Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the completion of 75 years of Independence was a time to step towards a new direction with a new resolve.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort for the ninth consecutive time, Modi offered tributes to a galaxy of freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru among others.
Addressing the nation on Independence Day. https://t.co/HzQ54irhUa— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 15, 2022
"During our freedom struggle, there was not one year where our freedom fighters did not face brutality and cruelty. Today is the day when, as we pay them our respects, we need to remember their vision and dream for India," Modi said.
"It is a day to step towards a new direction with a new resolve," Modi said in the presence of a host of dignitaries including union ministers, Supreme Court judges and senior diplomats.
"We salute not only those who fought for freedom, but also the architects of free India such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Ram Manohar Lohia and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, amongst the many others," he added.
In line with the "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" celebrations, Modi, who wore the traditional kurta and churidar paired with a blue jacket and black shoes, chose to wear a white safa with tricolour stripes and a long trail for his 76th Independence Day look.
The safa trail also had similar tricolour stripes as the headgear Modi wore on the occasion.
The prime minister is known for his tradition of donning colourful turbans for his Independence Day and Republic Day look since 2014. Last year, he wore a saffron turban with red patterns and a long pink trail.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi further added that in this 'Amrit Kaal', every Indian is aspiring to see the fast progress of a new India with enthusiasm and impatience.
"Our nation has proved that we have an inherent strength from our diversity and the common thread of patriotism makes India unshakeable," Modi said.
An aspirational society is important for any nation. Today, "we are proud that these aspirations are present in every household in India. Every citizen is enthusiastic, impatient for the fast progress of New India," he said.
"My understanding of the spirit of India, made me realise that for the growth of New India we needed to ensure inclusive development across the nation, a vision that was held dear by Mahatma Gandhi," the prime minister said.
Modi said in the last few days, "we have seen an increase in the common consciousness of the love for the nation". The 'Har Ghar Tiranga' campaign has been an example of the entire nation coming together to celebrate the spirit of this glorious country, he said.
"This Amrit Kaal is providing us a golden opportunity to fulfil the dreams and goals of this aspirational society," Modi said.
Modi said the citizens of the country are grateful to Bapu (Mahatma Gandhi), Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Babasaheb Ambedkar and Veer Savarkar who spent their lives on the path of duty.
The nation is also grateful to Mangal Pandey, Tatya Tope, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Chandrashekhar Azad, Ashfaqulla Khan and Ram Prasad Bismil. Many such innumerable revolutionaries shook the foundation of the British rule, Modi said.
He said the citizens are proud of the strength of the women of India like Rani Laxmibai, Jhalkari Bai, Rani Chennamma, and Begum Hazrat Mahal. Indian women symbolise sacrifice and struggle, Modi said.
The country also salutes those who not only fought for its freedom, but also worked for nation building after Independence such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Ram Manohar Lohia and Sardar Vallabhai Patel among others, the prime minister said.
"India has been home to great thinkers like Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Rabindranath Tagore," he said.
Modi also paid tributes to Dr Rajendra Prasad, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Deendayal Upadhyaya, Ram Manohar Lohia, Nanaji Deshmukh, Jayaprakash Narayan and Acharya Vinoda Bhave.
The August 15 ceremony is particularly significant this year as it marks the 75th anniversary of the country's independence, with the government launching a host of exercises to add to the verve around the celebrations.
(with inputs from PTI)