Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday advocated for making free education, world-class healthcare and employment for all fundamental rights, saying these are not freebies but the duty of a responsible government.
Unfurling the 500th high-mast tricolour in the capital, Kejriwal rued that many countries that got independence after India have "surpassed us". Kejriwal noted that there is a need to eradicate 'Pariwarwaad' (dynastic politics) and 'Dostwaad' (to favour friends), and also slammed the Congress and the BJP, saying one party exploited its power by spending public money on its family members and the other did so on its "friends".
"On the 75th Independence Day, we all must pledge to make India the number one country of the world. There are several such nations that attained independence after us yet surpassed our growth despite all the potential and hardwork of our people.
"We have to pledge to develop such a system where free excellent education, world-class healthcare and 100 per cent employment become fundamental rights of the citizens," he said at the event in Mayur Vihar here.
The Aam Aadmi Party has been defending announcement of freebies during elections since Prime Minister Modi, while addressing an event last month, cautioned people against what he called as "revadi culture" of offering freebies for garnering votes, and called it "very dangerous" for the development of the country.
Kejriwal attacked the Congress and the BJP, saying "We must eradicate 'Pariwarwaad' and 'Dostwaad' and vouch for 'Bharatwaad'. The chief minister said, "One party exploited its power by spending public money on its family members, and another party exploited power by spending public money on its friends.
"Public money must not be spent on friends and family; public money is meant to generate employment, give free education and healthcare." The chief minister hoisted the 166-ft high flag to the tunes of a Homeguard Band and raised 'Bharat Mata ki Jai, Inquilab Zindabad and Vande Mataram' slogans before beginning his address.
"The goal behind this project is to invoke and inculcate deshbhakti in every citizen every day. I know everyone's chest swells with pride to see the Tiranga in its full glory. At the same time, the Tiranga also reminds us of all the sacrifices that have been made by our forefathers to give it a free sky to fly in.
"It reminds us of every drop of blood shed by our soldiers to protect the free sky it flies in. I am certain that even if someone leaves their house with an ill-intention in their mind, this Tiranga will stop them. 500 such Tirangas have been installed all over Delhi," he said.
Opining that the country doesn't suffer from lack of potential, hard-work or intelligence, he said "we suffer from lack of political willingness and intent". "Which is why we all must take the matter into our own hands to make India the strongest and the greatest nation of the world. But how will this country progress?
"We all must pledge to provide the highest-quality of education to every child of the country irrespective of their economic status," he said. Stressing on providing the best possible healthcare treatment to every citizen of the country and employment to youth, the chief minister said the country can't progress until these basic necessities aren't fulfilled.
"But it pains me to see people slander this school of thought by saying that the provision of free education must be stopped. I want to assert that giving quality education or public health care for free is not a freebie. It is a duty of a responsible government," he said.
His deputy Manish Sisodia thanked Kejriwal as well as PWD engineers, labourers and contractors "who made this ambitious dream a reality".
"As this flag rises in the heights in the sky, I would like to say that, under the leadership of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the government is working round the clock and doing such works which is increasing the tricolour's grandeur, dignity and honour.
"Be it our work on world-class schools, hospitals, zero bills for electricity, public transport, free treatment of accident victims, free water supply to increase tricolour's honour. The government is doing every work which can increase the honour of the national flag," he added.
(With PTI Inputs)