Prime Minister Narendra Modi today castigated developed nations which "lecture" India but deny it nuclear fuel for clean energy and reaffirmed the country's commitment to fight against climate change.
"See the irony. The world gives lecture on climate but if we tell them that we want to move forward in nuclear energy as it is a good path for environment protection and when we ask them to provide necessary fuel for nuclear energy, they refuse," he said.
Modi rejected suggestions that India was posing hurdles in the fight against global warming and climate change, asserting protecting environment "is our tradition".
"Everybody has come to believe that the world is concerned about climate change but India is posing hurdles ....We have grown up in a culture where nature is worshipped like God and protecting nature is linked to humanity.
"But, due to some reasons, maybe we have been ruled by others for centuries, we are inhibited in expressing our point of view. Till the time we gain confidence in ourselves, we will not be able deal with the problem," he said.
The Prime Minister, who was addressing a conference of state environment ministers and officials, urged the global nuclear community to ease restrictions on India to enable it import environment friendly nuclear fuel for producing clean energy in a big way.
Modi's assertions came against the backdrop of criticism by western countries of the very "unhealthy" air quality in country's metros including the national capital, which has been categorised among one of the most polluted cities, prompting many embassies and international establishments to install air purifiers.
Maintaining that India had taken several initiatives in solar and wind energy sectors, the Prime Minister said the country should lead the world in finding solutions to global warming.
"India should be a global leader in the fight against climate change
. Instead of being forced to follow parameters laid down by others, India should lead the world in the fight against climate change," he said.
"It should not be that we follow the world, follow the guidelines set by them...the truth is that we have a legacy of thousands of years in this field and we can lead the world and we can guide the world. India can show the way to the world out of this crisis," Modi said.