Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday kicked off his speech greeting the 124 crore citizens of the country and the Indian community abroad from Red Fort. On the event of the 70th anniversary of India's Independence, he said his government's promise to take the nation to new heights holds strong. Towards the end of his speech, the prime minister brought up the troubled regions of Balochistan and Gilgit in Pakistan, and said people from there had "thanked" him. Taking a dig at Pakistan, he also said India reacted with sorrow when children were killed in a terror attack in a Peshawar school, but on the other hand there were people who "glorified terrorists".
He remembered Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel, among others, who have worked relentlessly to secure freedom for the nation. Referring to Ramanujacharya, Gandhi and Dr BR Ambedkar, he said that society needs to rise above discrimination based on parameters like caste. He also said a divided society cannot survive and that the government will deal with such evil strictly.
According to Modi, it is the country's responsibility to transform swarajya to surajya, and the National Democratic Alliance government is working towards it. He said surajya means difference in the life of the poorest, most backward persons in society, adding that responsibility and accountability are the roots of good governance. The prime minister spoke about his regime's work towards digitisation across sectors, and that has made lives easier for the countrymen.
He said the NDA believes in reform, perform and transform. It was under the new government, that the ease of doing business has been brought under focus by cutting red tape, he said. He also compared the former United Progressive Alliance with his regime when he said project are being cleared within a few months now, instead for the years it used to take for the same process previously.
He informed the audience that the Indian economy is growing, and that Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre has given 4 crore gas connections in 60 weeks, as against 14 crore connections given out in the past 60 years. The Centre is trying to resolve the pendency in judiciary, he said, and it has already scrapped 1,700 redundant laws that were clogging the system.
About the power sector, Modi reminded his audience that he had promised electricity connections in 18,000 villages in 1,000 days during his Independence Day speech in 2015. He said at least 10,000 villages have already lit up. He also said that the government has constructed more than two crore toilets in rural India as part of his pet project – Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan.
Among other things, he spoke about the Goods and Services Tax Bill, maternity leave, OROP and declassification of Netaji files. He also said that his government is trying to avail medical insurance for people who cannot afford treatment. He ended his speech with mention to peace, progress and prosperity and his vision regarding the way forward together.