Special Address by HE Edgars Rinkevics, Foreign Minister of Republic of Latvia on "India - Latvia Relations in a Changing World" on Tuesday, 14th January 2020 at 11 AM, Board Room, Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg, New Delhi

The emergence of a resolute India


The distinct shift of the narrative from appeasement and vote bank to development and empowerment was evident when the results came in May 2019.

In terms of India’s new political narrative, 2019 has been one of the most eventful years. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s historic victory in the general elections was a watershed moment in Indian politics.

Proving many naysayers and selfstyled political pundits wrong, Modi not only repeated his performance of 2014, he bettered it and emerged unscathed with his new India narrative. The distinct shift of the narrative from appeasement and vote bank to development and empowerment was evident when the results came in May 2019.

Promises fulfilled

Despite the Opposition’s harangue against him, despite the Congress Party and its Left drumbeaters, the Trinamool Congress and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee’s campaign of calumny and falsity against Modi, the people reposed faith in his vision of inclusion, national unity and growth.

The ordinary Indian supported his call for India’s repositioning, they rallied behind his articulation of India’s future having seen and accepted his record of past five years. When Modi said that he has worked to empower and mainstream the marginalised, his record was there for them to see and, therefore, when he promised to carry forward that agenda to widen and deepen its reach and effect, they rallied around him expressing their endorsement of his vision and promise.

Narendra Modi articulated a roadmap for new India, his political opponents were incoherent and their diatribes against his origins repelled the ordinary Indian. Modi’s electoral triumph endorsed the effort to create the framework and strengthen the narrative of new India.

Within days of starting his new innings, PM Modi did what he had promised in the BJP’s vision document. The Triple Talaq Bill, the revocation of the vexatious Article 370 and the passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act granting citizenship to the beleaguered and persecuted members of the minority communities in India’s neighbourhood became a reality. In between came the Supreme Court verdict giving the go-ahead for the construction of a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya. All of these, especially the last three, were civilisational moments for India.

On the Ram Temple, both PM Modi, and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the party, the organisations which spearheaded the entire effort such as the Vishva Hindu Parishad and others had always reposed faith in the judicial process. When the verdict came, it was greeted with a spirit of deep acceptance and the sense that India had marched ahead towards a greater collective good.

No triumphalism

For decades, the movement and aspiration for a Ram Temple in Ayodhya had sustained itself through much Opposition. The Congress and the Communist parties and their web of intellectuals and academics had made repeated attempts to denigrate this faith and archaeological evidences which pointed to the existence of a grand temple dedicated to Lord Ram at that very spot before it was destroyed and a mosque built in its place.

These self-styled guardians of India’s secular polity, themselves exuding a pseudo-secular mindset, tried to prevent dialogue, attempted to arrest and block all efforts at trying to arrive at an understanding and solution. When the Apex Court pronounced its judgment, they were the first ones to cast aspersions on the judiciary and our Constitutional institutions. In defeat they were bitter, they blamed everyone and every institution except themselves since they survive on division and fear.

The revocation of Article 370 was the other historic promise that was fulfilled. Made by Dr Syama Prasad Mookerjee, the promise was fulfilled by PM Modi under the deft management of Union home minister Amit Shah.

It was a bold decision, which finally cemented the ideational and spiritual unity of India. Despite pressures, despite a false campaign perpetrated by the Congress Party, the Communist parties and Pakistan, Modi stood firm, his narrative of a new dawn for Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, triumphed. However, there was no triumphalism.

It saw support across the political spectrum despite domestic attempts to malign India internationally. It also saw large number of countries come out in support of India.

Historical wrongs

The passing of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) was the last historic move of 2019. It was a historic wrong corrected, a historic promise fulfilled.

The granting of citizenship and the protection of minorities in the then East and West Pakistan was a demand with which the Jana Sangh began its political journey. The Congress and Communists had made such a promise in the past, had used refugees as political tools but had never made attempts to give them a life of dignity. The Jana Sangh and the BJP fulfilled its promise, thereby granting a new life to lakhs of beleaguered people especially the Bengali Hindu Dalit refugees who were driven out of Pakistan. Modi stood by his word.

Thus, 2019 has laid the foundations of a new political beginning. It has cemented and paved the way for the emergence of a resilient and resolute India.

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