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PM’s address at Kokrajhar in Assam

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

On stage, the Governor of Assam, my Parliamentarian colleagues, the leaders of various boards and organizations, leaders of various factions of the NDFB present here, other dignitaries, and my brothers and sisters who have come here to bless me in great numbers.

I have come to Assam several times. I have also visited this place. I have been visiting this region for many years and decades. Even after becoming the Prime Minister, I have been coming to see you again and again. But the enthusiasm, which is visible on your face today, is more satisfying than the colourful ‘Aronai’ and ‘Dokhona’.

I have seen many rallies in public and political life, and have addressed several rallies, but never in my life have I ever seen such a huge ocean of peoples. The people who are political experts will definitely say that after independence, this is the greatest ever rally organized today by Vikram, and it has been possible because of you. I could see the sea of humanity from the helicopter. I could see a number of people were standing on that bridge and became afraid that someone might fall.

Brothers and sisters,

You all and the mothers and sisters have come to bless me in such a large number. So my confidence has increased a bit more. Sometimes people talk of hitting with a stick; but nothing can harm Modi, as he has a protective shield in the form of huge blessings from mothers and sisters. I salute you all. Mothers and sisters, my brothers and sisters, my young friends, I have come today to embrace you from the bottom of my heart; I have come here today to give a new confidence to my dear brothers and sisters of Assam. Yesterday, the whole country has seen how you have taken out rallies in every village on motor cycle, and by lighting lamps in the whole area. Perhaps so many lamps are not lighted even during Diwali. I was watching in social media and TV yesterday, these scenes of lamps being lighted up everywhere. The whole country was talking about it. Brothers and sisters, this is not about lighting up thousands and lakhs of lamps, but a new beginning in this important part of the country.

Brothers and sisters,

Today is the day to remember the thousands of martyrs who have sacrificed their lives for the country following their path of duty. Today is the day to remember the contributions of the great leaders like Bodofa Upendranath Brahma and Roopnath Brahma, here. Today, I congratulate everyone –  all young friends associated with All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), who have played a very positive and a vital role for this agreement, the BTC Chief Shri Hagrama Mahilare and the Assam Government. I also congratulate them on behalf of the entire India. Today 130 crore Indians are congratulating you and are thanking you.

Friends,

This day marks the occasion to celebrate the efforts of all of you Bodo fellows, this whole region, society, the gurus, intellectuals, art, and literature of this region. There is an occasion to be proud of. With the support of all of you, this path of permanent peace has been found out. Today is an opportunity for the entire North-East including Assam to welcome a new beginning in the 21st century, a new dawn and a new inspiration! This day is to make resolutions and to strengthen the mainstay of development and trust. Now do not let the darkness of violence to return to this land. Now on this land, blood of any mother’s son, daughter, or of a sister’s brother, or brother’s sister will not be shed ever. There will not be any more violence now. Today those mothers and sisters are also blessing me whose sons used to wander in the jungle with a gun and were under the constant threat of death. Today those sons are able to sleep peacefully placing heads in the mother’s lap. I am being blessed by those mothers and sisters. Imagine bullets were used day and night for so many decades. Today a new path has been opened to get rid of that kind of a life. I welcome all of you, the peace-loving Assam, the peace-loving and development-friendly North-East from the bottom of my heart to be a part of the new resolutions of New India.

Friends,

It is a historic moment as a new chapter of peace and development in the North-East is being added. And it is a wonderful coincidence that at a time when the country is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the relevance of this historic event increases further. And it has become an inspiration for the world, besides India, as it gives out a message of leaving the path of violence and choosing the path of Ahimsa. Mahatma Gandhi used to say that whatever we get by following the path of non-violence is acceptable to all. Now many friends in Assam besides accepting democracy, have also accepted the path of peace and non-violence, and have placed the Constitution of India on the forefront.

Friends,

I have been told that today as we are celebrating this historic peace agreement in Kokrajhar, the annual conference of Srimanta Sankardev Sangh is also going on in Golaghat.

मोई मोहापुरुख श्रीमंतो होंकोर देवोलोई गोभीर प्रोनिपात जासिसु।

मोई लोगोत ओधिबेखोन खोनोरु होफोलता कामना कोरिलों !!

I bow down to the great Lord Shankar Dev. I wish the convention all success.

Brothers and sisters,

Shrimant Shankar Dev ji showed the way to enrich the language and literature of Assam as well as the entire India, and the whole world.

It was Shankar Dev Ji who told the whole world including Assam that-

सत्य शौच अहिंसा शिखिबे समदम।

सुख दुख शीत उष्ण आत हैब सम ।।
That is, learn about truth, non-violence, forgiveness etc. Prepare yourself to endure happiness, sorrow, heat or cold. In these ideas, the message of development of the society lies with the development of the individual himself. Today, decades later, this path has been strengthened for the development of the individual and the development of society in this entire region.

Brothers and sisters,

I very much welcome all those who were part of the Bodo Land Movement to join the mainstream of the nation. The expectations and aspirations of everyone associated with the Bodo Land Movement have received the deserved respect after five decades with complete harmony. Each side has jointly imposed a full stop on violence for prosperity and development and lasting peace. My dear brothers and sisters, this entire nation is watching this opportunity. All the TV channels are showing you today because you have created a new history, a new faith in India. You have given a new strength to the path of peace.

Brothers and sisters,

I would like to congratulate all of you that now all the demands related to this movement have been accepted. Now it has ended. The agreements of 1993 and 2003 could not establish peace completely. Now after the historic accord that the central government, Assam government and the organizations associated with the Bodo movement have agreed upon, there is no demand left and now development is the first and the last priority.

Friends,

Trust me; I will never back out from taking steps for you, your sorrows, your hopes, your aspirations, your expectations and for the brighter future of your children. Because I know when you have returned by dropping the guns, leaving the path of bombs and pistols, I know the circumstances under which you must have returned. I can guess that and therefore I will always take care that not a single thorn pricks you in the path of this peace process. Because with this path of peace, respect, love and non-violence, you will see, that the whole Assam will win your hearts; the entire India will win your hearts; because you have chosen the right path.

Friends,

The benefit of this Accord will be extended to the members of Bodo tribe as well as the people of other societies. As the scope for the Bodo Territorial Council’s rights under this agreement has been expanded and strengthened more, it is a win-win situation for all. The biggest thing is that peace has won, and humanity has won. You stood up and clapped in my honour. Now I want you to stand up and clap once more, not for me, for peace; I am very grateful to you all for peace.

A commission will also be set up to fix the boundary of the area falling under BTAD under the Accord. The region will get a special development package of Rs 1500 crore, which will greatly benefit districts like Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa and Udalguri. This directly means that every right of Bodo tribe, development of Bodo culture, and their protection will be ensured. After this agreement, all kinds of progress in this area, like political, economic and educational, are going to take place.

My brothers and sisters,

The government is now trying to implement Section 6 of the Assam Accord also as soon as possible. I assure the people of Assam that after the report of the committee related to this matter comes, the Central Government will take further action at a rapid pace. We are not those who make false promises. Our nature is to take up responsibility. Therefore, we will resolve the matter of Assam which was in a limbo for several years.

Friends,

Today, in the Bodo region, as new expectations, new dreams, and new spirits have been generated, the responsibility of all of you has increased manifold. I am confident that the Bodo Territorial Council will now develop a new model of development keeping every society in mind here without any discrimination. I am also glad to know that the Assam government has taken some major decisions and has made important schemes regarding Bodo language and culture. I heartily congratulate the State Government. The Bodo Territorial Council, the Government of Assam and the Central Government, now together, will give a new dimension to Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas and Sabka Vishwas. Brothers and sisters, this will also strengthen Assam and will strengthen the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’.

Friends,

21st century India has now decided that now we do not have to be bogged down by the problems of the past. Today, the country wants solutions to difficult challenges. There have been many challenges before the country, which have been ignored sometimes due to political reasons, sometimes for social reasons. These challenges have led to violence, instability and mistrust in different areas within the country.

This was going on in the country for decades. The subject of the North East was considered to be something that no one was ready to talk about. Nobody cared if the movements and blockades were taking place. If there was violence, somehow it was controlled and then forgotten. This was the approach followed in North East. I believe that this approach had alienated some of our brothers and sisters of the North-East so much so that they had lost faith in the Constitution and democracy. Thousands of innocent people have been killed in the North East in the past decades; thousands of security personnel were martyred; lakhs were left homeless; lakhs could never see what development meant. Even the previous governments knew, understood, and accepted these facts but had never worked hard to change this situation. They used to think why to meddle with such a big mess? And they left everything at its own fate.

Brothers and sisters,

When national interest is paramount, then the circumstances could not be left like that. The whole subject of North East was sensitive, so we started working with a new approach. We understood the emotional aspect of the different regions of the North East, and their expectations. We interacted with the people living here with a lot of belongingness and fellow-feeling. We instilled confidence. We did not let them feel alienated, or isolated. We neither considered you different, nor regarded your leaders as different. Today, as a result, in the same North East, where, on an average, more than a thousand people used to lose their lives every year due to insurgency, now there is almost complete peace and extremism is coming to an end.

The North East had Armed Forces Special Power Act in almost every region; but after we came to power, most parts of Tripura, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were freed from AFSPA. The North East in which the entrepreneurs were not ready for investment has now started receiving investments and new ventures.

The North East in which battles used to be fought over separate homelands, now the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ has been strengthened here. In the North East, where thousands of people remained refugees in their own country due to violence, are now being given new facilities to settle here with full respect and dignity. The North East, in which people from the rest of the country were afraid to go, has now started making it their next Tourist Destination.

 

Friends,

How did this change come? Did it come in just one day? No. This is the result of five years of tireless hard work. Previously the states of North East were seen as Recipients. Today they are seen as an engine of growth. Previously, the states of North East were considered far away from Delhi. Today Delhi is at your doorstep looking for your happiness and taking care of your sorrow. And look at me. I had to talk to my Bodo friends, and the people of Assam, so I did not send a message from Delhi. Rather, I joined you, talked to you personally, sought your blessings and connected with you today. I have ensured that some central government Minister goes to Northeast after every 10-15 days. I have made a roster for them. They must stay there at night, meet people and solve their problems. We will come here and do it. Our colleagues tried to spend more and more time here, meet more and more people, understand their problems, and solve them. Me and my government are constantly being informed about your problems and are making necessary policies at the centre by taking feedback directly from you.

Friends,

During the 13th Finance Commission, 8 states of North East combined received less than 90 thousand crore rupees. After we came to power, in the Fourteenth Finance Commission, it was decided to give out about 3 lakh crore rupees. Compare 90 thousand crore rupees with 3 lakh crore rupees!

More than 3000 kilometers of roads have been built in the North East in the last three-four years. New National Highways have been approved. The entire North East rail network has been converted into broad gauge. Construction of new airports and modernization of old airports in the Northeast is also progressing rapidly.

The North East has so many rivers and abundant water resources, but until 2014 there was only one waterway, just one. Nobody cared for these perennial rivers flowing 365 days. Now work is being done on more than a dozen waterways here. There has also been a focus on strengthening the Northeast’s youth through institutions of education, skills and sports. Besides, new hostels have also been set up for the students of North East in Delhi and Bengaluru.

Friends,

The level of work being done today on infrastructure like railway stations, new railway routes, new airports, new waterways, or Internet connectivity, has never been done before. We are trying to complete new projects at a faster pace, in addition to completing the decades-old projects that have been in limbo. These projects that are being completed at a rapid pace will improve connectivity in the North East, strengthen the tourism sector and also create lakhs of new employment opportunities. Just last month, about 9 thousand crore rupees have been approved for the gas grid project in eight states of North East.

Friends,

Infrastructure is not just a network of cement and concrete. It has human impact and makes people feel like someone cares for them. When lakhs of people get connectivity due to the completion of many projects that were in a limbo over decades like Bogibeel bridge; then their confidence in the government increases; which is why the all-round development has played a major role in turning detachment into attachment. There is no longer a feeling of isolation and only a feeling of harmony exists and when there is harmony and attachment, progress starts touching everyone equally. People also get ready to work together. When people get ready to work together, even the biggest of the issues get resolved.

Friends,

One such issue is the rehabilitation of the Bru-Reang tribes. A few days ago, there has been a historic agreement between Tripura and Mizoram to rehabilitate the Bru-Reang tribes forced to live as refugees. Thousands of families will now get their permanent home and a permanent address from this agreement after nearly two and a half decades. A special package will be given by the government to properly settle these friends from the Bru-Reang tribal society.

Friends,

Today, due to the sincere efforts of our government in the country, there is a prevalent feeling in the people that development is possible with a united country. With the same spirit, a few days ago in Guwahati, about 650 cadres of 8 different factions have left the path of violence and have chosen the path of peace. These cadres surrendered themselves with modern weapons, large quantities of explosives and bullets. They have surrendered to non-violence. Now they are being rehabilitated under the Central and State Government schemes.

Friends,

Last year, there was an agreement between the National Liberation Front of Tripura and the government. I believe that agreement was also a very important step. NLFT was banned since 1997. This organization had been following the path of violence for years. Our government started talking to NLFT in the year 2015. We used some mediators to facilitate the process. Shortly thereafter, even these people who believed in bombs, guns and pistols left everything and stopped spreading violence. After a sustained effort, on August 10 last year, the organization agreed to give up arms and follow the Constitution of India by coming into the mainstream. Following this agreement, dozens of NLFT cadres surrendered.

Brothers and sisters,

Assam, the North East and the entire nation have suffered a great loss, because various issues and difficulties were kept pending for votes and political gains.Friends,

A mentality of working against the country is being created through this politics of creating road blockades and inconveniences. The people who encourage such thoughts, trends, and politics neither know India, nor understand the situation in Assam. Assam’s association with India is that of heart and soul. Assam live the values of Srimanta Shankar Dev. Srimanta Shankar Dev Ji says-

कोटिकोटि जन्मांतरे जाहारकोटिकोटि जन्मांतरे जाहार

आसे महा पुण्य राशिसि सि कदाचित मनुष्य होवयभारत वरिषे आसि !!

That is, a person who has earned virtue continuously for many births, the same person is born in this country of India. This feeling is in every corner of Assam, and, in the people of Assam. Following this spirit, Assam has shed its blood and sweat from the period of India’s freedom struggle to India’s rebuilding. This is the land of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom. Today I have come to assure every friend of Assam that the country will neither tolerate, nor forgive the anti-Assam, anti-national mindset and its supporters.

Friends,

These are the forces that are spreading rumours in Assam and North East with full force that after the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act i.e. CAA here, people from outside will settle here in Assam. I assure the people of Assam that nothing of this sort will happen.

Brothers and sisters,

I have worked as an ordinary BJP worker among the people of Assam for a long time. I have visited small areas and during my stay; I always used to listen to the lines from popular songs of Bharat Ratna Bhupen Hazarika ji from my friends here. And I have some special attachment with Bhupen Hazarika ji. That is because I was born in Gujarat. And Bhupen Hazarika, Bharat Ratna Bhupen Hazarika was the son-in-law of my Gujarat. We take pride in it. And his son, his children still speak Gujarati and therefore I feel proud. And when I used to hear that…

गोटई जीबोन बिसारिलेउअलेख दिवख राती,

अहम देहर दरे नेपाऊंइमान रहाल माटी ।।

It is a great fortune to receive so much love from the people of a state like Assam and a land like Assam. I know how rich the culture, language, and food of different societies are. I am fully aware of your aspirations, your happiness and sorrows. Just as you have ended all illusions and all demands; and as the Bodo friends have come together; I hope all the illusions of other people will also be over soon.

Friends,

In the last 5 years, the contribution of Assam to the past and the present has been taken to the entire country. For the first time in the national media, the art and culture of the entire North East including Assam, the young talent here, the Sporting Culture of this place have been promoted all over the country and the world. Your affection, your blessings, will continue to inspire me to work in your interest. These blessings will never go in vain because the strength of your blessings is immense. Believe in your power, have faith in this friend of yours and in the blessings of Goddess Kamakhya. The faith and blessings of Maa Kamakhya will take us to new heights of development.

Friends, in the Gita Lord Krishna had told the Pandavas a very important thing and that too in the battlefield. There were weapons in hand and these weapons were being thrown from both sides. Lord Krishna had said from the battlefield, it is in the Gita that-

निर्वैरः सर्वभूतेषु यः  मामेति पाण्डव।।

That is, the devotee of mine who does not hate any creature is the one who attains me.

Just imagine! Even in that historic war of Mahabharata, this was the message of Lord Krishna – Do not hate anyone.

I would say to the person in this country even with a slight feeling of hatred to leave the feeling of hatred and enmity.

Come to the mainstream of development with everyone and help to develop everyone. Nothing has ever been achieved by violence, nor is it likely to be achieved any further.

Friends,

I once again congratulate the Bodo community, Assam and North East. And once again my best wishes to this huge mass of people. I do not know whether I will ever get to see such a scene in the future or not. It seems impossible. Perhaps no politician in India had ever got the privilege of receiving such blessings before and I am not sure if any political leader will get such blessings in the future or not. I consider myself very lucky. You are showering so much love and blessings.

This blessing, this love is my inspiration. This gives me the strength to do something for the country all day and all night. I can’t express my gratitude to you enough. I can’t thank you enough. Now once again, these young men have come forward to leave arms and ammunition to choose the path of non-violence. Trust me; your new life has started. The blessings of the whole country are upon you. The blessings of 130 crore countrymen are upon you. And I want to appeal to those in the North East, in the Naxalite area, and in Jammu and Kashmir, who still have faith in guns, in arms and pistols, come, and let us learn something from the youth of my Bodo community. Take inspiration from them; come back; come back in the main stream; live life and celebrate life. With this one expectation, once again bowing down to this earth and to you all and saluting the great men who live for this land, I end my speech. Thanks a lot!!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Say loudly, so that your voice touches the hearts of the 130 crore countrymen –

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Mahatma Gandhi Amar Rahe, Amar rahe!

Mahatma Gandhi Amar Rahe, Amar rahe!

Mahatma Gandhi Amar Rahe, Amar rahe!

Thank you very much.