NEW DELHI (TIP):
In his first address to the nation from the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi on the occasion of the 67th anniversary of India’s independence, August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at length on a number of issues, all tending to the development of India. In an extempore speech, invited investors saying, “Come, make in India. Sell anywhere, but manufacture here. We have the skill and the talent.” The bullet proof glass that previous Prime Ministers have stood behind was conspicuous by its absence as the Prime Minister reached out – not just to investors, but also to political rivals.
“We want to move forward not on the basis of majority but on consensus,” Modi said. Wearing a cream short-sleeved kurta and a red Gujarati safa or turban, Modi reiterated the commitments that powered his campaign for the national election this year – a focus on creating jobs and attracting investment. He once again stressed on good governance and development as the core strength of democracy and said his priority was “people private partnership” where the young would create many jobs. In another break with tradition, more than 10,000 members of the public were present at the Red Fort; the occasion is usually reserved for VIPs.
The Prime Minister began by stating that he is “not the pradhan mantri (prime minister) but the pradhan sevak (prime servant),” promising that his government, now three months old, will serve, not rule. In a speech high on emotional content, he also said that it was a tribute to Indian democracy that “a person from a poor family, an ordinary family is today addressing the nation from the Red Fort.” He described himself as an “outsider in Delhi, not liked by the city’s elite.”
The Prime Minister talked less about policy or schemes, and more about the need for urgent social fixes. He talked about communal and caste violence as an obstacle to growth. And about the shame of rape and female feticide: “Don’t kill daughters in the womb. It is a blot on 21st century India,” he said. us take a pledge to defeat poverty,” the prime minister said, also announcing a ‘ people wealth scheme’ (jan dhan yojna) to ensure all Indians can have a bank account, while blaming the high level of suicides among farmers on their inability to pay back money-lenders.
Here is what Modi said.
*To all Indians celebrating our Independence Day, greetings from the Pradhan Sewak. I stand before you not as Pradhan Mantri (Prime Minister) but Pradhan Sevak (Prime servant) * It is a tribute to Indian democracy that a person from a poor family, an ordinary family, is today addressing the nation from the Red Fort. * I tell the world – Come, Make in India. Sell anywhere but manufacture here.
We have the skill and talent. * All previous governments have a hand in developing India. State governments have a hand in it as well. I offer my respect to all previous governments and Prime Ministers. * We want to move forward not based on our majority but on consensus. The session that just ended reflects our thinking. * We don’t believe in the force of majority. We worked with everyone.
The credit for this goes not to the PM but the MPs and the opposition. * I am an outsider to Delhi. But an outsider came to Delhi and got an insider view. I was surprised. It was as if in one government there were different governments. * We have seen instances of communal violence for too long. Till when will this go on? Be it caste or communal violence, they stall the growth of the nation.
*Have we seen our sex ratio? Who is creating this imbalance? Not God. I appeal to the doctors not to kill the girl child in the mother’s womb. I request the parents not to kill daughters because they want a son. Don’t kill daughters in the womb; it is a blot on 21st century India. I have seen families where one daughter serves parents more than five sons. *The world used to think we are a land of snake charmers and black magic. But our youth has surprised the world with its IT skills.
* Our heads hang in shame when we hear about rapes. Parents ask about daughters but did anyone dare ask their sons. After all, the rapist is someone’s son. As parents, have we asked our sons where he is going? Why not put same yardstick for sons too? Earlier in the morning, Modi greeted the nation on Independence Day. He tweeted: “Greetings to my fellow Indians on Independence Day! May our tricolour fly high and our nation scale new heights of development. Jai Hind!” He later paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at the Raj Ghat.
He offered flowers at the blackstone memorial before heading to the Red Fort to deliver his maiden Independence Day speech. In view of the security threat to the Prime Minister, an additional 2,000 paramilitary personnel besides over 5,000 policemen were deployed to keep vigil during this year’s Independence Day celebration at the Red Fort.
Come, make in India. Manufacture here: Modi’s call to investors
NEW DELHI (TIP):