Alumni are the spinal strength of any institution. Institutions grow on the shoulders of the Alumni, their laurels and their contributions.
Let us have a mechanism for a structured evolution of Alumni in all institutions. Those Alumni institutions will take care of our nationalism, our economic nationalism and our growth trajectory.
I would want this great institution to take a lead in building a modern platform for all alumni
working together by having Alumni Confederation. Globe would not have seen a more penetrating think tank to change the world for the better.
The inauguration of the Innovation centre indicates the changing ecosystem and the new profile, which India is indicating to the world at large.
This gathering before me represents more diverse India and the spirit of India. There is an energy vibrancy and positivity. I can read the destiny of India and it will be ever on the rise.
Let me share a small instance with you. When I started my legal profession in Rajasthan
a local law graduate from a village walked into my chamber. He came on a rickshaw and is now a very distinguished advocate, but came from a family that had a rich tradition of Sanskriti. He had never seen a town before he started and what a delightful moment for that great successful lawyer that his son is a fourth semester of civil engineering; a student at IIT Madras his daughter is also second semester M.Sc. student at IIT Madras.
We have an ecosystem by affirmative governmental policies that we are now able to fully exploit our digital potential. And the kind of hiccups we faced in my generation are no longer there.
IIT Madras is an institute of excellence, top innovative institution in the country. Its 620 acre campus is home to 432 species of plants and animals, 50 species of butterflies and even the endangered Black Panther is found on the campus.
Just a year ago, in July of 2022, you launched something unique and that was an out of the box thinking online course. In this country we really need to think out of the box for our solutions.
Innovative thinking is in our DNA. We only have to activate it and this is being activated in this institute. It is at the epicenter for this most wholesome development with the target to reach 1 million schools and college students. No doubt the target shall be attained.
A reference was made to Sudha Gopal Krishna brain center. It is indeed an ambitious global project to map the human brain. Again, I reflect brain mapping will lead to larger good for humanity.
I'm glad this institute has developed a product using artificial intelligence which will put it on a geometrical growth. It can predict cancer causing gene mutations in an individual.
On a lighter side, let us not have an estimate that can predict electoral outcomes that will cut into a sense of democracy. It does happen with some kinds of exit polls and people saying here and there. Let it be left to the people who are in the field.
I will share the contemporaneous global scenario in which India is a bright star so hailed by everyone in the world. Amongst the developing nations, our economy is the brightest without a doubt, we are expected to grow many times more than the growth of many developed nations.
India became the world's fifth largest economy in September, 2022, when we overtook our erstwhile colonial rulers and became the fifth largest economy. I have no doubt that by the turn of the decade we will be the third largest economy in the world. And with warriors of 2047 before me, by that time we'll be at the peak and no one can do otherwise.
India's rise is unstoppable. It shall continue to live on an incremental trajectory. Despite the stressful global scenario in the south east and west, India continues to rise. Our Bharat is a land of opportunity, a land of global destination for Investment and Opportunity.
When India speaks now, the World Listens.
Look at the two statements made by India's Prime Minister. (a) India has never engaged in expansion. And this is not an era of expansion. (b) War is not a solution to any problem. Problems in the world have to be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy.
The best defense is strategic preparedness and one of the great facets of economic preparedness is economic nationalism. We have to inspire and motivate our people to be little thoughtful and care for economic nationalism.
Diwali k Diye aur Patang, Bahar se aane chaiye kya?Aur Patake to yahi ban sakte hain; (Should we be importing items like earthen lamps for Diwali & kites from other countries?)
I was elected to Parliament in 1989 and had the occasion to be a Union Minister. I can therefore tell you that we were running a government with 20 parties together; for three decades after that the governments at the center were coalition governments. But there was a watershed moment in 2014. A game changer in Indian politics and the country came to have a single party government after three decades. That was a time things started moving in a different direction, qualitatively, inclusive growth phenomenon caught up and there was a renewed vindication of the electoral faith in 2019.
The blueprint of growth of India is no longer on paper. It is on the ground it is being executed. If we go by Global Innovation Index, we have jumped by 40 positions and this is reflected in research and filling of patents of which this institute is more aware of than anyone else. India has the third largest startup ecosystem with over 80,000 startups and third highest unicorns in the world.
Let me tell you, growth in the world sometimes is pyramidical, that is urban centres have the benefit of growth. Those of the districts that were lagging behind, the aspirational districts where the district magistrate used to avoid posting, are the favourite posting destinations now, thanks to the development that has taken place. I'm extremely happy and satisfied to note a credible performance by IIT Madras, with its incubation cell hosting more than 300 start-ups with a collective valuation of nearly rupees 40,000 crores.
This has changed the attitude of an IITian from being job seekers to job creators in the country. I can tell you friends, when we look at the corporate world, Indians are at the top. And that is owing to the success of faculty members like the Director who think in the future who are visionaries, who translate their dreams and aspirations for the welfare of the nation, through you in their minds. So I am before whom I call the warriors of 2047. Some of us will be around to see what you will be doing and performing and the world will be watching with appreciation. Some of us may not be here. But I can say with confidence, no young human resource in the world can compete with Indian minds, and I have the best for me at the moment.
I'm reminded of a slogan popularized in the 19th century by Swami Vivekananda. I belong to a district Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan where Swamiji had the occasion to work. And I was governor of the State of West Bengal where Swamiji made impactful situations and been to Chicago along with my wife Dr Sudesh where Swamiji rendered his pathbreaking address to the world. The message of Swamiji I quote ‘Arise Awake and stop not till the goal is reached’. As a matter of fact, this is not a slogan originating from the thought process of Swamiji.
This slogan is embedded in our civilisational ethos. If you trace its origin you'll find it is in Upanishads. Those of you who are keen to read about it, I would appeal to all young minds to spend some time to have a first or physical look into Upanishads. It will sharpen your brain and help you achieve wisdom for the larger welfare of the society.
Friends, I sometimes get worried why don't we see the writing on the wall? Why do we allow some voices that taint our system, tarnish our democracy, rundown our success. We must take pride in being Indians. We must be proud of our accomplishments. The world is appreciating and some of us are questioning.
India is the largest democracy and mother of democracy on Earth. I dare say without fear of contradiction, India is the most functional democracy. We have everything which constitutes sublimity and a sense of democracy.
Tell me where on the planet you have a judiciary that acts with lightning speed. Find out, you'll find none. Our judiciary has acted with lightning speed to give a new name to our democracy. You will not get a parallel anywhere else. where on the planet you have an executive that plans big, executes big.
Imagine 220 Crore vaccine doses, people raising all kinds of issues, irrationally without thought process, without believing in nation, trying to run down the program.
But we have beaten COVID. 220 Crore vaccines doses and they are digitally certified on your mobile. No country in the world can lay claim to this including the developed west.
There are other issues also. When I was a member of parliament, as MP, I could give 50 gas connections to anyone. And now 150 million gas collections have been given to needy households. Look at this scale at which things are being executed. Still we allow people to raise a finger at our development index. Young Minds have to question them by hard facts. It's our country, our achievement, our accomplishments. We can't allow these to be run down by people who may not be as motivated as most of us are.
Friends I would share my two thoughts with young minds.
Those who are in the audience here and outside also, and by virtue of my position, I am chairman, Rajya Sabha, the house of elders, the upper house, the house that is permanent, that can’t be dissolved. Now there's a model for us. Constituent Assembly and engaged into debates for three years, did you see any disruption, any disturbance, anyone going to the well, NO.
If our founding fathers, framers of the Constitution who decide about constitutional issues, contentious issues, issues by nature very divisive without shouting without sloganeering, without getting into disturbance, without going into the well, without challenging the chair. Why should we do it now? This temple of democracy is for dialogue, debate, discussion and deliberation. This is not for disturbance and disruption. But what I'm surprised, this conduct does not evoke your response. I have not seen in any editorial in any newspaper, I have not seen intelligentsia and journalists raising it, I have not seen people's movement on this. How can the public of this country countenance disruption in the house?
Taxpayers’ money in crores goes for every day’s functioning. Parliament is meant to hold the executive accountable, to hold the government accountable. I therefore appeal to all of you to get in every mode of communication, social media or otherwise help generate an ecosystem so that the purity and sanctity of temples of democracy, the parliament and legislature is not outraged. Let us have debate, dialogue, discussion and deliberation there. It is a place for free exchange of expressions. I need your support. I need the support of young minds and I know if you choose to do it, it will become a mass movement. And that is why the representatives will be held accountable.
And yes, the people who send you there, the people who look up to you for performance, do not approve of disruption or disturbance.
It is my unfortunate but constitutional obligation to preserve the purity of the temple of democracy. I'm a very patient man. I’m very persuasive but can I fail Indian constitution? Can I fail your aspirations? Can I shut your dream? I will be your foot soldier but I want you to be on the move for that. And that is something I expect from you.
Second, I'm reflecting because some editorials have been written. There is a provision in the Constitution Article 105 that will protect Members from criminal litigation. This is a great privilege. A Member of Parliament speaks something and the constitution says 140 crore people even if they are hurt, cannot go to court, cannot go for defamation, cannot go for criminal action. That is a privilege of expression given to a member of parliament but is this privilege without responsibility, without accountability? Is this privilege a license to share anything on the floor of the house? NO.
The house has to preserve the dignity of 140 crore people so that it does not become an Akhada or a dumping ground for any information, unverified, allegatory, reckless to set narratives.
I have therefore made a fervent appeal, any information can be there in the house, full flow of information and expression will be there. That is a sense of democracy. But it comes with one tag. You must authenticate the information. You must take responsibility for the information and if that turns out to be wrong, we have a mechanism in Parliament ‘Breach of privilege’.
I want young minds to understand it. I want my journalist friends, I have seen some editorials and have been pained by them. They must go to the Constituent Assembly debates. They must see the global scenario. Hauling up someone for breach of privilege is not throttling of expression. It is throttling dumping of information which is not authenticated and which is recklessly made misusing the platform of Parliament.
I appeal to you all to think about it seriously. I'll conclude, my young friends by making two simple points. We have a robust court system. Things are analysed for the high and mighty including the honourable Prime Minister. For two decades, the issue was deliberated in judicial quarters, thoroughly investigated at all levels. The highest court of the land, the highest court of the largest democracies pronounced on all fronts in 2022 finally, and we have a narrative being set afloat by a documentary, some people say this is expression. So in the name of expression can you run down by the Supreme Court, can you run down two decades of thorough investigation? This is playing politics the other way around. When people choose to play politics the other way around, the Young minds here and outside are intellectually equipped to challenge them.
There is one gentleman somewhere using some money power, he has some backers, he has some beneficiaries, he has some fiscal parasites and they talk about our country's democracy. I have been appalled, pained, how can a sane mind compare us with a southern country, with our neighbours?
I would therefore appeal to you if you have to take this country to 2047, vindicate the trust of the founding fathers, please be on guard. Those who play politics the other way around that need to be combated, neutralized and they must face your rational questioning.
Once again I'm happy and delighted to be here. It is a moment to be ever cherished. I would be extremely happy and delighted to host a group of IITians from Madras to be my guest in Delhi and see Delhi and Parliament.
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