New Delhi, March 4: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that policies in the past had led to a feeling of alienation among the people of the northeast but his government has worked with success towards emotional integration of the region. Northeast India is the easternmost region of the country representing both a geographic and political administrative division of the country. It comprises the eight states Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura.
Modi, who was addressing a state-level Youth Convention in Karnataka, via video conference on the theme ‘Youth Power: A vision for New India’ said “radicalisation” can only be answered with “integration”.
“We have taken a pledge for emotional integration of the northeast and have proven this,” Modi said.
“The decisions and policies in the past have been such that it created a feeling of alienation among the people of the northeast. People felt cut off not only from development but from a sense of belonging.
“This feeling was also there due to other problems. Over the last four years, our decisions and policies tried to fill this gap, to address this sense of alienation.”
The convention at Tumakuru in the poll-bound state was organised to mark the Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Ramakrishna Vivekananda Ashram to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s address in Chicago and to celebrate Sister Nivedita’s 150th birth anniversary.
Modi said that the election results in three northeastern states — Tripura, Meghalaya, Nagaland — again created a festive atmosphere in the country after Holi and the “verdict in itself was a big change”.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) scored an emphatic victory in Tripura, the party improved its performance in Nagaland and Meghalaya. The three states are poised to have National Democratic Alliance (NDA) governments.
The Prime Minister said he was not looking at the results in terms of victory and defeat but said these were important because the whole country took part in the celebration of the verdict.
“Such occasions are few when an event of northeast becomes an event of the country. People of country sat in front of television according to their expectations as if they are part of the electoral battle.”
“The temperament that the country has shown after the verdict in the northeast (it has shown to) every person in northeast that the entire country is connected to their feelings… this powerful message has been given,” Modi said.
“For the country’s unity, for ‘One India-Best India’, such feelings have immense power.”
Modi said that an impression was created that Maoism and Left wing extremism prevails in areas inhabited by tribals and this was being used to keep them away from the mainstream so that divisive forces get strengthened.
“But results in Tripura have created a different example. The tribal brothers and sisters have voted one-sided for the BJP and rejected this politics of hate.
“The unprecedented support from the tribal communities in Tripura for NDA’s development agenda has made me extremely happy. Integration is the answer to radicalisation. Togetherness is what drives nations towards growth and glory.”
Modi said his government was making a determined effort to see that no part of the country feels disconnected from the mainstream and the entire country has to live the mantra of unity at every moment.
The Prime Minister said he tries to meet the youth as much as possible to understand their hopes and aspirations and work accordingly.
He said the youth should have a goal in life and should work for its fulfilment with full determination.
Noting that there was a united resolve at various levels to achieve independence during the freedom struggle, Modi said the youth should devote their energies to nation-building.
Referring to the youth of Karnataka, he recalled the government’s efforts to enhance employment avenues for the youth and spoke of Mudra Yojana, self-employment and skill development.
The Prime Minister said that the youth today wish to learn from the past for a better present and future.
He said the focus of commemorations was Swami Vivekananda.
“Swami Vivekananda was a firm believer in the power of the youth. Together, we must fulfil his dreams and usher an era of development that is powered by the skills and strengths of young India,” he said.