I have seen vast, perhaps unbelievable, changes during the journey that has brought me from the flicker of a lamp in a small Bengal village to the chandeliers of Delhi.
Of course, running a coalition government in a country like India is a difficult task. More so when Congress leads the coalition, since most of the political parties were anti-Congress. To have a coalition, to run a coalition government, you require a lot of adjustments, a lot of flexibility.
India is a land of plenty inhibited by poverty; India has an enthralling, uplifting civilization that sparkles not only in our magnificent art, but also in the enormous creativity and humanity of our daily life in city and village.
The young people of India will build a strong and powerful nation, a nation that is politically mature and economically strong, a nation whose people enjoy both a high quality of life as well as justice.
We are all equal children before our mother; and India asks each one of us, in whatsoever role we play in the complex drama of nation-building, to do our duty with integrity, commitment and unflinching loyalty to the values enshrined in our Constitution.
Let Jammu and Kashmir lead the way in the building of a new future for India. Let it set an example to the rest of India and the world by showing how the entire region can be transformed into a zone of peace, stability and prosperity.
In the 1980s, we were advised, why don't you follow Reaganomics or Thatcherite economics. We said, yes, there are good points, let's see how we can fit them in the Indian economy. Every country has its own way of moving forward.
If the rise of European colonisation began in 18th century India, then the rallying cry of 'Jai Hind!' also signalled its end in 1947.
We must recognise that in a globalised world, we cannot remain insulated from external developments. India's trade performance in the current year has been robust, surpassing pre-crisis export levels and pre-crisis export growth trends. We have diversified our export baskets and our export destinations.
Teaching was my transition from student life to working life. In those days, our system of education was a little different. The number of students in each class was huge. I think in political science general, which I taught, it was around 100.
Propelled by freedom of faith, gender equality and economic justice for all, India will become a modern nation. Minor blemishes cannot cloak the fact that India is becoming such a modern nation: no faith is in danger in our country, and the continuing commitment to gender equality is one of the great narratives of our times.
I come from a political family. My father was a freedom fighter. He was a prominent leader of the locality and member of the Congress party. He spent 10 years in British prisons. In the evening, in our living room, the only subject we used to discuss was politics. So politics was not unfamiliar to me.