Those who looted the nation, will have to return the loot, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his Independence Day speech on Monday in an oblique reference to opposition parties whose leaders have either been arrested or are being questioned by central agencies in corruption cases.
Marking 75 years of Independence at the Red Fort, Modi identified corruption and nepotism as the biggest ills in the way of India’s march to inclusive development, and called on the citizens to denounce both.
“Corruption is hollowing the country like termites. I want to fight it and seek your support… Those who looted the nation will have to return the loot as well. We are making efforts in that direction,” the PM said.
“On the one hand, there are people who do not have a place to live. On the other hand, there are those who do not have a place to hide looted money,” Modi added.
Appealing to the people to show no sympathy for the corrupt, PM Modi said: “There is sense of leniency towards the corrupt. Many people go to court, get convicted and while they are serving prison time, many keep on valorising them, glorifying them. Till the time we inculcate abhorrence towards the corrupt, force them to feel ashamed of their acts socially, the mentality towards corruption will not end.”
More importantly, the PM said nepotism isn’t just limited to politics. “This has percolated to other fields as well. Institutions are in the clutches of dynasty. This harms the talent of my country. This also aids in breeding corruption. We need to inculcate abhorrence towards parivarwad,” he said.
In his address, PM Modi set the target of making India a developed nation by 2047 and made a renewed pitch for cutting import dependence and boosting domestic manufacturing. He rooted for a self-sufficient nation not just in manufacturing all it needs but also in energy.
The Prime Minister hailed the diversity of India and said while our talent may be restricted by language barriers, pride should be taken in the variety of languages that exist in the country. “India has many languages, sometimes our talent is restricted by language barriers, we need to be proud of every language in our country… India is mother of democracy, diversity is its strength,” he said.