Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the national flag and delivered his seventh consecutive Independence Day speech from the iconic Red Fort this morning. There is strict social distancing and safety measures in place as the celebrations are happening amid the coronavirus pandemic. This is PM Modi’s second Independence Day Speech since he won a second term.
India faced centuries of foreign rule. All efforts were made to destroy our nation, our culture, our traditions, but they underestimated our self-belief and determination. We lived through it all and emerged victorious in the end.
Those who were busy finding new places to put their flags, who wanted to expand their empire underestimated us. The world saw two world wars and so many nations faced immense destruction, but we rose through it all. Our freedom struggle was seen by the world.
I admit there are lakhs of challenges for India to become atma-nirbhar (self-reliant), and yes, there is fierce competition from the rest of the world. But I always say that if India faces lakhs of challenges, it also has 130 crore solutions.
We are passing through strange times. Today, I don’t see children here at the Red Fort because of the coronavirus pandemic that we are facing. We need to take adequate precautions.
On behalf of the entire nation, I want to thank the efforts of all corona-warriors. All those healthcare workers, doctors and nurses, who have worked tirelessly to serve the nation amid the pandemic. Many have even lost their lives. The nation salutes them.
We have seen that when we put our mind to it, we can achieve anything. We never made PPE kits, our production of masks and ventilators was meagre, but today we are making them all.
As we celebrate the 74th Independence Day, we look forward to the important milestone ahead – our 75th year of Independence. And as we lead up to it, it brings new energy and determination to take the nation forward. When we reach that milestone, we shall celebrate in a grand manner.
Today, we focus on taking India to new heights, to build a new India – an atma nirbhar (self-reliant) India. India will most certainly achieve this. History is evidence to the fact that when India is determined to achieve something, it has always done so. A self-reliant India has now become the mantra for 130 crore Indians.
Today, the world looks towards India. India must grow for the world to grow. Today, we have the largest young population in the world, today’s Indians are thinkers and innovators.
How long will we export raw material and import finished goods? Time has come that we put this cycle to an end. India must now manufacture everything it consumes, and not just that – export to the world too as we grow.