Rights come with duties, protesters must introspect: PM Modi

PM Modi spoke in the backdrop of violent protests in UP that have left 18 dead.

Rights come with duties, protesters must introspect: PM Modi
LUCKNOW: PM Narendra Modi on Wednesday asked protesters who damaged public property during the agitation against the Citizenship Amendment Act in Uttar Pradesh to introspect, and remember that “rights and duties go hand in hand”.

Modi, who was in Lucknow to unveil a statue of former PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, spoke in the backdrop of violent protests in UP that have left 18 dead.

“Our founding fathers had stressed on giving people their rights. And we have done that for a large part. But as we move towards the 75th year of our Independence, it has become the need of the hour to also lay stress on our responsibilities,” he said.

“I say this because the way some people have propagated violence in the name of protests in UP and destroyed public property, they should introspect and think about the families of everyone who died and got injured, including citizens and policemen. They should ask themselves, was it right? Whatever was torched, was it not going to be of use to their children?” he asked.

Having spoken at length on the issue during his near-two-hour speech in Delhi on Sunday, the PM sought to underline the need for a sense of public duty in his Lucknow address.

“If safe and good public transport is a citizen’s right, then maintaining it is a citizen’s duty. If good education is a citizen’s right, then respecting teachers and the infrastructure is their duty. While it’s our right to demand a safe atmosphere, it is also our responsibility to respect the efforts of the police force that works for our safety… rights come with duties,” he said after unveiling Vajpayee’s statue and laying the foundation stone for the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Medical University. He also announced that the tunnel at Rohtang Pass will be called Atal Tunnel.

The Yogi Adityanath government in UP has adopted a tough line against protestors, arresting over 900. It has also issued recovery notices to 219 accused in Meerut, Bijnor and Rampur districts, asking them to pay compensation for damaging public property. The chief minister had earlier said the loss to public infrastructure will be avenged by seizing the property of protesters.

Modi also referred to Article 370 as an “old disease” that has been resolved peacefully, and said perceptions of many were smashed after how easily it was accomplished. He said the Ram Janmabhoomi issue was also resolved peacefully, while a solution was found through the CAA to grant citizenship to those who had come to India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to “save the dignity of their daughters”.

The PM added that solving “legacy” issues involving social, economic and political challenges has been a major achievement of his government this year. “With this self-confidence, Hindustanis are entering a new decade. Whatever is left to be done, all Indians are trying to find a solution,” he said.

Modi said UP had emerged as a major beneficiary of the national health programmes initiated by the government, including Ayushman Bharat and national nutrition mission. He said the Atal university is aligned with the national objective of having at least one medical college across three Lok Sabha seats. “I am content that the Yogi government is striving to solve problems in their totality. The Atal university is a fruit of that,” said the PM.
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