Independence Day 2021: Outlining a roadmap for the all-round development of India and its people, he said India has to march ahead with new pledges for the next 25 years.
India is celebrating 75 years of independence as ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and as expected, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his address from the ramparts of Red Fort, highlighted his government’s vision of making India a self-reliant nation and moving towards inclusive development. PM Modi also tweaked his ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ slogan to include ‘Sabka Sath, Sabka Vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka Prayas’ underlining that the nation can only achieve its desired goals through a collective effort and when each citizen realises his/her full potential. In his nearly 90-minute-long speech, PM Modi dwelt on a range of issues including farmers, manufacturers and the pain of Partition. He also spoke of the challenges posed by terrorism and expansionism in an indirect reference to Pakistan and China, respectively. He said that by conducting surgical and airstrikes, the country had sent out the message of a ‘New India’. PM Modi said that the measures proved that India was changing and can take difficult decisions.
The Prime Minister also announced a Rs 100 Lakh crore Gatishakti plan to create employment opportunities for the youth, help local manufacturers become globally competitive and aid in holistic infrastructure growth. He said that the Pradhan Mantri Gatishakti National Master Plan will develop the possibilities of new future economic zones, and also announced the setting up of a National Hydrogen Mission to make India the new global hub of green hydrogen and its largest exporter.
Outlining a roadmap for the all-round development of India and its people, he said India has to march ahead with new pledges for the next 25 years. “We have to ensure we meet our goal of building Aatmanirbhar Bharat when we celebrate 100 years of India’s Independence,” said the PM. He also announced that rice provided under any scheme will be fortified by 2024. The government’s focus is to make small farmers, who own less than two hectares of land and comprise over 80 per cent of all farmers, the country’s pride, Modi added.
PM Modi emphasised that the hand-holding of deprived communities is necessary and said that reservation is being ensured for Dalits, STs, backwards and the general category poor. He informed that over 4.5 crore new households have received piped water supply within two years of Jal Jeevan Mission. PM Modi also said that along with modern infrastructure, India needs to adopt a holistic approach in infrastructure construction. Shedding light on the New Education Policy, PM Modi termed it as a means to fight poverty. He said it will focus on encouraging teaching in regional languages thus opening doors for poor talents. He also announced opening all Sainik schools to girls.
He highlighted that once an importer of mobile phones worth USD 8 billion, India today exports USD 3 billion worth of mobile phones. He asked the manufacturers to make quality products saying that the products not only represent the company but are also linked with the prestige of the country and trust of the people.
In 75 weeks of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, 75 Vande Bharat trains will connect different parts of the country, the prime minister announced. PM Modi said the capitals of northeast states will soon be connected with the railways. He also touched upon the UTs of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Ladakh. The development of Jammu and Kashmir is visible on the ground, Modi said, adding that the delimitation exercise is underway and assembly polls will be held soon.
He also called upon government offices across the country to do away with laws creating hindrance for the public and development of the country. “I call upon all departments to launch a campaign to review rules and procedures; we must remove all rules that create hindrance,” he asserted. PM Modi also lauded doctors, nurses as well those involved in vaccine manufacturing and others involved in fighting COVID-19.
The pain of partition was one of the greatest tragedies of the last century, the prime minister said in his opening remarks while asserting that August 14 will be remembered as Partition Horrors Remembrance Day. He also lauded India’s Olympic contingent, which was present at the Red Fort, and said their performance encouraged the youth of the country.
Earlier in the day, PM Modi reached Red Fort after paying tributes to Mahatma Gandhi at the Raj Ghat. He was received by Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt and Defence Secretary Ajay Kumar. Kumar then introduced Lieutenant General Vijay Kumar Mishra, General Officer Commanding (GoC), Delhi Area, to the PM. The GoC Delhi Area then conducted Modi to the saluting base where a combined Inter-Services and Delhi Police Guard presented general salute to the PM. Thereafter, the PM inspected the Guard of Honour. The contingent for the PM included one officer and 20 men each from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. After inspecting the Guard of Honour, the PM proceeded to the ramparts of the Red Fort where he was greeted by the Minister of Defence, the Minister of State for Defence, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, Chief of Army Staff General M M Naravane, Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Karambir Singh and Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria. The GoC Delhi area then conducted the PM to the dais where the PM hoisted the national flag. After being hoisted, the tricolour received a ‘Rashtriya Salute’.
The Indian Navy’s band, consisting of 16 men, then played the national anthem during the hoisting of the national flag and the ‘Rashtriya Salute’. For the first time ever, flower petals were showered at the venue by two Mi-17 1V helicopters of the IAF in Amrut formation. Captain of the first helicopter was Wing Commander Baldev Singh Bisht and the second chopper was commanded by Wing Commander Nikhil Mehrotra. After the showering of flower petals, the PM addressed the nation. After his address, PM Modi met the cadets of the National Cadet Corps (NCC) and around 240 Olympians, support staff and the SAI and sports federation officials who were invited to grace the Gyan Path in front of the ramparts.