am devoted to the development of all the dalits, oppressed, underprivileged, deprived, women. Those who see this as an obstruction to their politics are the ones creating trouble.

And this is why they are levelling baseless allegations. All those who have fed this country the poison of caste divide have destroyed this country. They must stop giving political tones to social problems. We must move forward with a purpose. And I want to ask the society also: are these incidents befitting of a civilised society?

Whenever we are wounded, even the slightest touch of a paper also causes pain. Thousands of years of injustice have kept these wounds open. The slightest of damage will cause a lot of pain. This is why, it does not matter whether the incident is big or small, what matters is that the incident must not happen in the first place. Which government had more incidents and which didn’t is not the point. We all have to work collectively to give strength to the country’s unity.

On relation between social harmony and economic progress

PM Modi: Economic progress alone is not the solution. Peace, unity and harmony is essential for society. Even in a family, no matter how well-off you may be…even if you are sitting over a heap of money, the family’s unity is important. This is true for the society also. We don’t need unity just to fight poverty alone. We need to be united and harmonious. We need to be committed to social justice. And that is why, unity is not important for economic progress alone. Peace, unity and harmony are useful in family, life, society and for the nation. And to all those who believe in VasudhaiveKutumbakam, the whole world is one.

Poison of Casteism and communalism vote bank have caused enough damage to country

PM Modi: The poisons of casteism and communal vote banks have caused enough damage in our country. The biggest obstacle to strengthening our democracy is vote bank politics. There was no atmosphere of vote bank politics in last general elections. There was the atmosphere of development politics. After 30 years, all sections of our society unitedly voted for a majority government. An entire section of our society has made a shift. It’s possible that the people of UP will do a similar thing for betterment of UP. They will vote keeping development in their mind.

On Jammu and Kashmir

PM Modi: Whenever we talk about Jammu & Kashmir, we should take the entire picture of Jammu, the Kashmir Valley and the Ladakh region into account. The seeds of the problem was sown ever since independence and division of our country. Every government had to battle with this problem. This is not a new problem. It is an old one. I believe the youth of Kashmir will not be distracted. We will proceed together maintaining peace, unity and goodwill so that the heaven called Kashmir will remain a heaven. Problems will also get solved. That’s why I always maintain that people of Kashmir need both development and trust. And 1 billion Indians has always stayed committed to both development and it has never wavered from its commitment of trust. This belief is still there today and it will always be there in future as well. We will march on the path of development and trust. And we will succeed.