The following are the highlights of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day address to the nation on Sunday:
* The central government will do everything possible for rehabilitation of the affected people in Ladakh.
* We are building a new India in which every citizen would have a stake.
* The rate of our economic growth has been better than most other countries in the world. This shows the strength of our economy.
* To ensure equal partnership of women in our progress, we have taken the initiative for reservation for women in parliament and in state legislatures.
* The growth rate of our agriculture has increased substantially in the last few years.
* Our government wants a food safety net in which no citizen of ours would go hungry.
* I would certainly like to say that we are making every possible effort to tackle inflation. I am also confident that we will succeed in these efforts.
* The subsidy on petroleum products has been increasing every year. It had become necessary, therefore, to increase the prices of petroleum products.
* We want the fruits of development to reach the common man.
* Our government is committed to maintain communal peace and harmony.
* We will soon bring a bill in parliament for constitution of two separate councils in higher education and health respectively so that reforms in these two areas can be accelerated.
* Naxalism is a serious challenge to our internal security. We will deal firmly with those who resort to violence.
* It is also our endeavour that our adivasi brothers and sisters join the mainstream of development.
* We have a special responsibility towards the states of the
northeast. I would like to convey to all political parties and groups of the northeast that disputes in the name of state or tribe can only harm all of us.
* In Jammu and Kashmir, we are ready to talk to every person or group which abjures violence. Kashmir is an integral part of India.
* As far as Pakistan is concerned, we expect from them that they would not let their territory be used for acts of terrorism against India.
* The Commonwealth Games will start in Delhi after about one and a half months. I am convinced that all our countrymen will treat the Games as a national festival and will leave no stone unturned to make them a success.