Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday hailed India as the “Mother of Democracy” in his Independence Day speech from the Red Fort, paying tribute to the country’s heritage, diversity and aspirational spirit as a ray of hope for the world.
In his speech marking 75 years of India’s Independence, PM Modi said skeptics doubted the country’s development potential and trajectory in the hour of freedom, but “they did not know that there is something special and different about the people of this land”.
“There is something special about India. When we attained freedom, there were many sceptics who doubted our development trajectory. But they did not know that there is something different about the people of this land. They did not know that this soil is special,” PM Modi said.
“India is an aspirational society where changes are being powered by a collective spirit. Such a society is an asset. The people of India want positive changes and they want it at a quick pace. They also want to contribute towards it… India is a ray of hope for the world,” the PM added.
Counting diversity and democracy as India’s strengths, Modi said: “The diversity of India is our strength. Being the Mother of Democracy gives India the inherent power to scale newer heights. In this 75-year journey, amid hopes, aspirations, highs and lows, we reached where we could with everyone’s effort.”
“If there are crores of problems there are crores of solutions. When 130 crore people take one step ahead, the nation moves 130 crore steps,” he said, and identified corruption and nepotism as two key issues that need to be dealt with head on.
The PM said the completion of 75 years of Independence was a time to step towards a new direction with a new resolve. He said in this ‘Amrit Kaal’, every Indian is aspiring to see the fast progress of a new India with enthusiasm and impatience.
“Our nation has proved that we have an inherent strength from our diversity and the common thread of patriotism makes India unshakeable… My understanding of the spirit of India made me realise that for the growth of ‘New India’, we needed to ensure inclusive development across the nation, a vision that was held dear by Mahatma Gandhi,” the PM said.
Modi began his address offering tributes to a galaxy of freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh and Jawaharlal Nehru among others.
“During our freedom struggle, there was not one year where our freedom fighters did not face brutality and cruelty. Today is the day when, as we pay them our respects, we need to remember their vision and dream for India,” Modi said.
“We salute not only those who fought for freedom, but also the architects of free India like Jawaharlal Nehru, Ram Manohar Lohia and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, amongst the many others,” he added.