On an official visit to the United Kingdom, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday, 18 April, addressed the ‘Bharat ki Baat, Sabke Saath‘ programme at the iconic Central Hall Westminster in London where he spoke about the recent incidents of rape in India and also warned Pakistan against “exporting terror”.
At the diaspora event, moderated by CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) chairperson Prasoon Joshi, Modi also emphasised on his government’s “development” and “pro-poor” agenda, saying that the days of incremental change are over, and even took digs at the previous governments.
Here are the key highlights of Modi’s address at the event in London, which lasted for more than two hours.
On Incidents of Rape
PM Modi expressed grief over the recent incidents of rapes of minor girls in India, and called it an evil of not just the individual but also of the society, reported PTI.
The Prime Minister also slammed the politicisation of rape incidents, saying:
His comments come in the backdrop of the Unnao and Kathua rape incidents that have shaken the collective conscience of the nation and prompted protests across the country.
On Pakistan and Terrorism
During the interaction at ‘Bharat Ki Baat, Sabke Saath‘ event, PM Modi also warned Pakistan and said India will not tolerate those who export terror and will respond to them in the language they understand, as he referred to the 2016 surgical strikes conducted across the LoC.
On Foreign Policy
Speaking about his brand of foreign policy, Modi told the Indian community in London that he seeks cooperation with various countries even though they might be at conflict with each other.
While asserting that criticism strengthens the fabric of democracy, PM Modi pointed out that in the current scenario, one does not see constructive criticism, but allegations.
On Development and Comparison With Past Governments
Emphasising on the poor background that he has come from, Modi said that he is committed towards working for the the marginalised and the downtrodden sections of the society.
Modi also lauded the 12th century Lingayat philosopher Basaveshwara and said he dedicated his life to the people and worked to unite them.
“Basweshwar did for women empowerment, democracy and social causes is an example for world,” he said.
Reaching London on Wednesday, Modi also held talks with UK PM Theresa May and had an audience with Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace.
During his meeting with May, Modi reiterated that UK will remain important to India even after Brexit, and also purportedly discussed the extradition of Vijay Mallya. Prior to his UK visit, Modi was in Sweden, where he held talks with his counterpart Stefan Lofven.