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India Independence Day 2020: Jaishankar thanks Russia, Bhutan, other countries for their wishes

India Independence Day 2020 PM Narendra Modi Speech: PM Modi said, "India is committed to holding assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir once delimitation exercise is complete."

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: August 15, 2020 11:33:51 pm
This was conveyed by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in a letter to Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP K C Venugopal who raised the issue in Rajya Sabha today.

India Independence Day 2020 PM Narendra Modi Speech: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Saturday thanked the foreign ministers of Russia, Bhutan, the Maldives, Lithuania and Latvia for their wishes on India’s 74th Independence Day. Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid tweeted that since independence, India has aimed to be, and now become, an enduring example of democracy and development, for the region and the world. Responding to his tweet, Jaishankar said their bilateral relationship is a shining example of ‘Neighbourhood First’.

In his address to the nation on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Saturday applauded frontline workers fighting against novel coronavirus. He said India was going through a unique phase owing to the pandemic but would come out victorious, thanks to the resolve of the people. PM Modi highlighted the importance to make India self-reliant, saying it was not just a word but should be a “mantra” for all countrymen.

PM Modi launched a National Digital Health Mission and said it will usher in a revolution in India’s health sector. He said every Indian will now get a unique health ID. He also said the country must not only ‘Make in India’ but also ‘Make for the World’.

The Independence Day ceremony at the Red Fort was attended by over 4,000 people, including diplomats, officials and media personnel. Safety protocols were in place for the event, including social distancing and wearing masks.

Live Blog

India Independence Day 2020: PM Narendra Modi speech focuses on Atmanirbhar Bharat, give moto of Make for World, thanks Corona Warriors. Track all the latest updates from Red Fort and rest of country here.

21:40 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Mamata Banerjee skips I-Day programme at Raj Bhavan, Bengal governor ‘stunned’

Mamata Banerjee and her government officials skipped Independence Day programme hosted by Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar programme at Raj Bhavan on Saturday evening. Dhankhar took to Twitter to express his displeasure over the scenario, saying, “Absence of CM and officials @MamataOfficial on occasion of Independence Day celebration at Raj Bhawan has like many startled and stunned me. We need to rise to occasion as respect to freedom fighters who gave their all to secure for us freedom and democracy. I am at loss of words.”

21:13 (IST)15 Aug 2020
File RTI first before criticising, Manipur CM tells detractors on I-Day

Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh on Saturday said detractors of his government should first seek details under the RTI Act before criticising its policies and programmes. "Rather than criticising everything, anyone who has a grievance and doubt should seek proper information through RTI and get the facts correct," he said, addressing an Independence Day programme here, The chief minister also said strict action will be taken against private and government healthcare facilities that deny admission and necessary treatment to COVID-19 patients. (PTI)

20:50 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Modi's 'New India' not self-reliant, but subservient to corporates: Left

Reacting to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Independence Day speech, the Left parties on Saturday said it was full of rhetoric while alleging that his "New India" is subservient to corporates and not self-reliant. Urging the citizens of the country to unite against the government's move to privatise India's assets, the Left parties said only a people's movement can fight the present regime. "The New India that the prime minister spoke about in his speech at the Red Fort is a negation of that India, which was established by our Constitution. This India is not self-reliant, but subservient to foreign corporates. A people's movement is the only way to reverse the multi-pronged attacks on our Constitution by this government," CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said at a webinar organised by the party. (PTI)

19:46 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Glimpses from I-Day event in Kolkata

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee felicitates a Covid warrior at an Independence Day event on Red Road, Kolkata, on Saturday. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

Frontline COVID-19 workers such as crematorium workers, ambulance drivers wear PPE suits as they get ready for the felicitation programme on Independence day in Kolkata on Saturday. (Express Photo: Partha Paul)

19:31 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Jaishankar thanks Russia, Bhutan, other countries for I-Day wishes

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar Saturday thanked the foreign ministers of Russia, Bhutan, the Maldives, Lithuania and Latvia for their wishes on India’s 74th Independence Day. Maldivian Foreign Minister Abdulla Shahid tweeted that since independence, India has strived to be, and now become, an enduring example of democracy and development, for the region and the world. Responding to his tweet, Jaishankar said their bilateral relationship is a shining example of ‘Neighbourhood First’. Bhutan Foreign Minister Tandi Dorji tweeted, "I take this privilege to wish every Indians, a very #HappyIndependenceDay. I pray for your great country to grow from strength to strength." Replying to Dorji, Jaishankar said, "Your warm sentiments reflect our unique relationship." 

18:25 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Watch: Beating retreat ceremony underway at Attari-Wagah border

Beating retreat ceremony underway at the Attari-Wagah border on Independence Day.

18:19 (IST)15 Aug 2020
‘Breaking taboos’: PM Modi earns plaudits after talking about sanitary napkins in I-Day speech

In his address to the nation on the occasion of 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi touched on the topic of menstruation, which is still considered a taboo subject in the country, and received plaudits online.

During his address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, PM Modi spoke at length about women empowerment and women health. He underlined that his government has managed to provide affordable sanitary napkins to poor women through Jan Aushadhi centres for just one rupee each. “This government has been persistently concerned about better healthcare for poor sisters and daughters. We have done a huge job in providing sanitary pads at one rupee each in Janaushadhi Kendra. In a short span of time, more than 5 crore sanitary pads have been delivered to these poor women from 6000 Janaushadhi Kendras,” he said.

18:07 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Who is the woman Army officer assists PM Modi in unfurling tricolour at Red Fort?

Major Shweta Pandey, a woman Army officer assisted Prime Minister Narendra Modi in unfurling the national flag atop the ramparts of Red Fort on the 74th Independence Day celebrated on Saturday. Hailing from Lucknow, Major Pandey was commissioned in the Indian Army in March 2012 from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai. An alumna of City Montessori School, Lucknow, she holds a B.Tech degree in computer science. At the training academy, she won the Garhwal Rifles medal for exceling in tactics. Major Pandey has won more than 75 medals and 250 certificates in a a variety of national and international events during her school and college days. Major Pandey's father Raj Ratan Pandey served as an additional director in the finance department of the UP government and her mother Amita Pandey is a professor of Sanskrit and Hindi, PTI reported.

18:01 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Arunachal Pradesh’s Changlang district constructs “plastic greenhouse” as part of I-Day celebrations

As part of Independence Day celebrations, a district in Arunachal Pradesh inaugurated a “plastic greenhouse” with approximately 2,000 recycled plastic bottles. “Patriotism has different meanings for different people. On this Independence Day, we have launched a 'Plastic Greenhouse' made from recycled plastic bottles and to be used for a plant nursery” said Devansh Yadav, DC, Changlang district, where the greenhouse was made. The structure has been handed to the Horticulture Department to maintain and grow a nursery of vegetables. “We did this in collaboration with Hyderabad based startup called 'Recykal',” said Yadav adding that the district’s Urban Development department made the greenhouse over the last 10 days.

17:34 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani hoists national flag in Gandhinagar on 74th Independence Day

Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani hoisted the national flag in Gandhinagar on the occasion of 74th Independence Day.

16:46 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Indians abroad celebrate Independence Day amidst COVID-19 pandemic

Indians across the world on Saturday celebrated India's 74th Independence Day by hoisting the tricolour and singing the national anthem and patriotic songs while wearing masks and adhering to the social distancing norms amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Thousands of countrymen in New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the UAE, Israel and several other countries marked the day with the national flag fluttering high and the national anthem reverberating at Indian missions abroad. In Beijing, Indian ambassador Vikram Misri hoisted the tricolour at India House where a large number of Beijing-based Indian diaspora attended the Independence Day celebrations. (PTI)

16:36 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Want to make development, peace, social harmony the mainstay of Kashmir narrative: L-G Manoj Sinha in I-Day speech

In his first Independence Day address in Srinagar, newly-appointed Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha highlighted five key priorities for his administration. After unfurling the tricolour at the Sher-e-Kashmir Stadium, Sinha said that “equality and justice are being gradually restored to Jammu and Kashmir.” Sinha, a senior BJPleader and former Union Minister, was appointed as the new Lieutenant Governor of Jammu and Kashmir earlier this month after Girish Chandra Murmu resigned.

Sinha also invoked former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s slogan of ‘Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat’ and lamented that while in Kashmir, humanity kept losing to terrorism over decades. “Jamhuriyat was enveloped in greed and Kashmiriyat succumbed to the hatred that emanated from this,” said Sinha. Stating that it’s unfortunate that the story of cultural syncretism was defeated by sectarianism, the L-G said, “We want to change this narrative once again. We want to make development, peace, progress and social harmony the mainstay of the Kashmir narrative.”

16:17 (IST)15 Aug 2020
On I-Day, Mamata Banerjee felicitates 25 Covid warriors, meets Bengal governor

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee felicitated 25 Covid warriors at an Independence Day event on Red Road and later, met Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar at Raj Bhavan on Saturday.

Sources said in the meeting, which continued for almost an hour, they talked on recent political development, but none of them divulged any detail in public. Both their offices however maintained that it was a courtesy meet. A senior official from the state administration said, “The governor had extended an invitation for tea at Raj Bhavan today evening. The chief minister will not be able to attend that and hence met the governor in the morning morning.”

Before the meeting, Banerjee attended a small, unpretentious Independence Day programme on Red Road. In view of the Covid situation, the entire event was held with minimum arrangements and wrapped up within 15 minutes. The chief minister did not speak on the occasion but felicitated only 25 Covid warriors.

15:19 (IST)15 Aug 2020
On I-Day, Haryana Deputy CM lays foundation stone of Rs 10 crore development projects

Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala was the chief guest at the Independence Day function in Gurgaon, where he also inaugurated/laid the foundation stone of development projects worth over Rs 10 crore.

15:06 (IST)15 Aug 2020
On I-Day, Mizoram CM Zoramthanga reiterates need of precautions, health advisories to battle Covid-19

As Mizoram observed the 74th Independence Day on Saturday, Chief Minister Zoramthanga reiterated the need to follow precautionary measures against coronavirus. Conveying his wishes to the people, he urged them to adhere to the health advisories amid challenges posed by the pandemic.

In his address, the CM also said the people of the state have faced difficulties due to frequent earthquakes, heavy rainfall, landslides, floods, during which they lost their dear ones and property. Expressing his condolences towards the lost family of the deceased, he assured that the state and central governments are striving to ease their hardships.

14:49 (IST)15 Aug 2020
PM's I-Day speech reinforces resolve of self-reliant India: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister and senior BJP leader Rajnath Singh said on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech on the occasion of Independence Day reinforces the resolve of a self-reliant India. Delivering his seventh straight Independence Day speech, Modi said the call for 'aatmanirbhar Bharat' (self-reliant India) has captured people's imagination and become a "mantra" for everyone, as he pushed for raising the country's share in the global economy.

Modi addressed the nation on the occasion of India's 74th Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort, and asked the citizens to prepare themselves for a self-reliant India. Lauding the prime minister's call, Singh said there may be challenges but there is also the ability to solve all the problems. "Today, on the occasion of Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's address reinforces the resolve of self-reliant India. There may be challenges in this resolution, but there is the ability to solve all the problems within this country," the defence minister said in a tweet in Hindi.

14:36 (IST)15 Aug 2020
J-K on a new journey of normalcy and development, says LG in his Independence Day speech

A new era of normalcy and development has dawned in Jammu and Kashmir in the last one year, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said on Saturday and urged the youths to engage in activism that helps the nation to progress. In his Independence Day speech at Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium here, Sinha asserted that the government is committed to providing a better alternative that stands for development, welfare and social transformation for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

"After the constitutional change enacted in 2019, the central government took not one or two, but historic 50 decisions to transform the face of the region. A new era of normalcy and development has dawned due to the changes effected in the last year; a new journey has been undertaken," the LG said referring to the abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A in August last year.

14:35 (IST)15 Aug 2020
India's self-reliance to determine how high its flag of freedom flies: India Inc

Industry leaders on Saturday said India's self-reliance will determine how high and strong the country's flag of freedom flies, and also welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's announcement of National Digital Health Mission in his Independence Day speech.

In a tweet, Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani said, "Every Independence Day is a tribute to millions of sacrifices that earned us the freedom to be born and raised in a free country full of opportunities. From now on, our Atmanirbharta will determine how high and strong the flag of freedom flies. Happy #IndependenceDay."

Welcoming the National Digital Health Mission, Biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar Shaw said it gives India's healthcare sector a digital backbone and it is vital to make a difference to India's healthcare sector.

14:34 (IST)15 Aug 2020
Will soon launch project to conserve Asiatic Lions: PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday announced that his government will soon launch a project to conserve Asiatic Lions and its landscape in a holistic manner. Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on India's 74th Independence Day, Modi reminded people about Project Tiger and Project Elephant that were launched previously.

Project Lion will entail habitat development, engage modern technologies in lion management and address the issue of diseases among lions and its associated species through advanced world-class research and veterinary care, according to the environment ministry. The project will address human-wildlife conflict and will be inclusive involving local communities living in the vicinity of Lion landscape and will also provide livelihood opportunities, a spokesperson of the ministry said.

14:33 (IST)15 Aug 2020
By 2022, India must be aatmanirbhar in every sense of the word: Vice-Prez Naidu

On this Independence Day, every Indian, especially the youth, must resolve to be at the forefront to fight attempts by forces that try to create dissensions among the people, Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu said on Saturday. In a Facebook post to mark the 74th Independence Day, he said for India to achieve new heights of development and prosperity, every citizen, including people in public life, must perform their duty.

"As we approach the 75th anniversary of Independence, it is time for an objective introspection. At this juncture, we must ask ourselves what we aspire to achieve as a nation by 2022," Naidu observed. "By 2022, India must be aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) in every sense of the word. We all must work with renewed vigour and determination to eradicate poverty, end social and gender discrimination and eliminate corruption," he said. The vice president said India needs a cultural renaissance and a refreshing flowering of literature and artistic expression in its national languages.

independence day, independence day coronavirus, red fort independence day covid-19, covid-19 independence day, Independence day 2020, Narendra Modi, I-Day guests, I-Day celebration 2020 India Independence Day 2020 Live Updates: Security has been tightened at Red Fort ahead of Independence Day.

India Independence Day 2020 Live Updates:

PM Modi's seventh straight Independence Day address comes days after he performed the ‘bhoomi pujan’ of Ram temple in Ayodhya and amid a standoff at the border with Chinese troops.

In a strong message to Pakistan and China, without taking names of the either country, PM Modi said, "Those who challenge India's sovereignty, be it LoC or LAC, have been given a befitting reply in their own language. What India can do, the world has seen it in Ladakh." Talking about Jammu and Kashmir, the Prime Minister said India is committed to holding assembly elections in the Valley once delimitation exercise is complete.

On Ram temple, he said, "Construction of a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya started 10 days ago. The Ramjanmbhoomi issue that persisted for centuries, has been resolved peacefully now. The conduct of people of the country has been exemplary and is an inspiration for the future."

Multilayered security arrangements and a mandatory adherence to social distancing norms are in place for the 74th Independence Day celebrations at the Mughal-era Red Fort this year. A security ring, including NSG snipers, elite SWAT commandos and kite catchers, will be placed around the Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation.

The Delhi Police has made multilayered arrangements in connection with the Independence Day celebrations. Necessary coordination has been made with other agencies like the NSG, SPG and ITBP.

"All the agencies will work in close coordination with each other to cater to all kinds of threat inputs. SWAT teams and ?Parakram' vans have been strategically stationed," Anil Mittal, Additional PRO Delhi Police, said.

There will be heavy security deployment along the route taken by the prime minister to reach Red Fort. Over 300 cameras have been installed for security and their footage is being monitored round-the-clock, police said.

Over 350 Delhi Police personnel, who will be part of the guard of honour, have been quarantined as a precautionary measure. These personnel of the force of all ranks -- from constable to deputy commissioner of police -- have been quarantined at a newly built police colony in Delhi Cantonment, police said.

Police personnel have also been asked to keep an eye on the sky to ensure that no stray kites are seen in the areas around the Red Fort. Police have also been carrying out anti-sabotage checks, visiting hotels in the vicinity in search of suspicious elements, they had said.

The Red Fort has already been closed for public ahead of the Independence Day celebrations.

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