Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that people talking about rights since India’s Independence, while ignoring their duties, has kept the country weak. Modi was speaking at the launch of “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav”, a year-long programme of events as part of the government’s celebration of 75 years of Independence.

“In the last 75 years, we only kept talking about rights, fighting for rights and wasting our time,” he said. “The talk of rights, to some extent, for the time, may be right in particular circumstances but forgetting one’s duties completely has played a huge role in keeping India weak.”

The prime minister said that the the country can unitedly do its duty to fill this gap that has been created by only talking about rights and not committing to one’s duty.

“The coming 25 years are the period of utmost hard work, sacrifice, and penance,” Modi said. “This is a period of 25 years to get back what our society has lost in hundreds of years of slavery.”

He urged citizens to do their duties, which he claimed will remove the “evils” prevailing in the society and take the country to new heights.

The prime minister also claimed that there have been several attempts made to tarnish the image of the country, including at the international level.

“We cannot get away from this by saying that this is just politics,” he said. “This is not politics, this is the question of our country. And when we are celebrating this festival of freedom, it is also our responsibility that the world should know India in the right form.”

Modi then urged organisations such as the Brahma Kumaris to counter the rumours and make citizens of other countries more aware about India.

“Wherever in which countries you have branches, you should try that every year at least 500 people from every branch come to visit India, come to know India,” the prime minister said. “And these 500 people should not be the Indian people who live there but the citizens of that country.”

Brahma Kumaris is a spiritual organisation predominantly led and managed by women, and presently has its headquarters in Mount Abu Rajasthan, India. It is an indigenous feminist movement.

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