‘Big goal is developed India’
NEW DELHI, Aug 16:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said the time has come to cleanse the country of corruption and nepotism and asked people to have “nafrat” (hatred) for these evils, asserting these two main challenges are not confined to politics alone, and also set a ‘Panch Pran’ (five resolves) target to make India a developed nation in 25 years.
“The nation should now only be setting big goals. That big goal is a developed India and nothing less,” Modi asserted in his ninth consecutive address from the ramparts of Red Fort on the country’s 76th Independence Day, as he also spoke about challenges of dynastic politics. India has entered a decisive era in its battle against corruption, which, he said, is eating the country like termites.
Dressed in a traditional kurta and churidar paired with a blue jacket and a white ‘safa’ with tricolour stripes, Modi unfurled the national flag amid a 21-gun salute by the indigenously-developed howitzer gun, ATAGS, which he noted with pride was the first from Red Fort in 75 years.
Modi said it was a historic day for India and the completion of 75 years of Independence was a time to move forward with a new resolve and also spoke strongly for cooperative federalism, celebrating the country’s diversity, unity among citizens, gender equality, and research and innovation.
While his 82-minute speech was peppered with several exhortations, including removing the “distortion” in our conduct causing insult to women and the slogan “Jai Anusandhan” to promote research and innovation, but there was no announcement of any new initiative or scheme as has been the case in many of his and his predecessors’ Independence Day speeches earlier.
“A distortion has crept in our conduct and we at times insult women,” Modi said as he struck a chord with women, and asked, “Can we take a pledge to get rid of this from our behaviour and values?”
Asserting that giving respect to women is an important pillar for India’s growth, he said it is important that in speech and conduct “we do nothing that lowers the dignity of women”.
The Prime Minister cautioned the countrymen against complacency over the country’s achievements in the last 75 years, and said it has to now focus its strength on fulfilling the “Panch Pran” in the next 25 years in the run up to the centenary of its independence.
He spelt out the the five pledges as a resolve for a developed India; removing any trace of the colonial mindset; taking pride in our legacy; our strength of unity; and fulfilling the duties of citizens, which include Prime Minister and Chief Ministers as well.
“We have to move forward with these five resolves in mind and take up the responsibility to fulfil the dreams of our freedom fighters in the next 25 years when we attain 100 years of independence.”
Modi said in this ‘Amrit Kaal’, a reference to the next 25 years, every Indian is aspiring to see the fast progress of a new India with enthusiasm and impatience and asserted that he has dedicated himself to fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi’s wish to empower the last person in the queue.
“This Amrit Kaal is providing us a golden opportunity to fulfil the dreams and goals of an aspirational society.”
A thick security cover was thrown at the main Independence event in the national capital and also in several parts of the country. The Red Fort was also decked up in tricolours, flowers and murals depicting key events that led up to India’s freedom. (PTI)