Need to harness "new age power" of youth: Narendra Modi

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New Delhi, Feb 6: Addressing students of Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) here today, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said that the non-violence movement spearheaded by Mahatma Gandhi and the armed struggle by some freedom fighters led to India finally gaining independence.

Delivering the 'Shri Ram Memorial Oration' on the concluding day of the 'Business Conclave 2013' at SRCC, he laid stress on the importance of good governance and pro-people policies. Pointing out that he is currently serving his fourth term as the Gujarat CM, he said that more or less the same set of bureaucrats were in office during his previous stints and yet the state had witnessed unprecedented growth.

Referring to the glass half full concept, Modi said that there is no sense in being pessimistic. He urged the assembled students to utilize all the opportunities before them.

Narendra Modi

The Gujarat government had given priority to agriculture, industry and the service sector, he said. Citing the recent Vibrant Gujarat Summit, he said that the state successfully attracted investment from entrepreneurs across the world.

Despite the climatic conditions in certain months, cotton farmers in Gujarat have been able to significantly increase their yield. The state government had put enabling infrastructure in place for this, he said.

Modi noted that milk and several other food products available in different parts of the world were sourced from Gujarat. Recalling how tribals in the state had asked him to provide better roads so that their farm produce could be speedily transported to all the states, the Gujarat CM said that it shows how aspirational they are.

He said that 120 diseases found in cattle were eradicated thanks to cattle camps being regularly conducted in the state. Milk production had grown by leaps and bounds due to this reason, he noted.

Tourism in Gujarat is much ahead of the national average, Modi said to buttress his point that his government has been concentrating on the service sector. Gujarat Police is worthy of emulation as far as developments in forensic science are concerned and even Israel often seeks the state's help in some cases, he averred.

Modi said that the first ever Indian Institute of Teachers Education was set up in Gujarat. He said that educationists are revered by everyone and hence export of teachers should be the aim. 

The nation should try to create a brand that is as sought after as 'Made in Japan' was in the past, he said. Recounting his experiences during a visit to the Land of the Rising Sun, Modi said that a slogan about the Olympic Games to be hosted by Japan seven years later were to be seen on crockery in restaurants to banners at public places.

He also said that South Korea had similarly promoted itself during the Seoul Olympics in 1988. Indians should look at these examples and learn how to highlight the items produced in the country, he emphasized.

Modi said that political parties should look at the youth not as potential voters but as "new age power" instead. Swami Vivekananda had dreamt of India leading the comity of nations and the onus is on us to make his wish come true, he said.

The 21st century is the period when development in India has made the world sit up and take notice, Modi said. The country was once known as the land of black magic and snake charmers but now computer mouse is to be found in small villages, he said.

Speed, skill and scale are vital factors in progress, he stressed. Modi wound up his speech by exhorting the youth to contribute in the nation building process.

He was presented a memento after this. Earlier as soon as he arrived at the institution, the college authorities accorded him a traditional welcome and hailed his achievements.

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