There was an uncanny similarity between the 75th Independence Day of India and the first; on both the occasions India stood united behind the Prime Minister of the day as each articulated his vision of India’s future.
But the backdrop was different. In 1947, the opposition parties differed with the then-PM’s vision on principles and ideology. Today, the opposition parties have no vision or shared values. Scattered and mired in nepotism and corruption, they are squabbling for power. It was in this context that Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the Red Fort this year. “The completion of 75 years of Independence is a time to step towards a new direction with a new resolve. We have to make India a developed nation by 2047,” he said. PM Modi told the people how much his Government had achieved in this direction during the last eight years, by cutting down on imports and boosting manufacturing.
“At a time when even developed countries are facing recession, India has emerged as the fastest growing economy. Whenever there is a global crisis, the world looks toward us for guidance and help,” he said.
Delivering his ninth consecutive Independence Day speech, PM Modi urged people to focus their energy on the ‘Panch Pran’ (five resolutions) of making India strong and self-reliant, removing every trace of bondage, taking pride in its heritage, unity, and fulfilling their duties in the next 25 years. “By the 100th year of Independence, we have to work with the vision of accomplishing what our freedom fighters dreamt of,” he said.
In an obvious dig at the current state of the opposition parties, the Prime Minister warned that the two big challenges before the country were nepotism and dynasty, and corruption. “We have to fight” against these together,” he said, reminding that, “Dynastic politics is only for the welfare of the family, not the nation,” he underlined.
PM Modi emphatically rebuked those inside India and abroad who doubted India’s success story, by pointing out that while the country saw many ups and downs in the past 75 years, it always emerged as winner.
“When we attained freedom there were many sceptics who doubted our development trajectory. But, they did not know there is something different about the people of this land. They did not know that this soil is special,” he said. PM Modi pointed out that despite all the challenges it faced, India forged a way ahead, and moved in all spheres. India’s economic, social, and political development has been its ultimate test, he said.
The Prime Minister laid special emphasis on the dignity of ‘Nari Shakti’ (woman power). While listing out ‘Panch Pran’, he said it was important that in speech and conduct, we do nothing that lowers the dignity of women.
“A distortion has crept in our conduct and we at times insult women, can we take pledge to get rid of this in our behaviour?” he said, adding that respect for women is an important pillar for India’s growth.