Published: Thu, August 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

A proud India celebrates her 72nd Independence Day today

A proud India celebrates her 72nd Independence Day today

Dubbing his Independence Day speech as "hollow", Congress asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi if he was ready to debate with party chief Rahul Gandhi on the achievements he listed from the ramparts of the Red Fort as also on corruption and malgovernance which he had ignored.

This was his last Independence Day address before the next Lok Sabha elections.

India is celebrating 72nd Independence Day.

India won independence from British colonialists in 1947.

This was the Prime Minister's fifth Independence Day speech after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) came to power in 2014.

He spoke for over 65 minutes in 2014 and 86 minutes in 2015.

If the work continued at the pace that was prevalent in 2013, it would have taken one or two more decades to electrify all villages, 100 years to provide LPG gas connections to all and generations to take optic fibre to villages.

"Multiple security units comprising Delhi police, paramilitary, Intelligence Bureau, military intelligence, NSG and other units were deployed for the Prime Minister's security", said a senior police official.

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Modi also attacked the opposition over the non-passage of triple talaq bill in the just-concluded monsoon session of Parliament and promised to do justice to Muslim women by getting it passed early. "We have to ensure social justice for all and create an India that is developing rapidly", he said.

"India has registered its name as the sixth largest economy in the world". "We aim to double the income of farmers by 2022".

PM says for next three decades India will drive the global growth. It has not happened in just the last four years. He said that the times have changed and now the North East is in the news for reasons that gives optimism to the rest of the country. Red tape has been replaced with "red carpet", propelling India on the ease of doing business ranking, he said. "Today it says the "sleeping elephant" has started walking", he told the thousands assembled outside the 400-year-old fort.

The comment was an apparent reference to International Monetary Fund's commentary on India last week in which it said the country is on track to hold its position as one of the world's fastest-growing economies as reforms start to pay off. Women will now be able to strengthen India along with their male counterparts. "India will be the engine of growth".

Modi projected himself as a leader who could take "bold decisions" and claimed to have eliminated "power brokers" from Delhi, wiping out the climate of corruption that allegedly thrived under the previous government. They used say that Indian economy was risk prone. "Today the same institutions and people are saying that reform momentum is giving strength to fundamentals", the PM said.

He said four times more rural houses had been built, there was a record number of mobile manufacturers, record number of aeroplanes had been procured and record number of tractors sold. "We are trying to end this practice but there are some people who are not wanting it to end. Now we have brought Delhi to the door of North East", Modi said.

He only mentioned that Ayushman Bhava aka Modi Care - A Universal Health Care Programme will cater the needs of 10 Crore Indians.

"The healthcare initiatives of the government will have a positive impact on 50 crore Indians", he said.

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