Zee Media Bureau/Hemant Abhishek
Chennai: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi targeted the UPA government over foreign policy as well as military modernisation, saying because of its "dysfunctioning" the country was facing great pressure from Pakistan and China when he spoke at the Palkhivala memorial lecture on “India and the World” on Friday.
"Today, the current dysfunction in Delhi has prevented even the much-needed military modernisation and upgradation of India`s defence infrastructure. As a result, the Indian armed forces are under great pressure from the northern and western frontiers," Modi said.
Taking stock of Arun Shourie’s book, `Self-Deception: India China Policies`, Modi said the volume explains how China perceives India and how India is making mockery of itself with ‘limited approach’. “Our pillar of foreign policy should be issues of strategy and security. Atal (Bihari Vajpayee) ji showed the way through ‘shakti’ (power) and shanti (peace),” Modi averred.
Without naming Finance Minister P Chidambaram, he blamed him for the sorry economic state of the country and said, “During Atal ji`s time prices were under control.... today Rupee is in ICU. I do not know why Tamil people sent this person to Delhi.”
He also targeted two other UPA ministers - one who read a speech of another country in the UN body and another who reportedly said he liked being in Beijing at the time of "Chinese aggression". About the former, Modi said "it would be great if they remain there (Beijing) only."
He said that when the Pokharan nuclear tests were conducted on May 11, 1998, a lot many economic sanctions were imposed on India, but Vajpayee, through political will, conducted even ‘stronger’ tests on May 13. “It showed his commitment to the country`s security,” said Modi.
"Atalji could even convince countries like Japan because he had the full confidence and support of the people", he added.
India since has been plagued by incorrect policies, he said, and added, “We became insensitive where we had to be sensitive and we became weak where we had to be strong.”
He attacked the UPA for the current state of the nation, and said, “Current dysfunction in Delhi has prevented military modernisation and upgrading our defence infrastructure.”
Talking about Pakistan-sponsored terrorist activities, Modi said that no nation has suffered more than India in the hands of militancy. He credited Vajpayee for unmasking Pak-aided terror operations on the world stage, and said, “For years Pakistan could bring Kashmir on world stage but it was Atal ji who made terrorism the issue. Due to him those who believed in humanity came together. World was divided between anti-terrorists and pro-humanity. We need to unite the world against terrorism.”
Taking on the Centre`s weak response to skirmishes on the national borders, he said, "We are large country; but how can we be in such a pitiable condition? When we are attacked, only statements are made (by the government). When soldiers are beheaded press notes are considered enough."
Earlier in the day, over a hundred students staged a protest against his visit here.
The Bharatiya Janata Party`s (BJP) prime-ministerial candidate is delivering the memorial lecture on “India and the World” organised by the Palkhiwala foundation at the Madras University campus.
He also released a book authored by BJP leader Arun Shourie `Self-Deception: India China Policies.`