Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the Red Fort on the occasion of the 71st Independence Day after unfurling the national flag, paid tributes to a changing and growing India.
Independence Day is annually celebrated on 15 August, as a national holiday in India commemorating the nation’s independence from the United Kingdom on 15 August 1947, the UK Parliament passed the Indian Independence Act 1947 transferring legislative sovereignty to the Indian Constituent Assembly.
As India celebrates its 71st Independence Day, it must remember the sacrifices made by leaders of the freedom movement. It was their vision, idealism, commitment to democracy, secularism and pluralism that made India an exceptional nation in the world.
Narendra Modi said, ‘We will create an India where the poor own a house and has access to electricity and water. An India, where the farmer sleeps in peace and grows his income two fold by 2022. An India, where the young women get opportunities in every field. An India, which is free of terrorism, corruption, dynasty politics, communalism and casteism. And finally, an India which is clean and healthy. Let’s move together in this path of development.’
During his Independence Day speech, PM Modi praised the armed forces for launching a surgical strike on Pakistan, which emphasized on India’s new tough attitude towards terrorism, cross-border violence and fresh confidence in the armed forces.
He said that the surgical strikes improved India’s standing in the world as everyone noticed a change of tack from defensive to offensive. He also announced the launch of a website honouring the winners of the gallantry awards.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has spoken out against the spate of violence against Muslims. He reminded the country of his call of ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ with everyone, for everyone. Some may think this call will not be answered. ‘I believe it, because many of India’s greatest leaders have in the past stressed building community through collaboration and cooperation.’
Modi talked addressed about how Muslim women become the victims of Triple Talaq, an old-fashioned, patriarchal practice of instant oral divorce and promised that the government is fighting vigorously to abolish it.
As citizens of the world’s largest democracy, it is appropriate for Indians of all faiths to come together and redouble efforts to reject violence in all forms and to promote civility. Indians should commit themselves to promote dialogue of understanding and a shared sense of community in the spirit of Modi’s call ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.’
On Independence day this year when Prime Minister Narendra Modi took the dais to address the nation, Lt Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane did not stand behind him as per tradition.
As is customary, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), Delhi Area, a Lt General- rank officer escorts the Prime Minister to the dais and stands behind him throughout until he finishes his Independence day speech and then follows him back to his seat.
On August 15 last year, the then GOC, Delhi Area, Lt Gen Vijay Singh, stood behind Modi during his speech, but was shifted to a side so that he was not visible in the same frame as the Prime Minister.
During the rehearsals this year Special Protection Group (SPG) had objected to the Lt General’s presence behind Prime Minister citing that he was not visible in the same frame last year. After the issue was discussed by the Defence Ministry where they came to a conclusion to postpone the decision of the Prime Minister’s Office.
It was then decided that the Lt General will only be escorting the PM to the dais. Naravane escorted Prime Minister to the dais but returned to his seat in the audience and once the PM had addressed the nation he escorted the prime minister back.
Modi highlights his government’s achievements as he addresses the nation from the Red Fort for the 4th consecutive year on India’s 70th Independence Day.
In a 56-minute speech, his fourth from the Red Fort, Modi touched upon various topics including demonetisation, black money and corruption and promised to take India ahead. He hoped the campaign against Triple Talaq would succeed.
Political leaders have the responsibility to ensure that all laws are fair and enforced uniformly. As importantly, they can take affirmative actions to promote an atmosphere of communal peace and harmony. They need to develop a plan of what can be done to strengthen those bonds that bind all Indians as one family. They need to promote the voice for understanding, cooperation, and civility among faiths.
Citizen leaders must come from all fields to play a pivotal role by promoting the unique benefits of unity by articulating the idea that ‘We are stronger together’. And, together, they can help shape a better future for India.
‘Violence in the name of faith is not acceptable in the country,’ Modi said in his Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Describing casteism and communalism as poison in the society, Modi said such problems cannot benefit the country in any way.
Underlining that India is the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Lord Buddha, he said the culture of the country is to take everyone along on the path of development.
‘In order to build a prosperous India, we need a strong economy, balanced development and next generation infrastructure. Only then, we can realise the India of our dreams,’ Narendra Modi said.
‘Our aim is to build a new India where youth and women are able to achieve their dreams without any difficulty. Therefore, for Team India this is the right time to start building New India,’ Prime Minister Narendra Modi concluded.