SAYS ‘BIG GOAL’ IS DEVELOPED INDIA; ASKS PEOPLE TO HAVE ‘HATRED’ FOR CORRUPTION, NEPOTISM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the time has come to cleanse the country of corruption and nepotism and asked people to have ‘nafrat’ (hatred) for these twin evils that go beyond politics, as he set a ‘Panch Pran’ (five resolves) target to make India a developed nation in 25 years.
“The nation should now only be setting big goals. That big goal is a developed India and nothing less,” Modi asserted in his ninth consecutive address from the ramparts of Red Fort on the coun-try’s 76th Independence Day, as he also highlighted the challenges of dynastic politics.
India has entered a decisive era in its battle against corruption which is “eating the country like termites”, he said, adding corruption and nepotism are the two main challenges for the nation.
Dressed in a traditional kurta and churidar paired with a blue jacket and a white ‘safa’ with tri-colour stripes, Modi unfurled the national flag amid a 21-gun salute by the indigenously-developed howitzer gun, ATAGS, which he noted with pride was the first from Red Fort in 75 years.
Modi said it was a historic day for India and the completion of 75 years of Independence was a time to move forward with a new resolve and he also spoke strongly for cooperative federalism, celebrating the country’s diversity, unity among citizens, gender equality, and research and in-novation.
While his 82-minute speech was peppered with several exhortations, including removing the “distortion” in our conduct causing insult to women and the slogan “Jai Anusandhan” to pro-mote research and innovation, but there was no announcement of any new initiative or scheme as has been the case in many of his and his predecessors’ Independence Day speeches earlier.
The prime minister cautioned the countrymen against complacency over the country’s achieve-ments in the last 75 years, and said it has to now focus its strength on fulfilling the “Panch Pran” in the next 25 years in the run up to the centenary of its independence. He spelt out the five pledges as a resolve for a developed India; removing any trace of the colo-nial mindset; taking pride in our legacy; our strength of unity; and fulfilling the duties of citi-zens, which include prime minister and chief ministers as well.
“We have to move forward with these five resolves in mind and take up the responsibility to fulfil the dreams of our freedom fighters in the next 25 years when we attain 100 years of inde-pendence.”
A thick security cover was thrown at the main Independence event in the national capital and also in several parts of the country. The Red Fort was also decked up in tricolours, flowers and murals depicting key events that led up to India’s freedom. At the start of his address, he paid tributes to freedom fighters and leaders from across the polit-ical spectrum for their contributions to the independence struggle and nation-building.