August 14, 2021 2:55:09 pm
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to address the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in his eighth Independence Day speech on Sunday. Over the years, he has used the occasion to announce major initiatives such as Swachh India, Pradhanmantri Jan Arogya Abhiyan and the abolition of the Planning Commission.
Late last month, the Prime Minister invited inputs for his Independence Day speech on social media. “Your thoughts will reverberate from the ramparts of the Red Fort. What are your inputs for PM @narendramodi’s speech on 15th August? Share them on @mygovindia,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted.
A look at PM Modi’s Independence Day speeches over the years:
During his maiden speech at Red Fort in 2014 on the occasion of India’s 68th Independence Day, PM Modi departed from tradition and spoke extempore on his vision of India. Notably, he announced the abolition of the Planning Commission in favour of a new institution — Niti Ayog — which, he said, better reflects the country’s federal structure and copes with the emerging economic challenges.
He also raised the issue of toilets and cleanliness and promised separate toilets for girls in all government schools within the year.
In 2015, after 15 months in office, PM Modi returned to the Red Fort with a full report card of his achievements and the promises he managed to deliver on in the last year.
There were some new promises, towards the end of his speech, but unlike in his previous speech, there were no big announcements, no new schemes. These were much more humble.
Like his earlier “Make in India” and “Digital India”, PM Modi coined a new slogan — “Start-up India, Stand up India”, aimed at extending support to people to start new ventures and businesses, especially those belonging to the weaker sections. It was in this context that he urged banks to provide loans to tribals and Dalits.
He gave the assurance that every village in the country will be electrified in the next 1,000 days, exhorted banks to ensure that each of their branches offers loan to at least one tribal or one Dalit individual to start a business, and told corporate houses that the amount of assistance they get from the government on their investment will be proportional to the number of jobs they create. He also expressed his desire to see that the interview process for mundane jobs are abolished.
In his third Independence Day address, PM Modi lauded the then newly introduced Goods and Service Tax. “GST will give strength to our economy and all parties are to be thanked for its passage,” he said.
He also took the opportunity to hit out at Pakistan. “I tell those who believe in human values, to weigh in the scale of humanity, when innocent children were massacred in a school in Peshawar. In India, every school was weeping, there were tears in the eyes of every parliamentarian. That was a reflection of our human value, but look at the other side which glorifies terrorists,” he said.
“Unity in diversity is our greatest strength. Our cultural tradition of respect for others, and assimilation is the reason why our civilisation has persisted,” Modi said in his speech that lasted around 90 minutes.
In his 56-minute speech, the Prime Minister focused a great deal on creating a “new India” and anti-graft measures. The PM said the people of the nation have to come together to build a country where the governance goes along with the people of the nation. “New India’ is the greatest strength of the of the democracy and it is not just limited to the ballot papers,” PM Modi said. He also said the government’s fight against black money and corruption will continue.
In his address, PM Modi said the demonetisation move was successful, adding over Rs 1.75 lakh crore was deposited in banks after the note ban. He further added that over 18 lakh people are currently under government scrutiny. He added that the data cited is from outside experts.
In his fifth and final address of his first tenure, PM Modi highlighted the achievements of the NDA government in the last four years – Swachch Bharat, PMFBY, Mudra loans, GST.
During the address, he also announced his flagship health policy, Aayuhmaan Bharat. The ambitious Ayushman Bharat or National Health Protection Scheme aims to cover over 10 crore vulnerable families (approximately 50 crore beneficiaries) and provide health cover up to Rs 5 lakh per family per year.
2019: PM announces creation of Chief of Defence Staff
In his first Independence Day address in NDA’s second term, PM Modi touched upon the achievements of his newly formed government in less than 10 weeks of coming to power — abrogation of Article 370, Article 35A, the passing of triple talaq Bill, among others. He also said the decision to repeal Article 370 was a step towards fulfilling Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s dream
He also announced the creation of a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to “further sharpen coordination between the forces”.
“Our forces are India’s pride. To further sharpen coordination between the forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort. India will have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). This is going to make the forces even more effective,” PM Modi said from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi.
This was the first time India was introduced to the BJP government’s now popular ‘Make in India’ addage.
PM Modi said the country must not only ‘Make in India’ but also ‘Make for the World’. The new phrase was coined during his address to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi on the occasion of India’s 74th Independence Day.
PM Modi reiterated the importance of becoming self-reliant, saying it was not just a word but a mantra Indians should follow. He added that self-reliance would help increase India’s share in the world economy.
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