India Abroad

Criticism Is A Gold Mine To Me, But What Happens Instead Are Allegations: PM Modi In UK

| April 19 , 2018 , 08:33 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the UK to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) addressed a gathering on Wednesday night of around 1,700 people, mostly from the Indian diaspora.

The event titled in 'Bharat ki Baat, Sabke Saath' in London had a 'no-holds-barred interaction', in which PM Modi discussed various topics, including the role of criticism in a democracy, surgical strikes and rapes in India.

"Democracy cannot succeed without constructive criticism. I want this Government to be criticised. Criticism makes democracy strong. Your criticism is a gold mine to me," said PM Modi.  

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"My problem is not against criticism. To criticise, one has to research and find proper facts. Sadly, it does not happen now. What happens instead is allegations. For a healthy democracy, we must promote critisism, but save ourselves from allegations," he said.

"We believe in peace. But we will not tolerate those who like to export terror. We will give back strong answers and in the language they understand. Terrorism will never be accepted," said the Indian PM.

"When someone has put a terror export factory in place, attacks my people, has no power to fight a war so attempts to attack behind the back... in such a case Modi knows how give a reply in the same language," said Modi.

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"I said before India gets to know, we should call Pakistan and tell them what we did so they can come and collect the dead bodies if they have time. We were calling them since 11am but they were scared to answer the phone. At 12 we spoke to them and then told the Indian media," he said.

PM Modi emphasised that rapes should not be politicised.

"A rape is a rape. How can we tolerate this exploitation of our daughters?" PM Modi said.

"Every time in our country, it is always the woman who is questioned. We ask our daughters what they have been doing when they come home late, but do we ask our sons? These sinners are somebody’s sons!" he said.

"When a child is raped, do we compare metrics versus earlier governments? That is shameful. We cannot say there were this many rapes in our government and that many of yours. There cannot be a worse way to deal with this issue," PM Modi said, referring to statistics shared by Congress leaders.

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"People have higher expectations from us because they know that we can deliver. People know that when they say something, the Government will listen and do it. The days of gradual change are over," he said.

"We should junk the thought that the government will do everything. People should actively participate in the developmental process," PM Modi said.

"Don't need to read books to understand poverty. I have lived in poverty, I know what it is to be poor and belong to the backward sections of society. I want to work for the poor, the marginalised and the downtrodden," he said.

"My life at the railway station taught me a lot. It was about my personal struggles. The person in the railway station was Narendra Modi. The person in the Royal Palace in London today is the sevak of 125 crore Indians," the Indian PM said.