By Anirudh Singla
As the tricolour flag waved mightily on the rampart of the Red Fort, Prime Minister (PM) Narendra Modi addressed the nation on India’s 71st Independence Day in New Delhi on Tuesday. He spelt out a series of reforms in the administrative and economic domains. In his fourth year of the administration, the PM spoke at length about issues affecting the common man — from the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) to the trickling effects of demonetization to the constant fight against corruption. PM Modi’s speech reflected the central government’s cognizance of issues playing an important role in our daily lives.
War against corruption and a natural disaster
The PM highlighted the government’s efforts in confiscating benami properties worth Rs. 800 crores after the passage of the Benami Act. “Today, we are celebrating the festival of honesty”, he said while addressing the fact that the law-breakers are afraid of being participants in illegal activities that implicated the nation’s finances. Over Rs. 1.25 trillion have been unearthed along with the shutting down of around 1.75 lakh fake companies. The veracity of these statistics is, however, still not in place. Expressing deep sympathy and condolences to those affected by this disheartening tragedy, the PM appealed to the Indian populace to stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected in different parts of the country.
On national integration and defence
PM Modi urged people to work ‘together’ for the progress of Jammu and Kashmir. He said, “Neither by bullet, nor
by abuses, but by hugging, can the problems of Kashmir be solved.” His statements were a clear indication that the government does to handle terrorism softly and will use force to combat such threats to the society and to protect its own people. With the onset of the ‘One Rank, One Pension’ policy, the morale of the security officers was also lifted, according to him.
Financial Inclusiveness and federalism
With facets of cooperative federalism in the picture, the conniving of technology and economic development to promote a financially inclusive India was talked about. The PM stated that over 29 crore Jan Dhan accounts were opened, wherein over 8 crore youth were able to receive loans without due liabilities and guarantees. In the era of digital revolution, promotion of digital economy and adopting the Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) app were the Prime Minister’s key points. Simplifying governance was touted as the future chartered path.
A ‘new India’ in the making
“The Quit India Movement was ‘Bharat Chhodo’, but the call today is ‘Bharat Jodo.’” With a vision of taking India forward with this spirit of a New India, PM Modi put thoughts of collective commitment and strength as necessary
components. Dreaming of an India, free from nepotism and corruption, the PM aspired for self-rule (Swaraj) in its entirety. Introducing the concept of ‘Bhagya Vidhatas’, people who are born in this century, he said, “1 January 2018 will not be an ordinary day.”
With an idea of equipping youngsters to be job-creators and not job seekers, PM Modi’s speech was infused with collective optimism. A speech that tackled diverse elements, from talking about triple talaq and its woeful impact on Muslim women to expressing strong criticism against communalism and cow vigilantes, it gave a very moderate viewpoint, if not substantial in terms of depth. Let us hope that the last two years of the current Bharatiya Janata Party government go on to delivering in practice, what is propagated through speech.
Featured Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
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