Address by Shri Jagdeep Dhankhar, Honourable Vice President at the inauguration ceremony of Shri Ram College of Commerce's Multipurpose Stadium in Delhi on March 9, 2024.

New Delhi | March 9, 2024

Good Afternoon all of you,

I have known Arun Jaitley Ji for 35 years because destiny blessed him early; every time at a public function or in our private conversation, whenever we interacted, Arun Ji's face was before both of us.

For both of us, he was a great mentor. He would put a point across noiselessly but very impactfully.

Distinguished audience, boys and girls, I am extremely happy to be associated with the naming of this stadium. There couldn't be any other name, and I define Arun Jaitley ji in a very different manner. He was not in politics; he was in public life.

He discharged his obligation in every assignment with a different perspective, being the president of Delhi University during the darkest period this country has ever seen in a position of emergency. His performance was stellar. He sured the spine of youth, and that resulted in him becoming the youngest member of the executive of the Janta Party, a transformational political event in the history of this Nation.

He was the youngest member as Additional solicitor General of India. He made a huge contribution by dealing with intractable situations in the country and outside.

When it comes to assignments, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Defence, and the Ministry of Finance are seminal contributions for all to be seen.

I can't look around a politician, at least in recent times. By that, I mean the last 4 decades where the accessibility was beyond the party's stance. He was loved by the opposition as much as he was loved by his party men.

Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha also as the leader of the House Rajya Sabha as ministerial assignment, Arun Jaitley stands out.

As chairman of Rajya Sabha, when the sabha is in session, there is hardly a week when a member of the house will not come to me and tell me we miss him.

I can tell you, boys and girls, his presence in every walk of life was impactful absence is equally impactful. We miss him day in and day out.

Friends, with this background, it is but eminently fitting deserving recognition to the man when we name it and look at sports. His contribution is there. He never brought politics sports as one of his greatest contributions.

He was associated with cricket for a long but kept politics out of it, but I remember I remember Arun Jaitley Ji, particularly for bringing sportsmanship into arena politics, something which we all need to appreciate.

This institute has a reputation of its own, and being on this platform means a lot for the position I hold. It makes available to me a platform an authentic platform to express my views and issues.

This modern facility, I am sure, will not only serve as a platform for sporting events but also as a hub for cultural activities, fostering a vibrant and inclusive community within the college.

The illustrious list of SRCC alumni from this platform, I urged the alumni they must come together. They are contributing their contribution is huge, but it is less than their potential when the country is on the rise, and the rise is unstoppable. It is the obligation of alumni to exploit their full potential by contributing time and resources.

If you look around the globe, institutions are making the mark; they are on an incremental trajectory with the support of Alumni. I am sure alumni of this institution will be role models for alumni of other Institutions, and trust me, if the alumni come together and explore their full potential for the contribution of their time and resources, the institution will further blossom and flourish.

Friends, nations are defined by their youth power, and what do the youth of this country need? They will work on their own, but they need an ecosystem, and that ecosystem should be marked by equality before the law.

The young mind is shattered when it finds that in a democratic nation, some are more privileged than I am; that is a humiliating experience. Boys and girls, you will be happy to note the privileged Pedigree in this country has been demolished. All are equal, and that helps young minds more than anything else. 

A painful situation is that when it comes to law enforcement. Some people entertain the idea that they are above the law. The law cannot reach them; they are beyond it. They can't be held accountable. This will be a great pain to you. You will be pain massively that how come, in a democracy where everyone has an equal right to vote, some are more privileged beyond the reach of the law. 

This is behind us now. The new norm is everyone is accountable to the law. They are under the tight grip of the law. But I wish to invite your attention; the young minds are discerning minds; how can we countenance a situation in which some people are visited with the rule of law process, process emanating to law, they take to the streets? No better group I can find than the young minds to neutralize these tendencies. 

The third big change, friends that has taken place in the country, and that is corruption, is no longer rewarding. There was a time for a job for recruitment, for opportunities, corruption was the only password. Now, corruption is the password to a different location, not for a job, not for an opportunity. A big change, but with all these things also, can you take a Quantum jump because you need something very different. You need economic rise; you need new vistas and opportunities.

I am happy to tell my young friends our Bharat, home to 1/6th of humanity today, is in an upbeat mood with their being transparent and accountable governance exponential phenomenal infrastructure rise. Fiends, you are witnessing the emergence of India as a diplomatic soft power, rise of a global stature and already we are placed at number 5 in the global economy. 

We are the third-largest purchasing power on a global benchmark, which indicates opportunities for all of you. In the next 2 years, we will be the third-largest global economy ahead of Japan and Germany. 

My young friends, this is a perfect platform for young minds of the country as now they have new opportunities. 

I urge you to come out of the silos from traditional areas of avenues. I find young minds floating to the silos of conventional areas. Think out of the box if I make a mention of disruptive Technology. It can satisfy everyone's aspirations, and India is among the very few countries that are taking the lead in it. 

If I look at who are the greatest stakeholders in the governance, they are not the industries they are not the politicians. The most vital stakeholders in the governance are the young people. 

What our Bharat will be in 2047 will be decided by you. When we march, when we become part of Marathon 2047, its success is assured because our youth is upbeat; our youth will deliver and make the nation proud. But friends, you need to be alive because there are certain sections that give us cause for worry. Anti-national narratives are now being reflected even in the sacred temples of legislatures. Our commitment to nationalism has to be spinal; it is not optional; it has to be 100%.

When we see its dilution and a more painful scenario in the sacred temple of democratic legislature, all must be concerned. The time has come to neutralize. You are more competent than others by taking to social media to inculcate the spirit of nationalism and neutralize all the sinister, pernicious designs. No Nation can grow without its people leading life committed to nationalism and patriotism.

I pause a question to myself in the great institution in the presence of one of the leaders of the industry, why do we not believe in economic nationalism? Why do we ever import an item that is avoidable? Don't we see the impact of it? When we import items that are available in the country, we are damaging three things:

  1. There is avoidable painful drainage of our foreign exchange.
  2. Those items would be made here we are snatching opportunities from our young minds.
  3. We are coming in the way of growth of entrepreneurship.

I therefore appeal to everyone, particularly corporate, industry, trade and Commerce associations, to subscribe to economic nationalism so that we make lives better for our young minds. 

Our youth is more talented than youth of any part of the globe. They are the best minds. Recognition of our startups at the global level indicates the power of our youth.

Friends, we now have an ecosystem where every young mind can realize his or has dreams and aspirations because affirmative policies are in existence. I urged the students to look beyond conventional areas of opportunities and think of the modern opportunities and next-generation opportunities that contribute to the rise of this great Nation.

I have no doubt in togetherness. Our Bharat is marching towards Viksit Bharat in 2047, and the real driving force, an engine firing on all cylinders, is in one category, and that category is India's youth demographic dividend. 

Friends, I have every hope, optimism and confidence that our youth will deliver; they will deliver a dream that was dear to Arun Jaitley ji; they will deliver a working pattern that was close to Arun Ji's heart.

I will conclude by saying ever since Arun Jaitley Ji came into public life, diversifying his professional life, I found his commitment was passionate. He was in mission mode, he was a reformist, he always thought of young minds, and there were many occasions when he told me Jagdeep, our young legal professionals are giving tough time to senior advocates.

The best tribute to this great son of the soil who transformed Bharat and helped the Prime Minister put Bharat on a trajectory that is incremental, is to devote every second to the Welfare of the nation, and that can be accomplished only when young boys and girls fully expand their energy, exploit their potential, look to new opportunities and contribute to the growth of the nation. 

I thank Chairman Ajay Shri Ram Ji, the vice-chancellor of Delhi University, for making this opportunity available to me, and I am extremely grateful and touched because I found the convenience of Madam Jaitley Ji for this program. The response I got was, 'Your convenience is my convenience.'

Thank you so much!