Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday delivered the keynote address at the inaugural Republic TV Summit, speaking on the theme of Surging India.
Starting his speech by condoling the demise of those who had perished in the Andheri Hospital fire a day earlier, the Prime Minister assured all possible support for the grieving families. With a number of high-profile guests including Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Kotak Mahindra Bank founder Uday Kotak and filmstar Anil Kapoor in attendance, the Prime Minister went onto highlight the growth of India in the past few years and underlined the importance of Surging India, which he quantified as the combined feelings and aspirations of 1.3 billion Indians.
"Surging India - the two words - are the expression of 130 crore Indians. These are the feelings, vibrations which the world is witnessing. In the world society, India's growth is moving ahead in a very fast manner. India's image in front of the world is getting better with each passing day," he added.
Moving ahead, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to signify how far the country has come in the past four and a half years, making the use of a TV expression -- multiple windows -- to signify the changes that had taken place since 2014:
"Did anyone think four years back that India will so quickly close in on $5 trillion club. Did anyone think that in ease of doing business, India will grow upto 77 from 152, closing in on top-50? Did anyone think more than trains, people will travel on a plane? Did anyone think that rickshaw puller, chaiwala will use BHIM app and have Debit card in his pocket? The aviation sector growing so fast that companies have order 1000 new planes. From independence to now, only 450 airplanes were ordered. But in last year, 1000 planes were ordered. Did anyone think that National waterways will be a reality? Did anypne think that without engine AC train will be tried, running at 180 kmph? Did anyone think from start-up to sports, India will grow so much? Did anyone think that Christian Michel will be brought back to India? No one thought 1984 Congress accused will be punished. Then what brought this change? Same people, same bureaucracy, same condition. Then why the change?"
"In 2014, 50% of the people did not have bank accounts. Now in 2018, all have been connected with banking. In 2014, tax-payers were 3 crore 80 lakh. Now it is approximately 7 crore. Before 2014, 65 lakh were registered to pay tax. Today, in less than 1.5 years, 55 lakhs have registered. In 2014, mobile makers were just 2. Today there are 120. This is the face of Surging India. The plans from last 30-40 years which were stuck are being done. Now, wherever you go in the country you'll get to see a signboard - 'Work In Progress'. The work to build a new India is going on. I am today in a city which is called 'City that never stops'. Today, India is a country that never stops. Neither will we stop, or hold back, India has made it clear. In Mumbai, 22 km trans-Harbor link was inaugurated. All this started after BJP came to power in 2014. Andheri-Virar section is getting new trains. These needs of the country were there before. Mumbai needed them before since decades. But work is being done today," he added.