Commemorating India’s 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the tricolor and delivered his address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
Beginning his speech by saluting COVID-19 warriors who have put service above self in these trying times, PM Modi outlined his vision for a new India and how India is all poised to play a significant role in the global order.
Paying rich tribute to the Galwan Valley martyrs, he sent out a terse message to ‘expansionist’ forces – without naming either China or Pakistan – that ‘from LoC to LAC’, India knows how to protect its territorial sovereignty.
‘Ek Bharat, Sresth Bharat’ was the cornerstone of PM’s speech today.
Addressing the nation from the Red Fort. https://t.co/uHu73fOF17
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2020
Here are the highlights of PM’s address to the nation:
Tribute to COVID-19 warriors
We are going through distinct times. I can’t see young children in front of me today (at Red Fort). Corona has stopped everyone. In these times of COVID-19, corona warriors have lived the mantra of ‘Seva Parmo Dharma’ and served the people of India. I express my gratitude to them.
Saluting our bravehearts
This is a day to remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. This is also a day to show gratitude to Security personnel including that of Army, paramilitary and police ensuring our safety.
Message to expansionists
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.
Thrust on Aatmanirbhar Bharat
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, 130 crore Indians took the resolve to be self-reliant and ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ is on the mind of India. This dream is turning into a pledge. Aatmanirbhar Bharat has become a ‘mantra’ for the 130 cr Indians today. India has to be self-reliant. This is essential for us and the world. If we are self-reliant, we will be able to cater to the world.
Overcoming challenges for becoming Aatmanirbhar Bharat
I admit there are lakhs 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.
Rs 1.1 lakh cr investment in national infra project
National infrastructure pipeline project with the investment of Rs 1.10 lakh cr should be given importance. Our approach will be integrated, multi-model infrastructural projects.
Champion ‘Vocal for Local’ mindset
We should take pride in our own products. The mindset of free India should be ‘Vocal for Local’. We should appreciate our local products, if we don’t do this then our products will not get the opportunity to do better and will not get encouraged.
Re-skilling and up-skilling to boost self-reliant economy
Vocal for Local, re-skill and up-skill campaign will boost the self-reliant economy and the standard of living of those below the poverty line.
Optical fibre connectivity for 6 lakh villages
Optical fibre network will be provided to 6 lakh villages in 1,000 days.
NEP to shape global citizens rooted in Indian roots
Education has a key role in the making of Aatmanirbhar, modern, new and prosperous India. So, we have brought the new education policy after three decades that has been welcomed throughout the country, which instills new confidence. It will create global citizens rooted in Indian ethos.
Three COVID-19 vaccine trails at advanced stage
Three probable candidates are at different stages of testing in India. As soon as tests are complete, the entire roadmap of its production and delivery to the public in the shortest time is ready.
Marriageable age of women being reconsidered
A committee has been set up to reconsider the minimum age for marriage of our daughters. We will take appropriate decision after the committee submits its report.
From LAC to LoC, our soldiers gave a befitting reply
From the LAC to LoC, our jawans have given a befitting reply to anyone who tried to eye our territory. The whole world has seen our capabilities in Ladakh,” PM Modi said on the border situation.
Like Andaman, optical fibre connectivity for Lakshadweep
Like Andaman and Nicobar, Lakshadweep will also be connected to submarine optical fibre cable. There are more than 1300 islands in our country. Keeping in mind their geographical location and their significance in the development of the nation, work to begin new projects in some of these islands is underway.
1 lakh NCC cadets from 173 border districts
We will create a base of one lakh NCC cadets from 173 border districts. Army, Navy and Air Force will train depending on their location. One-third of them will be women.