In a 90 minute long speech, his fifth consecutive one on Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his mantra is – housing for all, power for all, clean cooking for all, water for all, sanitation for all, skill for all, health for all, insurance for all, connectivity for all.
In his last speech before the Lok Sabha elections 2019, Modi wooed the electorate, showcasing his government’s achievements since 2014 and outlining his vision for ‘a new India.’ On the 72nd Independence Day, he spoke about the schemes launched by government and announced three additional initiatives.
Quoting Subramania Bharati, he said “Bharat poori duniya ko bandhano se mukti dilaane ka rasta dihkayega (India will show the world the way unshackle the bonds).”
“We are poised for record economic growth. The sleeping elephant has woken up. In the next 3 decades India will provide momentum to the economic growth of the world.”
He announced three things:
- India will unfurl tricolor in space by 2022: The year when India completes 75 years of independence, India will send a son or daughter to the space with the national flag in hand. With this, India will become the fourth nation to send a human to the space. Modi called it ‘gaganyaan’.
2 Health insurance scheme: Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan will be launched on 25th September this year on the birth anniversary of Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhaya. The Jan Arogya Abhiyan will provide health assurance worth Rs 5 lakh to poor families. It will benefit atleast 10 crore poor families in the country.
3. The women who were selected under Short Service Commission will now get opportunity for permanent commission like their male counterparts.
In a first, an all-women SWAT team was deployed at the Red Fort, Delhi to secure the area on the occasion of Independence Day. Donning blue uniforms and holding guns, these women are standing outside the Red Fort protecting the area.
On Kashmir Modi quoted Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat and said he believes that Kashmir’s troubles can only be solved by a “hug” – ‘Not with bullets but by embracing the patriotic people of Kashmir.’
After giving the best wishes to the entire country, Modi said we are celebrating this Independence Day at a time when:
- Our daughters crossed the seven seas
- Many people have conquered the Everest, but this year we small children hoisted the flag on its peak
- The most recent Lok Sabha session was dedicated to the marginalised and backward sections of the society, giving them a constitutional right to live with dignity.
- We are the sixth biggest economy of the world
- He saluted the crusaders of the independence struggle and the soldiers of armed forces, police and the para-military forces who sacrifice their lives for the citizens of the country.
Progress made since 2013
If we had continued at the same pace at which toilets were being built in 2013, the pace at which electrification was happening in 2013, then it would have taken us decades to complete them, he said.
Saying that his government has the ability to take tough decisions and so – demand for higher MSP was fulfilled, One Rank One Pension for the ex-servicemen was given, GST became a reality, Banking Reforms Bill, the Bankruptcy Code and the Bemani Properties Act were implemented.
There was time when Indian economy was called a ‘risk’ but now the same people say that the reform momentum has given a momentum to the reforms.
From fragile five, India is now a destination for multi-trillion dollars, the land of reform, perform and transform, he said.
The red tape has become red carpet and India has moved up many rungs on the Ease of Doing Business.
India and the world
He said that India’s voice is being heard effectively at the world stage. “We are integral parts of forums whose doors were earlier closed for us.” The strength of the Indian passport has gone up and Indians know that wherever they are in trouble, the Indian government will not abandon them, he said
With a ‘Beej Se Bazar Tak’ approach, we are bringing exceptional reforms in the agriculture sector. Our aim is to double farmer incomes by 2022.
He decried the ‘demonic tendencies’ of violence against women but lauded fast track courts dealing with rape cases handing out death penalties in several cases. “The practice of Triple Talaq has caused great injustice among Muslim women. We are trying to end this practice but there are some people who are not wanting it to end. I ensure the Muslim women that I will work to ensure justice is done to them,” he said.