On the seventieth Independence Day Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, spoke to the country for around an hour and a half from Red Fort, which is traditionally where our prime ministers have addressed the nation on this momentous day. During the speech – as is the case – Modi highlighted the various achievements made by Indian government during his three-year tenure, focusing specifically on the various programmes that have been introduced and taken forward during this time. He spoke regarding GST tax reforms stating quite emphatically that they would strengthen the national economy and also thanked all the parties in India for its successful passage.
References to Pakistan
Modi also referred to India’s neighbour Pakistan, which celebrated its Independence Day on 14th August. He said that when the Taliban attacked a school at Peshawar a couple of years back it had brought untold and unilateral sorrow in India as well. He pointed out how people across ages and social levels were moved by the incident and contrasted it with Pakistan, who he blamed celebrated terrorists by glorifying them. Perhaps he was referring to the recent killing of Burhan Wani by members of Indian army and the way Pakistan’s government reacted to the same.
Unity in diversity
During his speech Modi also alluded to unity a diversity – one of the integral features of India and one that has made it stand out globally. He also stated that it was the biggest area of strength for India and discussed how respecting others was an integral part of the country’s culture. He also stated that the reason why Indian civilization has been in existence for so long is that it has been able to assimilate external elements and made a bigger community with them as part of the grander plan. During his speech Modi also greeted Indians living in the country as well as other parts of the world.
Remembering the ones that mattered
During the speech Modi also reminisced about our freedom fighters who laid down their lives so that India could become free from the clutches of the British and showed the path to a better tomorrow. He especially mentioned Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Nehru, and Sardar Patel. The prime minister was also not shy of acknowledging that the country was facing several problems but stated emphatically that India would be able to find solutions to the same since it has the capability to do so.
He also said that it was the nation’s responsibility to take the country to an elevated state of overall well-being and for that to happen, people needed to be disciplined and resolute and also make the sacrifices that they would be asked to for greater well-being.
During the speech Modi talked about his concept of suraaj stating that it signified the growth and development of common man. It also meant a government that was aware of his needs and desires, and sensitive towards the same. The main aspects of such government, according to Indian prime minister, were accountability and responsibility. He said he also wanted to bring about a change in general perception about income tax officials especially among the middle-class people.
Change in processes
Modi also stated that he wanted to make processes simpler in India. In that regard he focused on passports saying that almost two crore people apply for passports and it was necessary to make sure that they got passports in the space of a week or two. He also pointed out how the government had been able to simplify the process for business registration. Previously it took around six months to just get one’s business registered. However, now in July itself 900 new businesses have been registered.
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