Home / Politics / Policy /  PM Modi’s Independence Day speech focuses on social harmony

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday urged Indians to build “one society" by dismantling caste and class barriers, while stressing his government’s resolve to promote the idea of “last-man delivery" in order to make development—his mantra—more meaningful for every citizen.

“Every citizen should fight against the differences in the society on the basis of caste and prevalent class difference. Only economic development will not help in the development of the country because without social harmony and unity, the development process will not be complete," he said in his third Independence Day address to the nation.

“We have to take everyone together, be it Dalits, tribals, oppressed and people from the financially weaker section of the society," Modi said from the ramparts of Red Fort.

Also Read: Govt revamping agriculture with an integrated approach: Narendra Modi

The government is working with the idea of “one society, one dream, one resolve, one goal—this is the direction in which we need to move forward", the prime minister said.

Modi is leading his government’s attempt to woo the Dalit community, who have come under increasing attacks by so-called cow protectors—fringe saffron elements who act as vigilantes either as a group or as individuals.

Modi has in recent weeks condemned the actions of vigilantes and has issued a strong warning to groups attacking Dalits.

The prime minister on Monday said non-violence has been part of Indian culture for centuries, but that the nation will not bow before terrorism and Maoists. “India will not tolerate terrorism. I invite people involved in violence, Maoist activities and terrorism to take part in the mainstream and shun violence because violence has never helped anyone," he said.

Modi also said that governance free of transparency and corruption were the guiding principles of his National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government and that it was working with a clear neeti (policy) and niyat (intention) to enable “last-man delivery".

“We are focusing on the development of the country and not the progress of a particular party. The government is focusing on empowerment and not entitlement. Our idea is to reform, perform and transform," Modi added.

“There were over 100 projects which have been pending. I myself head the meeting to review such projects. The schemes that are stuck and money being wasted is criminal negligence. We have brought a pace in approving projects that have been stuck for very long. For the good of the country we will work on all schemes even if they are started by the previous government. Last-man delivery is key. With clear thinking, clean intentions, this government is looking at last-man delivery," the prime minister said.

He also announced that the government will bear healthcare expenses of up to Rs1 lakh annually for each family below the poverty line.

Analysts say that this could be a turning point for the government as it reaches the halfway mark of its tenure. “It is important for PM Modi to counter some of the criticism that has come to his government. You cannot talk of development without that. Such statements are key, but he needs to be seen in the arena of action. This could be a turning point," said Manisha Priyam, a New Delhi-based political analyst.

Also Read: Narendra Modi rakes up human rights situation in Balochistan, PoK

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