Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered the speech for 74th Independence from the Red fort on Saturday morning. As expected, the recent tensions at border with China, Covid-19 pandemic and the dream of an ecinomically self reliant India figured a large portion of his speech. But apart from these, he also spoke about doubling the income of farmers, launching a nationwide health card and resuming democratic process in the newly formed union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Taking forward the tradition started by himself, PM Modi arrived on the wall of the Red fort in an orange turban. The Prime Minister began his speech by paying tribute to the freedom fighters, martyrs and brave souls of the nation.
Giving, a strong but subtle warning to both China and Pakistan, two countries which had been trying to cause troubles on the borders, PM Modi said, “From LoC (Line of Control) to LAC (Line of Actual Control), whenever India’s sovereignty has been challenged, our soldiers have answered them in their own language.”
Referring to the clash with China in June at Galwan Valley in Ladakh, PM Modi said: “India’s integrity is supreme for us. What our jawans can do, what the country can do, the world saw that in Ladakh. Today, I salute all those brave soldiers from the Red Fort.”
Addressing the Covid-19 pandemic situation, PM Modi said that at least three vaccines are being developed in India and would be available soon.
“Three vaccines are in different stages of testing. When scientists give the go-ahead, we are ready with a plan for production. How the vaccine will reach every Indian in the least amount of time – we have a roadmap ready for that,” the Prime Minister said.
PM Modi also announced a National Digital Health Mission to boost the health care system, and said every citizen would be given a health ID.
“Every Indian will get a Health ID card. Every time you visit a doctor or a pharmacy, everything will be logged in this health card in your profile on a national scale. From the doctor’s appointment to the medication advised, everything will be available in your health profile,” PM Modi said.
A large segment of PM Modi’s speech focussed on the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign. Under this campaign, PM Modi had previously given a clarion call for not only cutting imports, but also pushing exports of finished Indian products. Additionally, he said that the country now needs to move forward with the mantra of ‘Make in India’ along with ‘make for the world’.
“I am confident that India will realise this dream. I am confident of the abilities and potential of my fellow Indians. Once we decide to do something, we do not rest till we achieve that goal,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said the past year had been a “journey of development” for J&K and had seen “a life of dignity” for refugees there.
“Delimitation process is underway in Jammu and Kashmir. Once it is completed, an election will be held. Jammu and Kashmir will have its own chief minister and ministers. We are committed to this,” PM Modi said.
Due to the pandemic situation, the program held under strong restriction with Prime Minister addressing an audience of merely 60, as opossed to regular Independence day crowd of thousands. Prime Minister also missed his favourite segment of the audience, school children, with whom he usually spends some time after delivering the speech every year.