Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the Red Fort in New Delhi on the eve of India’s 75th Independence Day.
On 15 Sunday, India marked the occasion as “Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” under which a series of events were organised across the country.
“Greetings to you all on Independence Day. May this year of the ”Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav” infuse new energy and new consciousness among the countrymen. Jai Hind!” tweeted PM Modi.
Mr Modi also paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat before he addressed the nation.
Paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. His thoughts and ideals continue to guide us as we work towards fulfilling people's aspirations. pic.twitter.com/BDmBxwWWcD
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2021
A summary of highlights from PM Modi’s Independence Day speech (translated in English) are as follows:
- 75th Independence Day should not be merely a ceremony; we have to march with new pledges for next 25 years.
- We have to ensure we meet our goal of building Aatmanirbhar Bharat when we celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence.
- PM Modi gives call for ‘Sabka Prayas’ along with ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas’ for building a new India.
- To honour the pain and suffering faced by people during the partition, the prime minister said that August 14 will now be observed as “Partition Horrors Remembrance Day.”
- Today, governmental schemes have picked up pace and are reaching their goals. From Ujjwala to Ayushman Bharat, the poor of the nation knows the strength and impact of these schemes.
- Over 4.5 crore new households have received piped water supply within two years of ‘Jal Jeevan Mission.’
- It is essential to fully utilise the capabilities of India to take it to new heights in the 21st century. For this, we have to hold hands of the section that is lagging behind.
- We have to bridge the gap between lives in villages and cities and reach out to the deprived communities. For this, reservation is being ensured for Dalits, STs, backwards, general category poor.
- The Northeast region, the Himalayan region, Jammu and Kashmir, Ladakh, the coastal belt and tribal regions will make a foundation for India’s development in the future. Development should be inclusive, he added.
- For this, capitals of northeast states to be soon connected with railways and the entire region will get connected with Bangladesh, Myanmar, southeast Asia for better opportunities.
- In terms of Jammu and Kashmir, development is visible on ground, delimitation exercise is on and preparations for assembly polls are underway in the UT.
- We are witnessing rapid transformation of our villages. In the past few years, facilities like roads and electricity have reached villages.
- Today, the optical fiber network is providing the power of data to villages, and the internet is reaching there. Digital entrepreneurs are getting ready in villages too.
- Small farmers, who own less than 2 hectares of land, must become the country’s pride. In the coming years, we will increase the collective power of small farmers and give them new facilities.
- We have to work together for the next-generation infrastructure, world-class manufacturing, cutting innovations and new-age technology.
- Along with modern infrastructure, India needs to adopt a holistic approach in infrastructure construction.
- India will launch ‘Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti National Master Plan’, a 100 lakh crore national infrastructure master plan which will create a foundation for holistic infrastructure and give an integrated pathway to our economy.
- Gatishakti will help local manufacturers turn globally competitive and develop possibilities of new future economic zones. It will also provide employment opportunities for the youth.
- Today, the world can see that there is no dearth of political will in India. Good and smart governance is needed to bring reforms. The world is a witness to how India is writing a new chapter of governance.
- For the all-round development of the nation, it is essential to end the unnecessary interference of government and government procedures in the lives of people.
- Seventy five Vande Bharat trains will connect every corner of India in 75 weeks of Amrit Mahotsav of Independence.
- Efforts have increased in the last 7 years to free the people from unnecessary laws and procedures. Several unnecessary laws have been scrapped so far.
- The government’s New Education Policy is a means to fight poverty, it will focus on encouraging teaching in regional languages.
- We have to ensure India becomes self-reliant in energy production.
- Even during the pandemic, India has been receiving its highest foreign investment with its forex reserves being at an all-time high.
- India is fighting challenges of terrorism and expansionism and dealing with them with great courage.
A BBC report however, noted that Mr Modi’s speech “lacked details”.
The analysis argued that while PM Modi acknowledged that many Indians died of the virus, he “didn’t talk about the oxygen shortage issue.”
PM Modi mentioned the Covid vaccination but “didn’t talk about the need to increase the pace of the drive, and didn’t say much about the fears of a third Covid wave and how his government plans to handle it this time,” it added.
The report also argued that while the PM presented a grand vision of India’s growth story in the next 25 years, he “didn’t say much about his strategy to overcome the immediate challenges of the struggling economy, which has been marred by high inflation and rising unemployment.”
Mr Modi’s announcements did however touch on positive points, such as the focus on green energy, building roads in villages and ensuring all Indians have a bank account in the near future.