Modi greets people on I-Day, says diversity is India’s strength

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi | File Photo: Twitter

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday greeted all Indians as the country celebrated the 76th Independence Day on Monday (August 15).

After hoisting the national flag at the Red Fort in Delhi, Modi paid tributes to freedom fighters and leaders from across the political spectrum for their contribution in the independence struggle and nation building, including former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, Veer Savarkar, Ram Manohar Lohia and others.

He 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, he 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. 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.

Role of tribals cannot be forgotten

The Prime Minister said tribal freedom fighters like Birsa Munda kept the struggle for independence alive in every corner of the country and that the role of tribals in the freedom struggle cannot be forgotten. “Tribal freedom fighters such as Birsa Munda, Tirot Singh and Alluri Sitarama Raju played a pivotal role in keeping the freedom struggle alive in every corner of India,” he said.

Underlining that India is “the mother of democracy”, Modi said the country’s inherent strength comes from its diversity and the common thread of patriotism, and is unshakeable. President Droupadi Murmu has recently become the first tribal to hold the top constitutional post in the country.

Gender equality crucial

“We should celebrate the diversity of India….At home too, the roots of unity are sowed when both the son and the daughter are equal. If they are not, the mantra of unity cannot reverberate. “Gender equality is a crucial parameter of unity,” the prime minister said.

“It is important that in speech and conduct we do nothing that lowers the dignity of women. A distortion has crept in our conduct and we at times insult women. Can we take a pledge to get rid of this from our behaviour and values,” he posed.

Progress with enthusiasm

Modi said in this Amrit Kaal, every Indian is aspiring to see the fast progress of a new India with enthusiasm and impatience. He termed India the “mother of democracy”. “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.

Five resolutions

Modi urged people to focus their energy on the five resolutions of making India a developed nation, removing every trace of bondage, taking pride in its heritage, unity, and fulfilling their duties in the next 25 years.

“By the 100th year of Independence, we have to work with the vision of accomplishing what our freedom fighters dreamt of,” he said. “I urge the youth to dedicate the next 25 years of their lives to the development of the nation. We will work towards even the development of the entire humanity. That is the strength of India.”

Modi said India will have to move ahead with big goals to fulfil the vision of a developed India in the centenary year of its Independence. “For the next 25 years we need to focus on the five resolves developed India, removing every trace of bondage from our mind, taking pride in our glorious heritage, unity, and fulfilling our duties,” he said.

“We need to now move with a renewed focus and resolve for the next 25 years, and this can be made possible through the strength and determination of 130 crore Indians.” Modi said the world looked at India with pride and hope, and as a problem-solver.

“The world looks at India as a destination where aspirations are met,” he said. The prime minister said a stable government has resulted in fast decision-making which has been noticed around the world.

(With agency inputs)