The India we inherited ten years ago was a heartbroken nation, holding on to the last straw of hope. The poor and marginalised sections suffered, spending on social welfare was abysmal, but NDA claimed India was 'shining'. We reached our breaking point when terrorists attacked our Parliament. Only one question played on every mind: are we really so vulnerable?
We were not vulnerable. We had only forgotten our potential. We had stopped believing in our immense abilities. We needed leadership that had the vision to see that India was standing at the threshold of a revolution.
In 2004, India made a choice that changed the course of history. A revolution was ignited.
All great revolutions are led by its people. But muted voices do not make a revolution. People had to be given the power to question, and the right to seek answers. RTI became the first weapon of this revolution. Today, people can even question the Prime Minister.
Illiteracy and hunger could have weakened the pace of our transformation. We realised every child should have the right to acquire good education. The Right to Education laid the foundation that will support generations of our children. The Food Security Act has ensured that no Indian goes to bed hungry. Our economic policies pushed India to the top of growth charts.
Our manufacturing sector grew at a phenomenal pace. Railways, communication, road infrastructure, you name it and we were right there. Jobs grew, and so did smiles. We were a nation brimming with optimism and confidence.
But ups and downs are part of life. Our strength was tested during the global economic crisis. We withstood that storm. Economically, we are far stronger today than any other nation. That's because in the past ten years we ensured our foundation was laid with great care, with the best ingredients possible. We are where we are today because we empowered our people. The people of India became the change, we were only the instruments.