PM gifted copy of Gandhi's speech about need to make India `Atmanirbhar'

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Ahmedabad, Mar 12 (PTI) The Sabarmati Ashram trust on Friday gifted Prime Minister Narendra Modi a framed copy of a page from Mahatma Gandhi's 1919 speech where he talks about the need to make India 'Atmanirbhar' (self-reliant).

Modi, in recent times, has often stressed the need for economic policies aimed towards `Atmanirbhar Bharat'.

The Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust which manages the century-old Ashram established by Mahatma Gandhi here found a speech by Gandhi where the term was used.

'In October 1919, Gandhiji gave a speech at Bhagini Samaj, Mumbai. In that speech, he stressed the need for making India Atmanirbhar. We framed a copy of that part of the speech and gifted it to the PM during his visit today,' said trustee Kartikeya Sarabhai.

The exact words used by the Mahatma in the Hindi speech were: 'Hindustan ko Atmanirbhar hona sikhna hi hoga (India must learn to be self-reliant).' The speech referred to the benefits of the charkha or spinning wheel which could be a source of income for women.

'There is no other occupation in which millions of women can engage while staying at home. It does not call for much intelligence. India must learn to be self-reliant.

'When India produces brave men and women, we shall become self-reliant,' Gandhi further said in the speech.

He went on to say that satyagraha needs more courage than that needed for using arms, and if the nation could show that bravery, 'we shall be free right away.' Modi visited the Ashram before launching `Azadi Ka Amrut Mahotsav', the government's initiative to mark 75 years of India's Independence.

Incidentally, in his speech later, the prime minister said that India's 'Atmanirbhar' approach of development will give momentum to the development journey of the world.