New Delhi: Having made a record of delivering the longest Independence Day speech last year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his shortest speech from the ramparts of the historic Red Fort this year.
Modi spoke for 56 minutes, his shortest Independence Day speech in four years. Last year, he had spoken for 96 minutes, the longest ever Independence Day address by an Indian Prime Minister.
India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru spoke for 72 minutes in 1947 which was till 2015 the longest ever speech from the Red Fort.
In his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ last month, Modi said he had received letters from people complaining that his Independence Day speeches were “a little too long" and promised to make a shorter speech. He spoke for over 65 minutes in 2014 and 86 minutes in 2015.
Modi’s predecessor Manmohan Singh, who delivered 10 speeches over his long tenure at the helm, stuck to the 50- minute mark in his Independence Day speeches. While he delivered speeches that lasted 50 minutes only on two occasions—2005 and 2006, during remaining eight years, his speech ranged from 32 to 45 minutes.
Modi’s party colleague and the first Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke for 30-35 minutes in his Independence Day addresses. On August 2002, he delivered a speech that lasted 25 minutes, while in 2003 he gave a 30-minute address from the historic 17th century Mughal monument.