Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi on the occasion of 70th Independence Day today.
Following are the highlights of his speech (with inputs from Press Information Bureau):
Today on this special day, I convey my greetings to 125 crore Indians and the Indian community living overseas. May this energy guide the nation to scale newer heights of progress in the years to come
We remember Mahatma Gandhi, Sardar Patel, Pandit Nehru, countless people who sacrificed their lives so that we attained Swarajya.
It is true that India faces a lot of problems, but we have the capacity to find solutions.
It is our responsibility to convert our Swaraj into Suraaj, which can not be done without sacrifice, discipline and staunch resolution
Suraaj means the progress of the common man, a govt that is sensitive to the requirements and aspirations of the common man. Responsibility and accountability are to be the roots of such a Suraaj.
We want to change the situation where people are scared of income tax authorities, particularly among middle class families
Two crore people apply for passports in the country. Even poor people get passport in one or two weeks
In the past any businessman who wanted to invest in this country had to spend more than six months just registering his business. However, we have simplified the procedure to an extent that in last July itself, 900 such registrations have taken place.
Out of 18,000 villages, more than 10,000 villages have been electrified and I have been told they are with us, watching this celebration of Independence Day.
When things like the coming together of Iran, Afghanistan and India come together for Chabahar port, then one can see the impossible becoming possible.
We haven't allowed inflation to go beyond 6 per cent. There were two years of successive drought in the country. Production of pulses became a concerns, but despite all that we tried our best to control the situation and compared to previous governments, I and my government did not allow the cost of a poor man's thaali [plate] to be unaffordable.
As we celebrate the 350th anniversary of Guru Gobind Singhji I remember what he said: "He who hasn't served others, how can his hands be considered holy?" I say our farmers do such work and have sown 1.5 times the pulses that were sown earlier, despite the discouragement of successive droughts.
Our scientists have created 131 types of high yielding variety seeds, so that we maximise output. I congratulate them. The shortage of fertilizer is like something out of a bad dream of the past. That shortage is history.
To empty the government coffers has been a tradition of the past governments, I have tried to keep away from such a temptation. For me more than what the world thinks of the government, what the image of the country is, is important. Substance over symbolism. Empowerment over entitlement. The nation is more important than the party.
When there is clarity in policy, clarity in intent, decisions are unhesitating. Every year, when it came to Uttar Pradesh, a common story was the arrears due to sugarcane farmers. Today, I can say 95 per cent of payments have been done. Under Ujjwala Yojana, we have 50 lakh households of smoke-free kitchens.
Ramanujacharya used to say that we must look at everyone with the same gaze, never humiliate anyone. This was said by Ambedkar, Gandhi too. If society practices this discrimination it will break society. If discrimination is entrenched, our determination to fight it and our sensitivity to fighting it should be that much higher. Just economic progress is not enough, social equity is more important. We have to fight social evils together.
The GST will give strength to our economy and all parties are to be thanked for its passage.
This govt does not believe in postponing things. We have fulfilled our promise of one rank one pension. We have released all files relating to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. That was another promise we had made.
Violence has no place in our country. This country will not tolerate terrorism and Maoism.
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."
I say to our neighbours, "Let's fight poverty, by fighting our own people we will destroy ourselves, only by fighting poverty together will we prosper."
In the last few days, the way the people of Balochistan, Gilgit, from Pakistan occupied Kashmir have thanked me, it is the honour of 1.25 billion people of India. I thank those people from Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan occupied Kashmir.
We have decided to raise pensions for freedom fighters by 20 per cent.
The Government will bear the healthcare expenditure upto Rs. 1 lakh per annum for the BPL families. |
When we speak of freedom fighters, a few are mentioned far more than others. Our Adivasi brothers fought valiantly largely unsung, many have heard of Birsa Munda but few others. In the next few days, it is our intention to record the history of such Adivasi freedom fighters in the areas of their origin on a museum.
Source : The Hindu