On 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unfurled the national flag and addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort at 7:30 am. Addressing India, PM Modi spoke on a wide range of topics, including Jammu and Kashmir, flooding in many states, India's new Chief of Defence Staff, Article 370, 35A, new India, One nation, one Constitution, criminalising triple talaq, water conservation, GST and Tourism.
This was PM Modi's first address to the nation from the historic Red Fort after this year's Lok Sabha elections and sixth Independence Day speech.
Here are a few takeaways from PM Modi's I-Day speech:
- Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday spoke about the scrapping of Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution. "The new government has not completed even 10 weeks, but in this short span of time in every sector we have taken important steps. Article 370 and 35A being revoked is a step towards realising the dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel," said PM Modi.
- PM Narendra Modi condoled the victims of floods in several parts of the nation and assured that all possible support would be provided. "When the country is celebrating Independence day, many parts of the country is facing the problem of floods due to heavy rains," PM Modi said. He said many people have lost their lives in the floods and "I condole their death". "We stand in complete solidarity with those affected by the floods and I assure that all possible support that is needed will be provided to them by the central and the state governments," Modi added.
- The Prime Minister, in his Independence Day speech, talked about the abrogation of Article 370 and that the decision has resulted in the integration of the country. Modi said that now there is one nation and one Constitution while adding that this spirit has become a reality. "One Nation, one Constitution - this spirit has become a reality and India is proud of that," PM Modi said.
- In his address to the nation, PM Modi talked about the GST and said that it has brought to life India's dream of one nation and one tax. "GST brought to life the dream of one nation, one tax. India has also achieved one nation, one grid in the energy sector," the PM said.
- In a major announcement for the three armed forces of the nation, PM Modi said that the country will now have a post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) that will integrate the operations of the three forces -- the Indian Army, the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. "Our forces are India's pride. To further sharpen coordination between the forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort: India will have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)," PM Modi said in his I-Day speech while adding, "This is going to make the forces even more effective."
- PM Narendra Modi also spoke about his government's move to abolish instant triple talaq and said that the Muslim women had been suffering under this custom. The PM said, "Remember how scared Muslim women were, those who suffered due to the practice of Triple Talaq, but we ended that. When Islamic nations can ban it, then why can't we? When we can ban Sati, when we can take strong steps against female infanticide, child marriage, then why not this?
- PM Modi urged the citizens to come forward and contribute in conserving water resources and harvest rainwater. PM Narendra Modi said this has to be taken up as a mass movement at the grassroots level. Earlier, the PM had already informed that the new Modi government had formed a new ministry-the Jal Shakti Ministry which merged two water-related ministries. The BJP government has allocated Rs 3.35 lakh crore for the Jal Jeevan Mission that aims to provide drinking water to every household.
- Addressing the growing issue of terrorism, PM Modi said India stands strongly against terrorism and is presenting before the world the "true colours" of those who shelter and finance terrorism. However, Modi didn't mention Pakistan in his speech. "We will expose before the world all exporters of terror. We, together with other countries of the world, will fight those sheltering terrorism, financing and exporting terrorism. We are presenting their true colours in front of the world," the PM said.