Following are the highlights from his speech
New Delhi, August 16, 2019 :
- I extend warm greetings and best wishes on the 73rd Independence Day and on the auspicious festival of Raksha Bandhan to all the countrymen, brothers and sisters.
- As the country is celebrating the festival of Independence, people in several parts of the country are facing difficulties due to floods. Centre, States and other organizations are striving hard to bring the situation back to normal.
- To revoke Article 370 and 35A within 10 weeks of the formation of the new Government is a significant step towards fulfilling the dream of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. The task that was not done in the last 70 years has been accomplished within 70 days. The abrogation of Article 370 and 35A was passed in both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha by two-thirds majority.
- If we can abolish Sati system, make stringent laws against female foeticide and take action against child marriage and dowry, we can also raise our voice against Triple Talaq.
Similarly, we have enacted law against Triple Talaq to protect the rights of our Muslim women.
- Radical amendments were made in laws relating to terrorism and were made more stringent and powerful.
- In a significant step, transfer of about Rs. 90,000 crores to farmers’ bank accounts is in progress to those who are beneficiaries of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana.
- Pension scheme to farmers and small entrepreneurs has been put in place which was never imagined earlier.
- To address challenges of water crisis, a new dedicated Ministry of Jal Shakti has been created.
- In coming days, Centre and States will together take forward the Jal-Jeevan Mission and an amount of more than Rs. 3.5 lakh crores has been earmarked for this.
- There is a pressing need for doctors, health facilities and systems in the country. In order to make Medial Education transparent, important laws have been enacted.
- The country has enacted strong laws for protection of children.
- While 2014-2019 was an era of fulfillment of needs, the period beyond 2019 is that of fulfillment of aspirations and dreams.
- It is our responsibility that the aspirations of the citizens of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh are fulfilled and dalits living there should get equal rights as enjoyed by the rest of the dalits in the country. Similarly, communities like Gujjars, Bakarwals, Gaddis, Sippies or Balties should get political rights. After partition, lakhs of people got displaced and settled in Jammu & Kashmir were devoid of basic human rights and citizenship rights.
- J&K and Ladakh can become role models of peace and prosperity and contribute significantly towards India’s development. The state can greatly contribute to India’s development. Today every Indian can proudly say ‘One Nation, One Constitution’.
- GST achieved the dream of ‘One Nation, One tax’. We successfully attained ‘One Nation, One Grid’ in the power sector. We also developed ‘One Nation, One Mobility Card’ system and today there is a discussion in the country for ‘One Nation, One Poll’ and it should happen in a democratic manner.
- Population explosion can create new problems specially for the future generations. But there is also an enlightened section of society which is aware of this challenge. We have to ponder on this issue taking along all the sections of the society.
- Corruption and nepotism have harmed the country beyond imagination. We have taken several steps driven by technology to fight this menace.
- Ease of living is the necessity of independent India. We should build an eco-system in which there should be less Government interference in daily life.
- The country can no longer wait for incremental progress but should strive for giant strides.
- For development of modern infrastructure, an amount of Rs. 100 lakh crore has been earmarked for this period which will create new job opportunities besides improving the living standards.
- India dreams of a 5 Trillion Dollar Economy. In the 70 years of independence, the country became a 2 Trillion Dollar Economy but in the last 5 years, we have made it a 3 Trillion Dollar Economy and at this pace, we can become a 5 Trillion Dollar Economy.
- By 75th year of independence, farmers’ income should double, every poor should get a pucca house, every family should get electricity connection and every village should have optical fibre network and broadband connectivity besides facility of long distance education.
- We have to lay stress on Blue Economy (Ocean resources). Our farmers should become exporters and every district of the country should be an export hub. Value added goods from every district should reach global markets.
- As a Tourist Destination, India can become a wonder in the world. All Indians should promote tourism, because tourism sector provides more jobs with less investments and also strengthens economy.
- A stable government provides for policy predictability and a stable system creates international trust. The world is looking at India with admiration for its political stability.
- It is a matter of pride for India that we are progressing at a high growth rate with price rise under control.
- The fundamentals of our economy are very strong and reforms like GST & IBC have created a new faith in the system. Our investors should invest more, earn more and generate more jobs. We should stop viewing our Wealth Creators with suspicion: they deserve greater respect. Greater wealth creation will lead to greater distribution and help in the welfare of poor people.
- India is strongly fighting against the forces spreading terrorism. India in league with other nations of the world will expose those harbouring, promoting and exporting terrorism. To abolish the menace of terrorism, our security forces and security agencies have played an exemplary role and I salute them.
- India’s neighbours – Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are suffering from terrorism. Our good friend in the neighborhood – Afghanistan is going to celebrate its 100th independence day in four days to come. From the ramparts of the Red Fort, I give my greetings to the people of Afghanistan who are marking 100 years of freedom.
- I had flagged the issue of Swachhata from the ramparts of Red Fort in 2014 and a few weeks from now on the occasion of the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi on 2nd October, India will become an open defecation free nation.
- Our country has been debating for long about reforms in Armed Forces and many commissions and their reports underline the same. To further sharpen coordination between the forces, India will have Chief of Defence Staff, CDS which will make the forces even more effective.
- I wish the countrymen to pledge to make India free from single use plastic by 2nd October. For this every citizen, municipalities and gram panchayats should come together.
- Our priority should be a ‘Made in India’ product. For a better tomorrow, can we think of consuming local products and also help improve rural economy and the MSME sector.
- Our digital payment platforms are evolving strong. We should lay stress on digital payments for our village shops, small outlets and smaller city malls.
- We are spoiling health of soil by use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. When Gandhiji has already shown us the path, can’t we reduce by 10%, 20% or 25% use of chemical fertilizers. I am sure our farmers will oblige my wish.
- Indian professional are recognized globally. Our scientists have proved their mettle in Chandrayaan which is reaching the uncharted territory of the moon.
- In the coming days, 1.5 lakh wellness centers will be created at villages. One medical college in the midst of three Lok Sabha constituencies, housing for two crore poor people, drinking water supply in 15 crore rural households and 1.25 lakh km roads in rural areas, besides connecting every village with broadband and optical fiber network are some of the targets to be achieved. More than 50,000 new start ups are also being planned.
- Indian constitution is completing 70 years, the dream of Baba Saheb Ambedkar and this year is also important for the 550th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji. Let us move forward by imbibing the teachings of Baba Saheb and Guru Nanak Dev for a better society and a better country.