PM Modi says will present report card from Red Fort next year; asks people to guard against corruption, nepotism, appeasement

New Delhi: Modi says situation in Manipur improving, asserts that solution to problems can be found only through peace

BY | Tuesday, 15 August, 2023

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday outlined a picture of a resurgent India globally on his watch and exuded confidence in his last Independence Day speech before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls that he will address people from Red Fort again next year, even as he attacked the opposition over issues of corruption, dynastic politics and appeasement.

Modi called for promoting “suchita, pardarshita and nishpakshta” (probity, transparency and impartiality) in every sphere of life and governance and, in a clear re-election bid ahead of the national elections, warned people against dynastic parties who worked with the mantra of “by the family, of the family and for the family”.

The next five years are a period of unprecedented development and will prove to be a golden period in realising the dream of developed India by 2047, he asserted, assuring people of “Modi ki guarantee” that the country will become the third largest economy in the next five years.

It is a “new India” brimming with self-confidence and dedicated to fulfilling its resolves, he said in his 90-minute address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort.

He chose to address people as “parivarjan” (family members) and noted that they elected him to power in 2014 on his promise of change and voted for him again in 2019 as the promise turned into trust through his emphasis on “reform, perform and transform”.

“On the next August 15, I will speak to you from Red Fort with more self-confidence about the country’s achievements, the successes of your capabilities and the progress made in fulfilling your resolutions,” he said amid applause from members of the over 2,000-strong audience gathered to celebrate the 77th Independence Day.

Emphasising the importance of the next five years, Modi said everything done in this ‘amrit kaal’ will have an impact on the next 1,000 years.

“Today we have demography, today we have democracy, today we have diversity, and this Triveni (three factors) has the potential to make every dream of India come true,” he said

Contrasting his over nine years at the helm with the dispensations before, he said people put an end to the era of uncertainty and instability, freed the country of political shackles by electing a stable, strong and full majority government in 2014.

Whatever India has achieved is the guarantee of global stability, he said, adding “as a new world order emerged after World War II, I can clearly see a new world order, a new geopolitical equation is fast taking shape after COVID-19. I can see the strength of 140 crore Indians in shaping the changing world. You are at a decisive turning point.”

Unlike many of his previous Independence Day addresses, the Prime Minister did not announce any grand welfare scheme or major policy initiative but a positive theme of India’s development strides and its rise in global stature under his nine years was the highlight of his speech in which he projected himself as someone who has emerged from the masses and lives and dreams for them.

“My family members, I have come from amongst you. I live for you and if I dream, I dream for you. I work hard for you. I do not do it merely because you have given me the responsibility but I do so because you are my family. As a member of your family, I cannot tolerate your pain and cannot allow your dreams to be crushed,” he said.

“I have worked hard with pride and the spirit of the nation first,” he asserted.

Hitting out against corruption, dynastic politics and appeasement, Modi said these ills became such a part of the system over the decades that people began ignoring them.

“We have to look these evils in the eye and wage a war against them. We can’t tolerate corruption in any form to realise the dream of a developed nation,” he added.

Corruption like termites has sapped our system and it is his lifelong commitment to fight against it, Modi said. Nepotism has snatched the rights of our citizens and appeasement has inflicted the biggest harm on social justice and is a blot on our national character, the Prime Minister said.

Nepotism and appeasement are the biggest enemies of development, he added.

Invoking ‘sone ki chidiya’ (golden bird) reference to India’s ancient past, he said the country’s 75 years of history since independence shows that it had no dearth of capability and it can still rise as a ‘sone ki chidiya’.

“It is my unbreakable faith that India will be developed by 2047 on the strength of its people,” he said, lauding the contributions of its youngsters in different fields, including start-ups, women and farmers.

Nurturing the strength of probity, transparency and objectivity through institutions is required to ensure that the Indian flag flies as that of a developed nation among the global community in 2047, he said.

His government in nine years has weeded out nine crore fake beneficiaries of different welfare schemes, and seizure of the assets of the corrupt has seen a 20-fold rise, he said, noting that those accused of corruption are finding it hard to get bail from courts.

Noting that he has laid foundation stones for various projects, he exuded confidence that he will inaugurate them as well.

“There was discussion in our country for 25 years that a new Parliament building should be built. We inaugurated it before the deadline,” he said.

In his 10th consecutive Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister said, “In 2014, we were the 10th largest economy. Today with the efforts of 140 crore citizens we have become the 5th largest economy in the world…This did not happen just like that. The demon of corruption that had the country in its clutches – we stopped leakages and created a strong economy.”

India is a part of the global supply chain, Modi said and asserted that he was confident that whatever the nation has achieved had brought a guarantee of stability to the world.

Experts the world over are saying that India was now unstoppable, he said.

“Now, neither in our minds nor that of the world are any ifs and buts, a trust has been developed. Now, the ball is in our court. We should not let go of this opportunity,” the Prime Minister said.

The guests at the Red Fort event, included ministers, diplomats, members of the US Congressional delegation, 400 sarpanches of the vibrant villages programme, 50 nurses and their families from across India and 50 exceptional school teachers.

India’s progress is not only fuelled by Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai and the youth of our tier-2 cities are also creating an equal impact in our nation’s progress, he said, adding his policies of reform, perform and transform are changing the country.

“My message to the youth is — there is no dearth of opportunities, this country is ready to give you as many opportunities as you want,” he said.

Touching on the volatile situation in Manipur, he said the situation in the state, which has been hit by ethnic violence, was improving and asserted that solution to its problems can be found only through peace.

“In the past few weeks, during the period of violence in the North East, especially in Manipur, many people lost their lives, and the honor of mothers and daughters suffered a lot, but in the last few days, there are reports of peace. The nation is with Manipur,” he said at the outset of his address.

With retail inflation soaring to 7.44 per cent, Modi asserted that his government will be taking more measures to tackle price hike to minimise its burden on people.

The world is grappling with high inflation, and when India imports goods, it also imports inflation, he noted.

“The world is yet to fully recover from the impact of the COVID pandemic. The war has created yet another problem. The world is grappling with the problem of inflation. Inflation has gripped the global economy,” the Prime Minister said.

Asserting that it was certain that India’s capability and possibilities are going to cross new heights of trust, he said these new heights of trust will go ahead with the new capabilities.

Today, India has received the opportunity to host the G20 Summit and in the past year, the manner in which several events of the G20 were held in every corner of the country has made the world aware of the capability of India’s common man and India’s diversity, he said.

Modi concluded his speech with a poem that reflected assurances and future ambitions amid hope and optimism.

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