Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi on the 76th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the country to make a resolution to make India a developed nation by 2047 and urged the people to defeat nepotism and corruption.
In his address, Modi urged Indians to develop hatred for corruption and purge nepotism that breeds corruption. He said that unless you hate the filth, you cannot work for cleanliness.
In an apparent swipe at the Opposition for defending those being pursued by investigating agencies for corruption, Modi slammed efforts to "glorify" the corrupt.
He said, "Corruption is eating the country like termites and we have to fight it with full might...This mindset is not going to end unless there is a feeling of nafrat [hatred] for corruption and the corrupt and people are forced to look down upon them socially."
Modi said that it's not just politics that nepotism is prevalent in. He said talented Indians are suffering because of the prevalence of dynasts.
"And whenever I talk about nepotism or dynasty, people think I am talking only in the context of politics. Not at all. Unfortunately, it is being nourished in other Indian institutions as well...This is sadly harming the immense talent pool of our country. The future potential of my country is suffering. Those who are legitimate contenders of these opportunities and are genuinely eligible get sidelined due to nepotism," said Modi, adding that this leads to corruption as people sidelined due to nepotism are asked to pay bribes.
Addressing the nation on Independence Day. https://t.co/HzQ54irhUa— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2022
Modi also outlined the vision to make India a developed nation by 2047. Laying out the 'panch pran' [five resolutions], Modi said "we must take up the responsibility of fulfilling all the dreams of the freedom fighters by embracing those 'Panch Pran' by 2047".
Five resolutions to make India developed nation
Firstly, the country to move ahead with a big resolve and that's the idea of developed India.
Secondly, Indians should not have an ounce of slavery in their minds.
"In no part of our existence, not even in the deepest corners of our mind or habits should there be any ounce of slavery. It should be nipped there itself," said Modi.
Thirdly, Indians should feel proud of their heritage and legacy.
"It is this rich heritage that transcends tests of tide and times. It embraces the new. And hence we should be proud of this heritage," said Modi.
Fourthly, there should be harmony and bonhomie among 130 crore Indians.
"Amongst 130 crore Indians when there is harmony and bonhomie, unity becomes its strongest virtue," said Modi.
Fifthly, every citizen whether prime minister or a chief minister, should do their duties and be a responsible citizen.
"This virtue is going to be the vital life force if we want to achieve the dreams we have for the next 25 years," said Modi.
Besides the vision for India being a developed nation by 2047 and defeating corruption and nepotism, Modi also spoke of cooperative federalism, India being an aspirational society, and the importance of innovation in the country.
States should compete for development: Modi
Modi's comments on federalism come at a time when his government is accused of being overly assertive and relations with states are strained, such as in West Bengal and recently in Bihar too where Cheif Minister Nitish Kumar repeatedly snubbed the Centre by skipping events. Earlier this year, the Centre and the then Congress-led Punjab government also had a face-off when there was an alleged lapse in Modi's security.
Modi said that states should not just cooperate but also compete in the sphere of development.
"But today the need of the hour is that we need cooperative federalism as well as cooperative competitive federalism. We need competition for development. Every state should feel that it is moving ahead, that it will race ahead by toiling hard. If a particular state has done 10 good tasks, others shall do 15 good tasks. If a state has completed a job in three years, others should complete the same job in two years," said Modi.
In an apparent effort to reach across the aisle, Modi recalled that when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, the government at Centre was not the one of his ideology but he still believed Gujarat's progress to be India's progress.
"I remember the government at the Centre did not belong to our ideology when I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. But I used to follow the same mantra that the progress of Gujarat is for the progress of India. India’s progress should be at the core of our heart wherever we are," said Modi.
Aspirational society makes government deliver, says Modi
Hailing India as an aspirational society, Modi said that Indians are no longer willing to wait and they aspire betterment. This aspirational nature of people, in turn, makes even governments deliver.
"Because when there is an aspirational society, then even the governments have to walk on the edge of the sword and also have to charge with the times. And I believe whether it is the central government, state governments, institutions of local self-government, no matter what kind of governance system, everyone has to address this aspirational society and we cannot wait longer for their aspirations," said Modi.
Modi on innovation in India
Invoking one of the most well-known slogans of independent India, "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan" of Lal Bahadur Shastri, Modi added another dimension to it — Jai Anusandhan [Hail Innovation].
Together with Atal Bihari Vajpayee's earlier addition to the slogan, Modi's updated slogan became — Jai Jawan (soldier), Jai Kisan (farmer), Jai Vigyaan (science), Jai Anusandhaan (innovation).
On innovation, Modi cited the example of payment interface UPI, which is a real-time card-less mode of digital payment.
Challenges overcome by India
Noting that the world doubted at the time of freedom that India might not even survive as an Independent nation, Modi said that those with such thoughts were unaware of the "soil of India".
He said, "There were apprehensions that after independence when the British would leave, the country would be scattered and in shambles; people would die fighting internal wars; India would plunge into a dark age. But they were not aware that this is the soil of India."
Noting the challenges that India has overcome to reach where it's today, Modi said, "We have aborted challenges hurled at us by terrorist activities which killed our innocent countrymen. We endured proxy war, natural calamities, successes and failures, hopes and despair yet remained undaunted at all such junctures."
Mentioning the importance of diversity of India for the second time in his speech, Modi said, "India's diversity, which others once thought was a burden to India, is proven to be the priceless power of India. A strong testimony of its power."