Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday remarked that illiterate individuals could never become good citizens of India, referring to those who are not educated as a ‘burden on the country.’
In an interview with Sansad TV, marking 20 years of Narendra Modi in office, first as Gujarat’s CM and later as Prime Minister of India, Shah discussed how the present administration has helped to increase school enrollment.
‘When you evaluate this, you will know what could be its contribution towards a nation’s progress. An illiterate person is a burden on the country. He neither knows the rights given to him by the Constitution nor knows the duties expected of him by it. How can such a person become a good citizen?’ Shah said.
He further added, ‘At that time (when Narendra Modi became CM of Gujarat), the biggest problem was the dropout rate. He started an enrolment process as if it was a festival and took it to 100%. He formed a committee of parents. If a child did not come to school, it was pondered upon. The responsibility of teachers was fixed. The result was that the dropout rate dropped from 37% to less than 1 per cent.’
During the interview, Shah also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a democratic leader, saying that even his detractors would admit that the Union Cabinet has never functioned as democratically as it has under the present administration.
In response to claims that Modi is an authoritarian leader, Shah stated that the Prime Minister values any worthwhile ideas made by anyone, regardless of their title or position in the hierarchy. He noted, Modi has never shied away from taking political risks in the name of national interests. Shah further stated that Modi has always maintained that he is in power to change the country, not just to run the government.
He also slammed the opposition parties, saying that just a few people feel their leaders have the right to be in power. ‘Expose our failures to the people but don’t lower the political standards by resorting to personal attacks,’ Shah said.