Till now, Jawahar Lal Nehru was the only Prime Minister, who scripted his own Independence Day speech. But Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided to follow in his footsteps and present a "visionary statement" on Tuesday — a la Pandit Nehru.
While 50-odd departments sent their inputs for the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech "as part of an annual routine", Manmohan Singh has cast them aside.
Instead, he has framed his own speech. He worked on "every word" to present a "big picture" to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort. He has been in the office for three years — and "today he is confident that he can work out the entire speech by himself, without bureaucratic intervention", said a top aide.
Though the speech will be a mixed fare as usual, it has been learnt that the thrust will be on poverty, development and economy.
It will also be liberally laced with references to "global terrorism" and its threat to Indian polity. Giving it a political twist, he might also claim credit for dealing with the explosive situation in the aftermath of Mumbai, Delhi and Varanasi blasts.
But, he will not restrict the speech to just number crunching. For instance, he will take credit for the three-year economic boom — a steady growth of eight per cent.
But modest that he is, Singh will concede "the benefits of this growth is not being shared equally by everyone," a source said.
In this context, he may refer to all the rural schemes in place beginning with the Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme to the Bharat Nirman scheme to expand the list of beneficiaries in the "growth saga".
He may refrain from announcing the "model village" concept proposed for over 1,000 villages with 100 per cent scheduled caste population. Instead, he would like to see "proper implementation" of the schemes announced, the source said.
However, he may announce a self-help scheme for the rural youth to train them as carpenters, welders, electricians, foremen, low-end technicians’ etc. In all, PMO sources said the speech would be "distinctly different".