Paris, Aug 23: Taking an indirect jibe at his political opponents, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invoked Ram and Krishna to refer to the abrogation of Article 370 and said it was ironical that a country with such strong cultural heritage had taken 70 years to eliminate a temporary provision.
"There is no scope for temporary in India. You would have seen how a country of 1.25 billion people, the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Gautam Buddha, Ram, Krishna took 70 years to remove what was temporary. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at this," the PM said while addressing the Indian community at the UNESCO headquarters here.
He added that India was now marching towards its goals based on principles of reform, perform and transform.
Modi appreciated the role of the Indian community in France in strengthening bilateral ties. "Your contribution is integral to Indo-French ties. You are the representatives, the voice and the identity of India in France. I hope that you would continue to strengthen this voice here," he said.
"Your achievements make us proud. Many Indians are members of the French Parliament. This fills us with pride. I am happy that you have adopted and learnt about the French laws and culture without letting go of your core Indian values," he added.
The Prime Minister also greeted the gathering on the occasion of Janmashtami and said he had heard that Ganesh Chaturthi was a prominent festival in Paris. "I have heard that Paris transforms into a mini India on the occasion. We will hear 'Ganpati Bappa' soon," he said.
Modi said here on Friday that corruption, nepotism and terrorism have no place in 'new India'.
"In 'New India', the way in which action is being taken against corruption, nepotism, loot of people's money, terrorism, this has never happened before. Within 75 days of the new government coming to power, we took many strong decisions," Modi said while addressing the Indian community at the UNESCO headquarters here.
Modi exuded confidence that India has begun its journey towards development.
"Today I can say with confidence that the 130 crore Indians have begun their journey towards development. The mandate we have received is not just for running a government, but for building a 'New India'," the PM said.
"I do not belong to the community of Indians that forgets promises. I am the one who reminds people of the promises I made," he added.
"I have come to a nation of football lovers. You very well know the importance of a goal. That is the ultimate achievement. In the last five years, we set goals which were earlier considered impossible to fulfil."
Modi also said that the friendship between India and France is unbreakable and the two nations have shown strength on every stage.
Addressing the Indian community at Unesco Headquarters in Paris, Modi said India and France have a century-old friendship and asserted that he was dedicating "this day to friendship".
"The friendship between the two countries are not based on selfishness, it is based on liberty equality and fraternity," the Prime Minister said.
"Today in the 21st century we talk of INFRA. I would like to say that for me it is IN+FRA, which means the alliance between India and France," he added.
Modi is in France as part of his three-nation five-day visit scheduled between August 22 and 26. From France, he will travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and -Bahrain before returning to Paris for the G7 Summit.
Modi unveiled a memorial for the Indian victims of the two Air India plane crashes in Saint Gervais, near the French Alps.
"I salute all those including the great Indian nuclear physicist Homi Bhaba, who lost their lives in the two crashes," he said.
"I want to tell you that India is now surging ahead, the mandate we have got is not merely for running a govt but for building a new India," he added.
The PM also said that the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir should have taken place long ago.
"There is no scope for temporary in India. You would have seen that a country of 1.25 billion people, the land of Mahatma Gandhi, Gautam Buddha, Ram, Krishna, took 70 years to remove what was temporary," Modi asserted.
Talking on the law against triple talaq he said, "We did away with the practice of triple talaq; injustice cannot be done to Muslim women in new India."
News24 Bureau with Agency inputs
Photo: Google Image