India is today at the crossroads where its social, secular and democratic fabric is threatened. It is now the duty of every Congress worker and every Indian to once again come together to rescue the nation.
A galaxy of Congress leaders have played a major role in giving the nation a path of socialism, secularism and democracy. Independent India’s first Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, laid a strong foundation of socialism and secularism.
It was due to him that India made huge strides in business and industry, science, nuclear technology and education. When he took charge of the nation as the Prime Minister, India was facing challenges like poverty and illiteracy, there were hardly any institutions worth their name to impart professional education and when the communal fanatic were at their peak, he took the country on the path of secularism.
It was his statesmanship that helped the nation overcome these problems. He set up heavy industries in the public sector and set up educational institutions like Indian Institute of Technology and Indian Institute of Management.
Though India was then an economically backward country, Nehruji refused to fall a prey to any super power and played a pioneering role in setting up the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). No country could dictate terms to India during his time.
The next Prime Minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri gave the slogan of Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan and did not allow India to be blackmailed by any super power, when we had an acute food shortage. He led the country with great efficiency during the war with Pakistan.
Later, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi made India self-sufficient in food by leading the Green Revolution and also increased the production of milk and milk products by launching the White Revolution. She was the one who brought banking to the common man of India.
She showed immense courage when she led the nation to retaliate the attack by Pakistan. It was due to her great leadership that the world witnessed the biggest surrender by any army in the world, when the Pakistani army led by its General in erstwhile East Pakistan surrendered to our brave soldiers, which led to the formation of Bangladesh.
The foundation for the IT revolution that the country is witnessing, was laid by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It was due to him that modern technologies like computers started coming within the reach of common people. Telecommunication also improved due to Rajiv Gandhi.
Congress leaders, P V Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh, laid a strong foundation to take India ahead in economic development. With his financial management ability, India achieved a growth rate of nine per cent under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, making India the second fastest growing economy in the world.
Every Prime Minister, belonging to Congress party, ensured that the development was always inclusive.
While the Congress gave great Prime Ministers to the country, it also gave Maharashtra great Chief Ministers.
Maharashtra is the first state in the country to introduce the right to the tiller concept. Under the leadership of the Congress, Maharashtra has witnessed tremendous development in all sectors and was recognized as a progressive state.
The best rehabilitation package ever for farmers was given by the Congress government. The party has always stood for the welfare of all sections of the society. Congress Governments introduced various schemes for the welfare of women, SC/ST/EBCs, the backward classes, youth and the people at large.
The situation today is very grave. The BJP led governments at the Centre as well as in Maharashtra have failed to control prices, create jobs or to take care of the poor. Though the international oil prices have fallen by over 50 per cent since the present governments came to power, yet the prices of essential commodities have been going up, which shows that the Governments are not in a position to manage the affairs of the nation as well as the state.
It is now time for all of us in the Congress party to continue our work for the betterment of the people, the State and the country.
I appeal to all the Congress workers, to once again reach out to the people and to take up their issues. We cannot forget that the Congress has over a hundred year history of working for the progress of the nation and for the betterment of all sections of the society.
We need to take up people’s issues and fight for their rights and against their exploitation.
I am confident that with the efforts of all Congress workers we will be able to bring back our country, it’s real and natural cultural grace with inclusive growth.