Speaking from the Red Fort on Independence Day on Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi missed no opportunity to take a veiled dig on the Opposition parties in the run-up to next year’s general elections. His development-oriented speech was peppered with slant derisions of all the ills and wrongs of political parties that had stalled India’s growth story.
He said, “The next five years will be that of unprecedented development and a golden period in India’s path towards becoming a developed nation by 2047.”
He said the people of India understood that India needed a strong government to lead. That’s why people had their trust in forming a single-party majority government at the Centre after decades of uncertainty.
“In 2014, when you selected us, Modi had the courage to do reforms. ‘Reform, perform, transform’ is pushing India to excellence,” the prime minister said.
Every rupee is going towards the welfare of citizens, PM Modi said while mentioning that the government and the citizens were united with the spirit of ‘nation first’.
“My government weeded out 10 crore fake beneficiaries of welfare schemes; seizure of ill-gotten assets rose by 20 times,” PM Modi said.
Corruption has significantly impacted India’s capabilities, Prime Minister Modi said while reaffirming his lifelong dedication to continuing the battle against corruption.
“When we came to power in 2014, we were in the 10th position in the global economic system. Today, with the efforts of 140 crore Indians, we have reached the fifth position. This did not happen just like that. The demon of corruption had the country in its clutches. We stopped leakages and created a strong economy,” he said.
Prime Minister Modi asserted that the politics of appeasement had caused significant damage to social justice. He emphasised the nation’s determination to adopt a zero-tolerance stance towards all forms of corruption.
“Democracy is affected by ills of nepotism; dynastic parties work with the mantra of ‘party of family, by family and for family’,” PM Modi added.
Speaking about the violence in the North-Eastern state, he said the Central and the state government had been working on maintaining peace.
“The whole country stands with the people of Manipur. Peace is the only way to resolve all disputes. The Centre and the Manipur government are making every effort to ensure that peace returns to the state at the earliest,” PM Modi said.
“India has emerged as ‘vishva mitra’ (friend of the world); the country is laying strong foundation of ‘vishva mangal’ (global welfare),” PM Modi added.
On price rise, the PM said, India has made all efforts to rein in rising prices; more steps will be taken in this direction.
Modi further shared his thoughts on how India would progress. He spoke on ways to “realise all dreams”.
“Today, we have demography, democracy and diversity – these three together have the ability to realise the dreams of the nation,” PM Modi said.
He also mentioned the role of technology in shaping the future.
“World is technology-driven, with its talent in technology India will have a new role and impact on the global stage,” PM Modi added.
Modi also lauded the contribution of youth in forming India’s future. Those from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities are making a lot of impact in various fields, including start-ups, he added.
“We have to address regional aspirations; India will not be developed if even one part is lagging behind,” he said.
“We are fortunate to live in the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of independence. The decisions we make in this ‘Amrit Kaal’, our actions and sacrifices, would pave the way for a glorious history spanning the next millennium,” PM Modi said.
“The ball is in our court, and we should not let go of opportunity. No ifs, no buts in anybody’s mind (about India’s glorious future),” PM Modi said.
The prime minister mentioned in his speech that women in India were taking part in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) more than ever.
He lauded women self-help groups and said his dream was to make two crore ‘lakhpati didis’.
In another major initiative Modi revealed the initiation of the Vishwakarma Yojana, earmarking an initial allocation of ₹13,000 to ₹15,000 crore in September. The scheme aims to benefit individuals possessing traditional skills. The scheme was announced in the Budget 2023.
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