New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his first Independence Day speech after returning to power on Thursday morning from the ramparts of Red Fort. The I-Day speech on Thursday will be one with many firsts.
This will be the first I-Day speech of a leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who has returned to power for a second term with a full majority. Modi will also speak at a public event for the first time since Parliament gave its assent for abrogating Article 370, which conferred special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Last week, the Prime Minister had made an address to the nation regarding this.
Modi’s speech also gains significance given that the government has successfully managed to pass the the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, whick seeks to ban instant triple talaq among Muslims.
His address on Thursday also comes in the backdrop of the Union government’s promise of providing safe drinking water to all homes by 2024, housing for all by 2022, greater access to electricity and cooking gas to people. The first speech of the PM after returning to power could also furnish a view of what the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) plans to achieve in the coming five years.
A look at three key highlights of all the five I-day speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his previous term:
• Said the Union government will replace the Planning Commission with a new institution having a new design and structure that would look at optimum utilization of resources
• Invited foreign manufacturers to “come, make in India" products ranging from plastics and paper to satellites and submarines
• Modi condemned crimes against women such as rape, tracing it to a deep-rooted patriarchal system that imposes restrictions on female children while never questioning the behaviour of the boys
• Spoke about the Start Up India, Stand Up India scheme which promotes entrepreneurship, particularly among women of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
• Spoke about the Union government’s anti-corruption initiatives and steps taken to tackle black money. Appealed to everyone to come on board in the fight against corruption
• Made big-ticket promises on access to electricity and pledged electricity would be made available to 18,500 villages within the next 1000 days, with the help of states and local bodies
• Made a reference to Balochistan by thanking the people of “Balochistan, Gilgit, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir" for expressing thanks and good wishes to the people of the country
• Urged citizens to fight against differences in society on the basis of caste and class, focusing on the need for social harmony
• Modi spoke about how India will not tolerate terrorism and invited people involved in violence, Maoist activities and terrorism to take part in the mainstream
• In a significant message while reaching out to the people of Kashmir, Modi said that the issue will be resolved not through “goli aur gaali" (guns and abuses) but by embracing one another
• 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 spoke about the controversial “triple talaq" issue and thanked those who had been working on the campaign
• Modi said that the work done in the last four years showed that the speed at which the country was moving and the pace at which progress was being made was remarkable
• Appreciated the role of soldiers by saying that they help those who are at the brink of catastrophe with sympathy and empathy and are even capable of attacking enemies with surgical strikes
• Spoke strongly about how there was a time when words like ‘policy paralysis’ and ‘delayed reforms’ were used earlier, while now ‘reform, perform and transform’ were being used to describe India