Address by Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, Honourable Vice President at the Cotton University, Guwahati in Assam on October 30, 2023.

Guwahati, Assam | October 30, 2023

Good Afternoon to all of you!

This is a great place, this institution has made several contributions through its alumni in various works of life, politics being one of them. The state of Assam has got eight Chief Ministers from this place, one of the Shining Stars is here. So much is the political reach of this place that one of your students became Chief Minister of one of the northeastern states-Nagaland.

It is an occasion for me which is very forthright, very farsighted and he unfolded for me what has to be done in educational institutions. He was talking like a statesman.

Friends, you are descending minds. You will share the future of Bharat. You will decide what Bharath will be in 2047 when it celebrates the centenary of his independence, his focus on education is remarkable. It exemplifies his commitment to authentic development of the nation.

I have no doubt that education is the most impactful, lasting transformational mechanism to change society. To even out inequalities, to combat inequalities if we manage to have quality education, other things will fall in place. I fully agree and endorse and appeal to everyone to follow it. Educational institutions are not required to do usual work. They have to be crucial to change and change comes when you engage in innovation, research, development, and think out of the box. I have no doubt his reference to Nalanda and Takshila. We are on our way to becoming one.

I would appeal to the honorable Chief Minister, that this Cotton University and his predecessor cotton college have alumni spread all over. Please have Bi-Annual Meetings of Alumni. Call upon the alumni to give back to the society through the college and there will be a geometric dimension to your growth.

Friends, you have been blessed by Maa Kamakhya, she inspires us and motivates us to have women empowerment. On 21st September of this year, there was an epochal development in the country. A development that will shape our destiny for the better. Parliament passed a Women Reservation Bill. Thanks to the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that justice has been done to half of the population of this country by providing for reservation in Parliament and State Legislatures. Congratulations to everyone. This is a matter of joy not only for women, but also for men because they will get quality assistance, quality leadership in togetherness and we will shape the destiny of this country. ‘

I had the good fortune to preside over Rajya Sabha on that historic day. The entire world was watching Indian democracy which is the home to 1/6 of humanity. I appeal to my girl students, if you're watching the proceedings you can see them again on Sansad TV. 17 Women parliamentarians also from your area presided over the house on that day and as luck would have it, sometimes destiny rewards the man in his own way. 21st  September happened to be the birthday as per hindu calendar of the Prime Minister who piloted it very successfully. What a pleasant coincidence !

भारत बदल रहा है भारत उन्नति के पद पर अग्रसर है, the rise of India is on an incremental trajectory, the rise is Unstoppable! The world is stunned at our growth. Our Amrit kaal is also our Gaurav kaal because we are on a path that is in accordance with our civilizational ethos working for everyone's welfare.

Just look at the last three months and forget about the rest. And what historic turnaround moments we have seen, A special session of parliament and passing of the Women Reservation Bill. On 23rd August 2023, India became the only country on the planet to have landed on the south pole of the moon. We declared it as Space day. We have had the inauguration of world renowned convention centers Bharat Mandapam, Yasho Bhoomi. Our successful holding of G-20. In your state there have been impactful programs of G-20. The programs of G-20 have been organized in every State and UT of the country.

I was so delighted when world leaders reflected that India set a very high benchmark. Look at our diplomatic soft power; The Delhi Declaration will go down in history as the greatest diplomatic victory of this nation. The voice of Bharat, the voice of the Indian Prime Minister has never been more impactful as it is now! The word looks at Bharat asking what  the viewpoint of Bharat we have come at that stage.

So all of you boys and girls are extremely lucky to be living in times where tasks for you are cut out. Just a decade ago, we were fragile-five, we were a matter of concern for the entire world. In 2022,  overtaking Great Britain, overtaking France. India became the fifth largest global economy. By the turn of this decade, in 2030 we would have overtaken Japan and Germany to become the third largest global economy. We never dreamed of it. We never imagined it.

We have come to this way because the largest democracy on the planet has visionary leadership from Prime Minister Modi. He is in mission mode like your Chief Minister, he is swift at execution. He thinks big, achieves big!

It is perhaps for the first time that you see a man inaugurating projects for which he laid the foundation stone. Now you have an ecosystem in place. The honorable governor was reflecting about employment in boys and girls. Let me inform you the entire world is stunned by India's achievements.

The International Monetary Fund says India is a shining economy in the world. It is a favorite global destination of investment and opportunity. There is an ecosystem in place today, where every young boy and girl can unleash his or her energy, exploit potential and talent to realize dreams and aspirations.

Look at government schemes, most of them are youth centric, women centric. Look at the kind of revolution our MUDRA scheme has done and major beneficiaries are our women. The time has come for our young minds who are our future leaders, they will carry Bharath on their shoulders to 2047 and beyond. Look around. There is no dearth of opportunity. There is no dearth of capital. Please engage in the activity. When you step out in the larger world, everything will be open to you.

I will leave this place with greater confidence that this part of our country will lead when one talks of quantum computing. Let me tell you, in quantum computing we are one of the very few countries to be in leadership as the number is not in double digit. The National Hydrogen Commission has enormous potential and you understand it. The moment you will leave this house, you will find out,  enormous vistas will be open to you all in that particular area. There is an estimate, lakhs of people will get employment and we will attract investment of more than eight lakh crores.

There was a time when we used to wait for technology to come to this country. Sometimes it would take 20 years or10 years. Now technology starts with us! Those who used to advise us are taking our advice and why not? Here we talk of technological penetration. Let me share two statistics with you. In 2022, our Per Capita Data Consumption of Internet of Bharat was more than that of China and US taken together. Our direct digital transactions are four times the combined transactions of US, UK, France and Germany.

इसलिए यह मैं कहता हूं, सही समय है सही स्थिति है सही व्यवस्था है हर कुछ संभव और मुमकिन है आपको बस पहला कदम लेना है और सिस्टम आपकी सहायता करेगा. सरकार की इतनी सकारात्मक नीतियां हैं हर फील्ड में है जो किसी को बाधित नहीं करती आप में अगर यदि प्रतिभा है, तो उसे प्रतिभा को आप प्रखर कर सकते हैं यह है आज का भारत दुनिया में भारत और भारत के प्रधानमंत्री की चमक और दमक ऐसी है जो पहले कभी मैंने देखी नहीं.

This is an achievement because all of us including the central and state governments, people of this country are contributing to the rise of India. आर्थिक ऊंचाइयां हैं, अप्रत्याशित प्रगति है लंबे समय से जिस बात का इंतजार था वह जमीनी हकीकत है और एजुकेशन के मामले में तो क्रांतिकारी बातें हो रही हैं.

When I was Governor, state of West Bengal जब भारत की नई शिक्षा नीति का निर्माण हो रहा था तीन दशक के बाद वह अप्रत्याशित अवसर आया एक लाख से ज्यादा inputs stakeholders की आई उन सब को analyse किया गया, convert किया गया और एक ऐसी नीति का निर्माण हुआ है जो degree-oriented  नहीं है, skill-oriented है! आपको एक उपयोगी नागरिक बनाती है आपको अपने टैलेंट को सही दिशा में प्रयोग करने के लिए प्रेरित करती है.

This is the big change, the dream of the Honorable Chief Minister when he talks of the Nalanda Takshila must fructify and this could be one such place. आप M.O.U’s करते हैं अच्छी बात है, मुख्यमंत्री जी ने भी इशारा किया कि हम यह आशा नहीं करते कि आप उसे चीज पर रिसर्च करो जिसका ज्ञान पहले से ही है you will have to think out of the box and go for the larger big ticket situations!

पर जब देश की प्रगति अप्रत्याशित होती है, सपनों से परे होती है, जमीनी हकीकत है तो चुनौतियां भी हैं दुनिया में भारत की आवाज बुलंदी पर है यह बहुत से लोगों के हजमें के लिए ठीक नहीं है मैं कई बार कहता हूं ऐसा इलाज कीजिए उन लोगों का जो भारत की प्रगति को पचा नहीं पा रहे हैं ,उनको बेचैनी हो जाती है वह किसी भी हद तक जा सकते हैं भारत की पवित्र संस्थाओं को कलंकित करने के लिए!

I appeal to everyone, it is our national duty to believe in our nation, to be proud citizens of Bharat, to take pride in our accomplishments and more important anti-dote and neutralize anti Bharat narratives.

आप में ताकत है, आप में बुद्धि है, आप में सोच है आप विवेचन कर सकते हैं कुछ लोग तो कुछ भी कह जाते हैं कि हमारा पड़ोसी देश हमसे अच्छा है l आप लोगों की चुप्पी ऐसे महत्वपूर्ण मुद्दे पर जब राष्ट्र पूरी तरह से अग्रसर है सही रास्ते पर दुनिया सराहना कर रही है और हमारे जो उपलब्धियां हैं वह practical terms में हैं हमें पीछे नहीं हटना चाहिए. I am sure you will do it!

कुछ बातें मैं आपको कहूंगा और प्रधानमंत्री जी ने एक बहुत महत्वपूर्ण बात अपने मन की बात में कहीं: Economic Nationalism is an integral part of our economy blossoming we have to subscribe to economic nationalism. आर्थिक राष्ट्रवाद हमारे लिए अत्यंत महत्वपूर्ण है, यह चिंता का विषय है, चिंतन का विषय है सोच का विषय है और आप लोगों के लिए शोध का विषय है कि हम फॉरेन एक्सचेंज का उपयोग करते हैं पतंग बाहर से आती हैं, कैंडल बाहर से आती है, दिए बाहर से आते हैं, बच्चों के खिलौने आते हैं बाहर से,आपका फर्नीचर बाहर से आ रहा है हम कहां जा रहे हैं?

हमारी सोच में तुरंत बदलाव की आवश्यकता है! माननीय प्रधानमंत्री जी का आवाहन Let us be vocal for local  इसी की ओर संकेत देता है. यदि अगर हर citizen आज ठान ले and I would especially appeal to our industry, to our businesses, to our trade कि थोड़े से पैसे के फायदे के लिए भारत में समस्या मत पैदा कीजिए यह थोड़ा सा पैसे का फायदा like penny wise pound foolish.

 इसका सीधा अर्थ क्या है एक हमारे लोग जो बना सकते हैं उनका उत्साह कम होता है अपॉइंटमेंट पर भी असर पड़ता है फॉरेन एक्सचेंज भी बाहर जाता है मैं देश की हालत देखी हुई है चिंताजनक हालत देखी हुई है 1989 में, when I  was Member of Parliament in Lok Sabha, I was a Union Minister भारत की प्रतिष्ठा को जीवित रखने के लिए बचाने के लिए हमारे यहां का सोने दो बैंकों में रखा गया आज हम कहां आ गए ! Our foreign exchange reserves are more than 600 billion उसे समय हम एक और दो बिलियन के बीच में झोंका खा रहे थे l

हर भारतीय आज के दिन ठान ले कि मैं आर्थिक राष्ट्रवाद के लिए समर्पित हूं आपका कंट्रीब्यूशन भारत की इकोनॉमी के लिए बहुत जबरदस्त होगा it will spinally contribute to emergence of a very powerful economy. दूसरी बात जिसके लिए मैं आपको संकेत देता हूं बहुत सी बातें हमारी आर्थिक ताकत को महसूस करती हैं कैसी गाड़ी लेंगे कैसी पढ़ाई करेंगे कैसा मकान होगा कैसा फर्नीचर होगा करती हैं but when it comes to natural resources वह आपकी आर्थिक ताकत के आधार पर नहीं होगा natural resources belongs to the entire world there have to be optimal utilisation of natural resources, natural resources  में यदि कोई कहेगा कि I can afford financially therefore I will use more power more petrol?No, you have to conserve them; you are a trustee of it.

यह culture अगर यदि विद्यार्थियों में वर्ग अपने हाथ में ले लेगा तो मैं मानकर चलता हूं तो एक बहुत बड़ी क्रांति आएगी, वह सोचेंगे आए आगे वाले को बताएंगे l  दुनिया में कहीं भी चले जाओ भारत व्यक्ति की प्रतिभा का कोई मुकाबला नहीं है we are having footprints in every major corporate of the world; our human genius is providing them leadership पर जब यहां की बात आती है थोड़ी हमें कमी है वे We don't believe in Systemic Working, take for example, our roads,कितना बड़ा विकास रोड का हुआ है, कितना बड़ा इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर है दुनिया दंग रह गई है our highways are amazing, world class! पर जब उनके ऊपर गाड़ियां चलती हैं- वह राइट भी चलती हैं, लिफ्ट भी चलती हैं, केंद्र में भी चलती हैं क्योंकि सड़क तो हमारी है l  यह नहीं होना चाहिए वे मस्ट बिलीव इन ए सिस्टम.

Boys and Girls, हमने वह जमाना देखा है हमने वह पीड़ा देखी है जब माना जाता था कि कुछ लोगों तक कानून का शिकंजा नहीं पहुंच सकता कुछ लोग कानून से ऊपर हैं सरकारी दफ्तरों में दलालों का राज था भ्रष्टाचार का बोलबाला था वह सब बातें खत्म हो गई इतनी बड़ी क्रांति आई है कि हम पहले की स्थिति को याद करो our power corridors our governance system was invested by power brokers and corrupt elements. They used to decide decision makings. These power corridors now have been thoroughly sanitized power brokers have been neutralized वह कहीं दिखते भी नहीं है l

इस सब का फायदा किन को मिलता है? इन सब का फायदा मिलता है आम नागरिक को आम विद्यार्थी को आज वह छाती ठोकर कह सकता है कि यहां से निकलकर कि मैं जिस दुनिया में जा रहा हूं जहां काम करूंगा वहां मेरिट होगी, कोई आज कानून से ऊपर नहीं है l पर मैं आपसे आग्रह करूंगा एक सम्मन आता है न्यायालय का, सम्मन सामान आता है एजेंसी का और कुछ लोग आ जाते हैं सड़क पर! When we have such a robust judicial system why don't we avail it? Our courts have performed wonderfully.

तो मेरा यह कहने का मतलब आज है यह है कि भारत आपके हाथों में सुरक्षित है अमृत काल में भारत को उसे स्तर पर लाकर जिसमें आप लोग optimally अपनी energy को use कर सकते हैं. The button is now in your hands, you will decide and shape what our Bharat will be when it is 2047; centenary of celebrations.

मुझे यहां आकर बहुत प्रसन्नता हुई है! your state has challenges पर जी बखूबी से चैलेंज को मीट करते हुए प्रदेश की प्रगति के मामले में आगे बढ़ रहे हैं सराहना आपके प्रांत में ही नहीं बाहर भी हो रही है। Your CM is one of the few Chief Ministers who is known beyond his state, respected beyond his state and has a nationalistic vision मेरे मन में कोई शंका नहीं है.

I am full of hope, optimism and confidence that under his committed, directional leadership your State in the field of education will be number one. I am carrying a homework for me and my homework is when would I have the occasion to address Alumni’s of this institution and call upon them, you may have done great things earlier but now do in every year in a systematic manner to make this institute one of the best in the world and I commit to be your food Soldier,thank you so much for giving me this great opportunity.