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India’s rise unstoppable, will be global leader by 2047: VP Jagdeep Dhankhar

‘By the turn of the decade, we will be the third-largest (economy)’

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NEW DELHI, May 24(PTI): Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar on Wednesday said India is moving on an unprecedented growth trajectory, and the country will become a “global” leader by 2047, the year when it will commemorate a hundred years of Independence.

He stressed that the economic progress of the country was deeply connected to its security, and defence forces such as the Border Security Force (BSF) were guardians of the “holistic growth” of India.

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Dhankhar was speaking at the annual ‘Rustamji memorial lecture’ of the BSF here.

The lecture is organised in memory of the BSF’s first chief and founding father K F Rustamji, who was the director general of the 2.65 lakh-strong force during 1965-74.

He died in 2003.

The BSF was raised in 1965 and is primarily tasked with guarding the Indian frontier with Pakistan and Bangladesh.

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Dhankhar said national security was the “cornerstone” of the country’s progressive prosperity, and the developments that should have come earlier, are taking place now.

“You see the kind of road infrastructure we have, the kind of technological involvement that is taking place, the kind of arms that are being made available and the kind of facilities that are being created for the human resource…this is not an obligation, this is our duty (towards the security forces like the BSF),” he said.

Dhankhar said he was “satisfied” and “gratified” to find that attention was being paid to these issues.

The VP said India was on a rise like “never before” and this rise was unstoppable and the incremental growth trajectory will go high from here and by 2047, ‘Bharat’ will be a global leader.

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“Just a decade ago, we were the 11th largest economy but in September 2022, we had the distinction of being the fifth-largest economy by overtaking our erstwhile colonial ruler, and by the turn of the decade, we will be the third-largest (economy),” he said.

Dhankhar said the country took strides when it came to the digital economy, and in 2022, India’s “digital transfers” were four times more than that of the US, the UK, France and Germany.

“All this is possible because our borders are safe,” Dhankhar added.

He also lauded the BSF for undertaking efforts and working in “extremely trying circumstances 24×7” and along complex and porous borders to check drugs and human trafficking and cow smuggling from across the India-Bangladesh border.

The VP also made an appeal to all border states to be “extremely sympathetic and sensitive” to the requirements of the BSF.

“I appeal to all state governments to take all affirmative steps, sensitise their mechanism, so that the morale of the BSF is ever sustained high,” he said.

Talking at length about the role of Rustamji, the VP said the police officer from Madhya Pradesh was a member of the first-ever National Police Commission (NCP) that was set up in 1977.

“The need for NPC was felt because the largest democracy on the earth was visited by a dark era of emergency in 1975 that saw large-scale human rights violations, debacle of institutions, something which the founding fathers of the Constitution never imagined. A large number of people were put behind bars and they had no access to the judiciary,” he said

Dhankhar also spoke about Rustamji’s role in judicial activism.

“He (Rustamji) laid the ground for India’s first public interest litigation case, Hussainara Khatoon vs State of Bihar, which led to the release of 40,000 undertrials all over India who had been languishing in jails much beyond the maximum permissible period.

“If he had sat quietly, those people would have continued to languish in jails. But he tried and succeeded. I state further, never hesitate to try, a failure is only a step towards success,” Dhankhar said.

During the event, the VP also decorated a total of 35 BSF personnel, including two for gallantry, for rendering exceptional service.

Acting BSF DG S L Thaosen described the role of the force and its various challenges as he informed that it has neutralised 33 drones in the last one year (along the India-Pakistan border).

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