As India celebrates its 7oth independence day, PM Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort. This year, PM Modi’s speech focused on issues of transparency, terrorism, social unity, importance of saving water and on the need to curb inflation. The Prime Minister announced that the government of India will bear medical expenses of up to Rs 1 lakh for poor families and also declared a 20 per cent increase in the pension of freedom fighters.
It is the third year that Narendra Modi has address the nation on the occasion of Independence Day. As per tradition, in the speech he pointed out to the achievements his government has made in the last two years.
When PM Modi addressed the nation for the first time in 2014, his focus had clearly been on the changes he was aiming to bring about. He had described himself as prime servant and not prime minister. Foremost among his announcements were the PM Jan Dhan Yojana, the ‘Swachh Bharat’ programme, ‘Make in India’ and the ‘Sansad Adarsh Gham Yojana’. Further, the planning commission was replaced by the ‘Niti Aayog’.
The following year, PM Modi’s speech to a large extent concentrated upon the achievements made the previous year. Encouraging a spirit of entrepreneurship, he announced the ‘Start-up India’ initiative. Two most important themes in the 2015 address were the rooting out of corruption and farmer’s welfare. Measures such as the PAHAL scheme for direct transfer of LPG subsidy and FM radio licenses were mentioned as being productive in tackling with corruption.
Talking about the need for farmer’s welfare, PM Modi announced the renaming of the Ministry of Agriculture to the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmer’s welfare. He also announced the launch of the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchai Yojana.
Commenting upon the country’s current situation, the Prime Minister’s speech this year raised the issue of need for social unity. “A nation which is divided because of reasons like caste and religion cannot achieve great things,” he said.
Addressing the issue of inflation, he said: “Due to the drought situation in the last two years, the government has faced challenges in terms of price rise. We have done our best to control price rise in the country,” Modi said, adding that he would not let the poor of the country suffer.