Home >politics >policy >Independence Day speech 2017: Narendra Modi calls for ‘Bharat Jodo’

New Delhi: With the slogan of “Bharat Jodo", Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday asked the people of the country to come forward to build a New India in the next five years which will be free from caste and religious differences, corruption and terrorism, and where people will have access to basic facilities like housing, power and water.

In his address to the nation on Independence Day, Modi said that people have to come together to build a new India where the dreams of youth and women are fulfilled, the income of the farmers is doubled by 2022, and there would be no space for corruption and dynasty rule in the country.

“India is about shanti (peace), ekta (unity) and sadbhavana (harmony). Casteism and communalism will not help us. Violence in the name of astha (faith) is not something to be happy about, it will not be accepted in India. Team India should come together to build a New India," said Modi in his Independence Day speech on Tuesday.

Also read: India needs next-generation infrastructure: Narendra Modi

While talking about taking the country on a new track of development, Modi said that people have to leave the “chalta hai" attitude and think of “badal sakta hai"(we can change)—“this attitude will help us as a nation".

“We have to take the country ahead with the determination of creating a New India. In our nation, there is no one big or small... everybody is equal. Together we can bring a positive change in the nation," Modi said.

The prime minister further elaborated that the government was committed to provide good governance which was about speed and simplification of processes. He said that the fight against corruption would continue as the government is trying to bring greater transparency with the use of technology.

“Our fight against black money and corruption will continue. We have to use technology for good and transparent governance. Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully. There is an environment today where there is a festival of honesty. This gives support. In such a short time, the government has managed to get more than Rs800 crore benami money," the PM said.

In a significant message while reaching out to people of Kashmir, Modi said that the issue will get resolved neither through “goli aur gaali" (guns and abuses) but by embracing one another.

Also read: Narendra Modi’s Independence Day speech 2017: Key highlights

The prime minister also spoke on demonetisation and linked it with the government’s commitment for anti-corruption as well as the digital push, saying that a time would come soon when paper currency will make way for all forms of digital transactions. Modi said that through demonetisation, the government had succeeded in getting hidden black money back in the system.

“With demonetisation we have managed to get hidden black money out. It was our effort to get money into banks. Rs3 lakh crore was brought into the banking system. At least more than Rs2 lakh crore black money has had to reach the banks. There are stoppages in new black money," he said.

“There has been more than double increase in income tax returns. 18 lakh people have been identified whose incomes do not match (their returns). 3 lakh companies have been found to be shell companies. I have started a war against corruption and black money for the benefit of the poor and the growth of the country," he added.

Reiterating his stand on cooperative federalism, Modi said that states and the central government have given a new strength to competitive federalism through the rollout and implementation of the goods and services tax (GST). He added that as opposed to earlier times when the relationship between the Centre and the state was that of an elder and younger brother, the terms of engagements are changing now.

“There was an environment that the Centre was the big brother and states the younger brothers. I have been the CM and am aware of the importance of taking states along. We have focussed on cooperative federalism and now competitive cooperative federalism," said Modi.

Modi said the Central government is working with the states through policies like GST, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, Smart Cities and Ease of Doing Business.

Modi also said that the government was devoting significant attention to eastern Indian states of Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha and the Northeast. These parts have to grow further, he said.

Modi spoke about the controversial “triple talaq" issue and thanked those who have been working on the campaign. He also mentioned that maternity leave for women has been nearly doubled.

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