India

"Colonial Mindset": PM Slams Pressures On India Over Climate Pledges

Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks at a Constitution Day event

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Constitution Day speech today called for erasing a "colonial mindset" that only exists to "thwart India's growth".

PM Modi spoke for a second time today - the first at the central hall of parliament where he criticised as the biggest threat to democracy a party run by the same family generation after generation. He spoke for a second time in Delhi's Vigyan Bhawan in the presence of Chief Justice of India NV Ramana.

In the second speech, PM Modi took a swipe at developed nations that have been trying to persuade India to cut down carbon emissions, when these nations have themselves been the biggest emitters of carbon and have benefitted from fossil fuel-powered industrial growth, long before emerging economies could see proper growth.

"The colonial mindset hasn't gone. We are seeing from developed nations that the path that made them developed is being closed for developing nations... If we talk about absolute cumulative (carbon) emissions, rich nations have emitted 15 times more from 1850 till now," PM Modi said. "The per capita emission is also 11 times more in the US and the EU."

In the COP26 climate talks held in Scotland earlier this month, India had asked developed nations that have "enjoyed the fruits of energy" to reach net zero faster so that emerging economies use some "carbon space" to drive growth. 'Net zero emissions' refers to achieving an overall balance between greenhouse gas emissions produced and greenhouse gas emissions taken out of the atmosphere.

PM Modi also criticised people who he said "stall development" unnecessarily. "Sadly, we also have such people in our country who stall the development of the nation in the name of freedom of expression without understanding the aspirations of the nation. Such people don't bear the brunt, but those mothers who get no electricity for their children bear it," the Prime Minister said.

Constitution Day, also known as National Law Day, is observed on November 26 to commemorate the adoption of the Constitution of India. It is in this context PM Modi addressed the judiciary today.

"Judiciary and executive were birthed from the Constitution, so we are twins and even though we look different, we are from the same source. There may be a concept of separation of powers, but we have a collective responsibility and only that can take the country forward," PM Modi said.