Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that India’s strength lies in its diversity and described the country as the “mother of democracy” on the occasion of the country’s 76th Independence Day.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort, Modi said the world was looking at India with great expectations.
The prime minister said India was today honouring independence icons ignored by history.
The Centre has launched a launched a host of programmes, including Har Ghar Tiranga, in the run-up to the Independence Day.
Here are the top updates of the day:
6.13 pm: The Beating Retreat ritual at the Attari-Wagah border has been a daily military exercise for India’s Border Security Force and Pakistan Rangers since 1959.
6.11 pm: Beating Retreat ceremony is held at the Attari-Wagah border near Amritsar, reports ANI.
4.29 pm: Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulates the Indian leadership and its citizens on the Independence Day, reports ANI.
“Over the decades of independent development, your country has achieved universally recognized success in the economic, social, scientific, technical and other fields,” he says. India rightfully enjoys considerable prestige on the world stage and plays an important constructive role in resolving pressing issues on the international agenda.”
4.24 pm: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wished Indians on the 75 years of Independence.
“During my recent visit to Gujarat and New Delhi I saw for myself the thriving Living Bridge between our countries,” he tweets. “I look forward to seeing these bonds go from strength to strength in the next 75 years.”
3.40 pm: Congress President Sonia Gandhi alleges that the central government is “self-obsessed” and has been making attempts to trivialise the sacrifices made by freedom fighters.
“Friends, we have achieved many things in the past 75 years, but today’s self-obsessed government is bent on trivialising the great sacrifices of our freedom fighters and the country’s glorious achievements,” Gandhi says in her message on the 75th Independence Day. “This can never be accepted.”
3.30 pm: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma says that the northeastern state is an integral and inalienable part of India, reports The Indian Express.
“The exuberant celebrations and display of love for the tiranga [tricolour] by the public during the last three days is a lesson for those who dream of an ‘independent’ Assam,” he says.
His remarks come a week after the banned United Liberation Front of Asom-Independent, or ULFA-I, had called for a “total shutdown” and “boycott” of Independence Day celebrations in Assam.
3.25 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin says that the idea of secularism and brotherhood championed by Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is the urgent need for the nation today, reports The Indian Express.
3.20 pm: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee says she wants to build a nation where no one goes hungry, where no woman feels unsafe and where no oppressive forces divide the people.
“It is my promise to the people of this great nation that I shall strive every day for our dream India,” she says.
12.54 pm: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar promises to create 20 lakh jobs in the state, NDTV reports.
“We will do so much to create jobs and employment opportunities for the children of the state – in both government and outside – that if we succeed, we want to take the figure to 20 lakhs,” he says, adding that his government would work hard everywhere to ensure this.
Previously, his deputy, Tejashwi Yadav had promised to provide 10 lakh government jobs to the citizens of Bihar.
12.30 pm: Bharatiya Janata Party President JP Nadda hoists the national flag in New Delhi.
12.27 pm: Visuals from the Red Fort:
12.15 pm: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal says sectors such as education and health are important if a country wants to become rich, PTI reports. “Tricolour will fly high only when every Indian has access to good healthcare,” he adds.
12.07 pm: President Droupadi Murmu pays tribute to the soldiers at the National War Memorial in Delhi.
12.03 pm: French President Emmanuel Macron congratulates India on 75 years of Independence.
“...As you proudly celebrate India’s stunning achievements in the past 75 years, you can count on France to always stand by your side,” he says.
11.50 am: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says that federalism is the foundation of the Indian Constitution and it should be kept in mind while moving forward especially in financial matters, reports PTI.
He emphasises on the need to end extreme poverty and lack of housing and says that his government is working to eradicate both problems.
11.16 am: General secretary of insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah), Thuingaleng Muivah, extends greetings of Independence Day.
He says negotiations with the Centre are meaningless if it cannot deliver a solution to the Naga conflict.
The NSCN (IM), the largest Naga rebel group, has been demanding a separate Naga flag and a Constitution during its peace talks with the Centre.
11.09 pm: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat hoists national flag at headquarters of the Hindutva organisation in Nagpur. Bhagwat says it is time for India to become self-reliant.
11.05 pm: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin says that the ideals of secularism and brotherhood championed by Mahatma Gandhi is the urgent need for the nation today, reports PTI.
Stalin unfurls the national flag Fort St George in Chennai.
11.02 pm: Senior Congress leader Ambika Soni hoists the national flag at the party headquarters in Delhi, reports ANI. Congress President Sonia Gandhi is in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19.
10.58 am: In her message to the country on Independence Day, Congress President Sonia Gandhi alleges that a “self-obsessed” government is hell-bent on trivialising the sacrifices of freedom fighters.
Her comments come a day after the Bharatiya Janata Party on blamed former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Communist leaders of India, for the country’s partition in 1947.
9.52 am: President Joe Biden congratulates India on 75 years of Independence and says the United States and India are “indispensable partners” that would continue to work together to address global challenges in the years ahead.
9.25 am: The prime minister ends his speech with chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” and “Vande Mataram”.
9.20 am: Modi says that if there are crores of problems before the country, there are also crores of solutions. “When 130 crore people take one step ahead, the nation moves 130 crore steps ahead,” he remarks.
9.15 am: The prime minister says that a mentality that supports corruption will not end until there is a sentiment of hate towards corruption and those who engage in it.
9.05 am: “When I speak about nepotism, people think that I am only speaking about politics,” Modi says. “But that is not the case. Unfortunately, this political evil has led to the emergence of nepotism in every institution of India.”
8.50 am: Corruption and nepotism are two challenges before the country, the prime minister says. “Corruption is like a termite that is hollowing out the country,” he says. “The country must fight against it. We are making efforts to ensure that those who engaged in loot must return [what they looted].”
8.45 am: “It’s important that in speech and conduct, we do nothing that lowers the dignity of women,” says Modi.
8.42 am: “After 75 years we have heard the proud sound of a Made-in-India weapon in the Independence Day gun salute,” he continues. “I salute the armed forces for this feat.”
8.41 am: “I’ve heard that five year olds say that they will not play with foreign toys,” says Modi on his government’s push for self-reliant India.
8.40 am: The prime minister calls upon the private sector to play a key role in the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative, saying India can make for the world.
“The space sector has seen the most progressive space policy being in place in India,” he says in his Independence Day address. “I call on the private sector to provide the world with goods, which is also a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
8.37 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi lists five pledges in his Independence Day speech – to work with resolve, to remove any vestiges of slavery, have pride in the country’s heritage, ensure unity and unified purpose and to carry out one duties as a citizen.
8.30 am: “The way the world is seeing India is changing,” Modi says. “There is hope from India and the reason is the skills of 130 crore Indians.”
8.25 am: The prime minister says that before Independence, people had different methods, but they all worked towards the goal of attaining freedom. “In this Amrit Kaal, we have to come together and work towards another big goal of a vikasit Bharat [developed India],” he says.
8.15 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi says that there is a need to eradicate all signs of a mindset of slavery. He says citizens should take pride in the country’s culture and achievements.
8.10 am: The diversity of India is its strength, the prime minister says. “Being the mother of democracy gives India the inherent power to scale newer heights,” he adds.
8.00 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi describes India as the “mother of democracy”.
7.59 am: “India is an aspirational society and such a society is an asset,” the prime minister says. “The citizens of India want positive change and they want it at a quick pace. They also want to contribute towards it.”
7.55 am: Modi pays tributes to freedom fighters Rajendra Prasad, Jawaharlal Nehru and VD Savarkar.
7.52 am: The prime minister pays tributes to India’s women freedom fighters, including Rani Lakshmi Bai and Begum Hazrat Mahal. “Every Indian is filled with pride when they remember the strength of women of India,” he says.
7.47 am: The prime minister says that today is a special day “for Indians around the world and also for those who have a special affection for India”.
7.44 am: “I congratulate the citizens of the country on the completion of 75 years of Independence,” Modi says
7.39 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi has begun his address to the nation.
7.33 am: The prime minister hoists the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi.
7.30 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is now on stage at the Red Fort. He will speak shortly.
7.27 am: The prime minister wishes citizens on India’s Independence Day on Twitter. “Greetings on this very special Independence Day. Jai Hind,” he says.
7.25 am: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will address the nation from the Red Fort in Delhi shortly on the occasion of India’s 76th Independence Day.