In his last Independence Day speech before the Lok Sabha polls next year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted the achievements of the NDA government in the past 10 years, while promising the citizens a "New India" with a bright future in next five years.
He said India is at a decisive turning point and has the strength to shape the new world order that was emerging in the aftermath of the Covid pandemic.
He also spoke about the Manipur violence and said the situation in the northeast state was improving.
Here are the key points from PM Modi's nearly 90-minute-long address:
PM Modi used the term 'parivaarjan' (family members) to address citizens in his Independence Day speech. In his earlier speeches, he had referred to the people of the country as "my beloved brothers and sisters".
Modi said India stands with Manipur and added that the “path for solution in Manipur will be found through peace”.
He urged the people to realise the country's potential as the decisions and sacrifices made in this period will impact the country in future. "Today, we have demography, democracy, diversity, and this 'Triveni' (three factors) has the potential to make every dream of India come true." He added that the decisions and actions taken during the "Amrit Kaal" - the period until 2047, the centenary of India's Independence - will impact the millennium to come.
Modi said experts the world over are saying that India was now unstoppable. "As a new world order emerged after World War-2, 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.” He added that after Covid, yoga and ayush are being acknowledged globally.
He said India was free from the “era of instability”, as far as the economy is concerned. “In 2014, we were the 10th largest economy. Today with the efforts of 140 crore citizens we have become the fifth largest economy in the world. The demon of corruption that had the country in its clutches - we stopped leakages and created a strong economy." He also added that India will become the third largest global economy in next five years.
Modi also said that, in 2014, India voted for a government that would guarantee them changes. “After I took over, my lakhs of bureaucrats began wholeheartedly working to transform the country across the length and breadth of the country,” he said. “Reform, perform, transform – this is our mantra.”
Modi said that 'Nation First' was the bedrock of his government's policies.
He said, in five years, over 13.5 crore poor people came out of poverty to become part of neo-middle, middle classes.
The Union government is working to increase number of 'Jan Aushadhi Kendra' (subsidised medicine shops) from 10,000 to 25,000, he said.
“We will launch 'vishvakarma yojana' with outlay of Rs 13,000-15,000 crore to help our workers,” Modi announced.
He said that India is feeling sense of security now; serial bomb blasts are a thing of past now and that terror attacks and incidents in Naxalism-hit areas have been curbed.
PM Modi lauded women's self-help groups and their contribution and said the G-20 grouping has acknowledged India's approach of women-led development. He said that women's self-help groups have 10 crore members. "When you go to a village, you will find 'bank-wali didi, Anganwadi didi and dawai-wali (medicine) didi. It is my dream to make 2 crore lakhpati didis in villages," he said.
He decried corruption, nepotism and appeasement as three sins, and added that the politics of appeasement has inflicted most harm on social justice; and that the country has to resolve to not tolerate corruption in any form. He took a dig at Congress, saying the dynastic parties work with mantra of 'party of family, by family and for family'.
Modi said his government weeded out 10 crore fake beneficiaries of welfare schemes, and added that the seizure of ill-gotten assets rose by 20 times.
He expressed confidence that he will return as prime minister in 2024. “I will give an account of country's achievements on next August 15 from Red Fort,” Modi remarked.