Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the expression 'Team India' an expansive meaning on Saturday, using it to describe the entire 1.25 billion population of the country.
In his 86-minute speech from the ramparts of Red Fort, Modi mentioned 'Team India' -- an expression widely used for the Indian cricket team -- as many as 35 times.
Be it the topics of one rank one pension, financial inclusion or the report card of his government, Modi touched upon 'Team India' throughout his second Independence Day speech.
"This is Team India, a team of 125 crore Indians. This is the team that makes the nation and takes our nation to new heights," he said amid appluase.
Stressing that 'Team India' wanted transparency, the PM revealed he was under pressure not to go for an FM radio auction but it generated Rs 1,000 crore of revenue. He said the Clean India campaign was on track, seeing that as another effort of Team India.
"This country has progressed due to Team India. Had the world ever thought that when so many people become a team, it takes the country to new heights and saves the country," he added.
Modi also said Team India was trying to make many "dreams come true". "Whatever we are doing and the places where we are trying to reach is due to the 125 crore strong Team India."
Besides harping on Team India, Modi's speech struck an inclusive note in the very beginning when he said: "There is simplicity in every Indian and there is unity in every corner of India. This is the strength of India."
He added: "Be it casteism or communalism, there is no place for them. In no way can they be tolerated."
The PM, known for using catchy acronyms and pharses -- like Make in India, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, also floated the dream of 'Start-up India' in his speech.
He placed the focus firmly on small entrepreneurs and farmers as India’s new growth drivers as he hinted towards an overhaul of the agriculture ministry’s functioning and the launch of a potential new signature programme “Start-Up India, Stand-Up India”.
“We are looking at systems for enabling start-ups. We must be Number 1 in start-ups. ‘Start-Up India, Stand-Up India’,” Modi said.
He attempted to make a subtle change in the government’s development policy, seeking to shift the focus to the farm economy and creating a conducive ecosystem for smaller firms to prosper.
The government, which wants to raise the share of the manufacturing to 25% of GDP by 2025, is looking at start-ups to create jobs for 15 million people who are joining the workforce every year.