It is very unfortunate that even today in some families when a girl child is born, they feel bad about it. Unfortunately, some families get the girl child aborted when they learn about it in advance. My government has formulated two policies to stop this menace. The first is that doctors have been legally prohibited from revealing the sex of the child in the womb. The second policy is perhaps more important, that the government, from today, itself will give financial help to the families to whom a girl child is born, if they are living below the poverty line. Later scholarship will be given when the girl child starts going to school.
I appeal to all countrymen and political and social institutes and also to those women who have been recently elected in the Panchayats towork unitedly to change the atmosphere in the country so that small girls are looked after well. They should get full opportunity to blossom and men and women should have equal place in society. This country will become great only when the men and women of this country work unitedly and take the country ahead.
I would also like to say that whether they are boys or girls, unless and until our future generations go to school, the society cannot make further progress. My government has already acceded the right to education as a fundamental right for every child and we have presented the amendment bill in the Parliament. The next scheme is to open more schools and raise the standard of education. Our country will have a bright future only when every child below 14 years will go to school every morning wearing a colourful uniform. The children should not be deprived of childhood joys and should not be forced to labour. That is why I want to emphasise that all of you should contribute your mite in this endeavour of government.
Now, with great sorrow and seriousness I want to draw your attention towards the ill of this country which is called corruption. Corruption is eating into the vitals of the country. The country is in greater danger from those who occupy higher offices and betray the nation by accepting bribes. If the country's enemies attack us from outside, our gallant army is capable of facing them and they put their lives at stake in the most difficult circumstances. But if somebody from inside becomes a traitor by accepting bribes and betrays the nation, he creates a greater danger to the country. The corruption is rampant everywhere. It seems that whether it is a matter of government purchases, paying of taxes, paying of custom duties, some people think and that corruption is their birthright. I make a promise to you that the long arms of law will be further strengthened to ensure that no one who accepts bribes escapes the grip of the law. I take it as my first and foremost duty and also as a promise to the nation that an accused, whether he belongs to politics or government would not be exonerated if he commits such a sin.
It is all the more unfortunate that common men face more difficulties because of petty corrupt practices. Even the slightest of work cannot be completed without bribing somebody, whether it is a police station, a village patwari, municipality, an electric station, telephone department or the revenue department. Everywhere the sin of corruption is there. The common man especially the poor and the middle class just feel helpless. On several occasion, I have seen this feeling of helplessness written large on their faces.
The nexus between corrupt and politics has taken a turn for the worse today when criminals are entering politics. When I see the dark clouds ahead, I feel more determined to eliminate this challenge of corruption. All of us will have to work unitedly to eradicate corruption. Government alone will not be able to do this work. When the cancer worsens we all have to pay attention towards it.
The first thing which we have to do is electoral reforms which are being discussed for a long time now. Some work has been done in this regard but that is not enough and perhaps will not be able to meet the objectives. Corruption will prevail till the day when money is collected in the name of fighting elections. Therefore, complete reforms are imperative. The second thing towards which I have drawn your attention is the criminalisation of politics. Criminals are aligning with the political parties and I am here to break the nexus with courage and determination. I honestly believe that every political party finds fault with the others but overlooks its own greater faults. If a goonda belongs to the other political party we consider him a goonda but if he belongs to party we make him sit by our side and give him respect and regard. Legally we have to meet this challenge but simultaneously I call upon all political parties to do a soul searching. This is the biggest challenge before politics and the politician, today , if he has to become the leader of tomorrow. Last week I had been to Mumbai to the anniversary of 9th August. There I had said something which I want to repeat today. The bribe takers should not be allowed to escape the law but we, who are compelled to offer bribes should take a pledge and start a new type of satyagraha -- non-cooperation -- and assert that we would not give bribes whatever be the difficulties and delays. It will be a new form of satyagraha.
This satyagraha can take us very far. Today we do not have any leader of the stature of Mahatma Gandhi but all of us can unitedly achieve this objective. The philosophy of Gandhiji is today inspiring us to form committees in localities, villages and cities to help each other so that those who give bribe and those who take bribe come out of this compulsion. I don't know whether some of you remember this or not, I haveseen this with my own eyes that when Gandhiji had started salt satyagraha, people had their doubts about its outcome and they use to question how it was possible to remove imperialism by making salt. I recall that when my father decided to join the salt satyagraha, his fellow lawyers told him that you are a literate person whereas Gandhi is an old man and he has lost his senses. They used to ask if it were possible to make British imperialism give way by making salt. But Gandhiji had confidence in himself. He was a farsighted man. People followed him. The issue which had started from a handful of salt ended with the end of British rule, from this very Red Fort.