Updated: Mon, 15 Aug 2022 02:47 PM IST
Remembering freedom fighters and revolutionaries such as Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, and Veer Savarkar on Independence Day 2022, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that the next 25 years will be "crucial" for India as he urged the country's youth to dedicate their lives for the nation's development.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of Rajghat, the Prime Minister said India is the "mother of democracy" and has shown to the world that it has a "precious ability" as it faced multiple challenges in its 75 years of independence. However, he said India's people didn't let their resolves fade away and helped the country continue to walk on the road to development.
"The citizens are thankful to Bapu, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar who gave their lives on the path of duty," he said. "Every India is filled with pride when they remember the strength of the women of India - be it Rani Laxmibai, Jhalkari Bai, Chennamma, Begun Hazrat Mahal."
"Be it those who fought for independence or built the nation - Dr Rajendra Prasad, Nehru ji, Sardar Patel, SP Mookerjee, LB Shastri, Deendayal Upadhyaya, JP Narayan, RM Lohia, Vinoba Bhave, Nanaji Deshmukh, Subramania Bharati - it's the day to bow before such great personalities," said PM Modi.
He also hailed the tribal community and said that their sacrifice in India's freedom struggle cannot be forgotten. Taking a swipe at India's critics, the Prime Minister said the country attained freedom and continued to move forward on the path of development despite the multiple challenges.
In his ninth consecutive Independence Day speech, PM Modi called the country an "aspirational society" where the people want "positive changes" and want to contribute to it. However, he said that every government, including the Centre, needs to address this aspiration society.
"In this 75-year journey, amid hopes, aspirations, highs, and lows we reached where we could with everyone's effort. In 2014, citizens gave me the responsibility - the first person born after independence who received an opportunity to sing praises of citizens of this country from Red Fort," he said.
Giving a 'Panchpran' for the next 25 years, PM Modi said the country needs to move forward with the "India first approach". He said the country's citizens need to follow these pledges to fulfill freedom fighters' dreams for India by 2047.
"In coming years, we've to focus on 'Panchpran' - First, to move forward with bigger resolves and resolve of developed India; Second, erase all traces of servitude; Third, be proud of our legacy; Fourth, the strength of unity; and Fifth, duties of citizens, which includes the PM and CMs," he said.
"We always remember Lal Bahadur Shastri ji's slogan of 'Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan'. Later, Atal Bihari Vajpayee added 'Jai Vigyaan' to this slogan. Now, there is another necessity to add - 'Jai Anusandhan' (research and innovation). Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyaan aur Jai Anusandhan," PM Modi said.
PM Modi, who was wearing a traditional tri-coloured motif safa (headgear) with a long trail, also took a dig against dynastic politics and corruption, asking the countrymen to fight the two challenges with all of their strength.
"Two big challenges we face today - corruption and 'Parivaarvaad' or nepotism. Corruption is hollowing the country like a termite, we've to fight it. We've to raise awareness against 'Parivaarwaad' to realise the strength of our institutions, to take the country forward based on merit," he said.
Ahead of his speech at the Red Fort, PM Modi unfurled the tricolour amid a 21-gun salute by the indigenously developed howitzer gun, ATAGS. This was followed by a shower of flower petals by helicopters. Before that, he visited Rajghat to pay his respects to Mahatma Gandhi.
A multi-layered security cover along with Facial Recognition System cameras have been installed at each entry and exit points at the Red Fort. Security personnel also deployed trained catchers to ensure that the premises remain monkey-free during the day. As many as 231 regular kite-flyers from the walled city area were roped in by the police to ensure a clear sky for about three hours on the morning of August 15.