Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on the occasion of the 72 Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort. It was also his last speech before the Lok Sabha Polls in 2019.
It was long address lasting 80 minutes. It was in sharp contrast to his short speech of 57 minutes last year . In 2016, he had spoken for 96 minutes, the longest ever Independence Day address by an Indian Prime Minister.
Addressing the people of India from the ramparts of the Red Fort. Watch. https://t.co/thwrgd8nb5
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2018
During his long address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched upon various issues and the vision for the future.
Speaking on the issue of social justice, the Prime Minister recalled his party’s decisions on the issue. He said, “The recently concluded monsoon session of Parliament was one devoted to social justice. The Parliament session witnessed the passage of the bill to create an OBC Commission.”
Recalling social reformer Bahasaheb Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar, Prime Minister said, “The Constitution given to us by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar has spoken about justice for all. We have to ensure social justice for all and create an India that is developing rapidly.”
Addressing the concerns of farmers and the recent decision of hiking Minimum Support Price (MSP) for Kharif crops the Union Cabinet, Prime Minister said, “The demand for higher MSP was pending for years. From farmers to political parties to agriculture experts, everybody was asking about it but nothing happened. With blessings of the farmers, the decision on MSP was taken by our Government.”
Praising the soldiers for their exemplary valour and sacrifices, the Prime Minister said, “Our soldiers overcome harsh climatic calamities and reach the spot everytime people of the nation are in crisis, they handle the situation with care and generosity. The same soldiers can also conduct a surgical strike.”
Raising the issue of One Rank One Pension as demanded by Army personnel, the Prime Minister said, “The OROP demand was also pending for decades. People of India, our brave Army personnel had faith in us and we were able to take a decision on OROP. We will always take decisions in the interests of our nation.”
On his Swacch Bharat campaign, he said, “Due to Swachh Bharat mission, lakhs of children can lead healthier lives. Even the WHO has lauded the movement. Mahatma Gandhi led the Satyagrahis to freedom. Today, the Swachhagrahis have to ensure a Swachh Bharat .”
While announcing the mega health scheme Ayushman Bharat, now repackaged as Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Abhiyaan, Modi said it will be rolled out on September 25, the birth anniversary of Deendayal Upadhyaya.
“The scheme will provide a cover of Rs 5 lakh per year to 50 crore individuals across income groups. However wealthy the family may be, a perennial illness dents financial stability of the family forever. In order to prevent that from happening, we will be holding experiments in this sector for the next 6-7 weeks after which we will officially roll out the scheme,” the PM said.
“The healthcare initiatives of the Government of India will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians. It is essential to ensure that we free the poor of India from the clutches of poverty due to which they cannot afford healthcare,” the Prime Minister added.
Raising the issue of corruption, Prime Minister said, “We will not forgive the corrupt and those who have black money. They have ruined the nation. Delhi’s streets are free from power brokers. From the voice of power brokers, the voice of the poor is heard.”
The Prime Minister also spoke on Tripe Talaq and ensured justice to Muslim women, “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.”
“We want to progress more. There is no question of stopping or getting tired on the way,” the Prime Minister said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that by the year 2022 India will unfurl the tri-colour in space. The year 2022 will mark India’s 75th Independence country.
“India is proud of our scientists, who are excelling in their research and are at the forefront of innovation. In the year 2022 or if possible before, India will unfurl the tricolour in space,” said Prime Minister Narendra Modi from the ramparts of Red Fort.
Taking note of India’s progress at the International stage, the Prime Minister said that from being seen as among the fragile five, India is now the land of reform, perform and transform. “We are poised for record economic growth. India’s voice is being heard effectively at the world stage. We are integral parts of forums whose doors were earlier closed for us,” he reiterated.
“Who did not want the passage of the GST yet it was pending for years? Last year GST became a reality. The demand for higher MSP was pending for years. From farmers to political parties to agriculture experts, everybody was asking about it but nothing happened. With the blessings of the farmers, the decision on MSP was taken by our Government,” he added.
Taking a dig at the previous governments, Prime Minister said that if his governmnet worked at the same pace as theirs it would have taken decades to make critical commodities, like electricity and toilets, available across villages of the country.
“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,” said Prime Minister Modi.
He also lauded the honest taxpayers of the nation, saying that the lives of millions of poor people are being transformed due to their contribution.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed that our society needs to be free from the ‘disgusting’ mentaility of rape, while hailing the recent hanging of a rapist awarded by a fast track court in Madhya Pradesh.
“We have to free our society and country from this disgusting mentality of rape. Recently in Madhya Pradesh a rapist was hanged by fast track court. We should spread this news and make people aware. Rule of law is supreme, no one can take law in their hands,” he said.
The Prime Minister also took note of many other women-centric issues and underscored the strides made by his government to address the same.
Delivering his fifth Independence Day speech as Prime Minister, Narendra Modi said that he is proud of the fact that three women judges in Supreme Court are delivering justice. He also underlined that fact that the present cabinet has the most number of women since independence.
In a major reform for women serving in defence, Prime Minister announced, “Women officers commissioned in short service will get opportunity for permanent commission like their male counterparts.”