From 57 minutes in 2017 to 82 this year, PM Modi reverts to long Independence Day speeches
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From 57 minutes in 2017 to 82 this year, PM Modi reverts to long Independence Day speeches

In his radio adress ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to make his speeches shorter after before last Independence Day that he had received letters from people complaining that his speeches were “a little too long” and promised to make them shorter.

india Updated: Aug 15, 2018 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation during Independence Day celebrations at the historic Red Fort in Delhi.(REUTERS File Photo)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke for over 80 minutes while addressing the nation from the historic Red Fort on Wednesday after delivering his shortest Independence Day speech last year.

Modi had spoken for 57 minutes last year, his shortest August 15th speech in five years; he had addressed the nation for 96 minutes in 2016, the longest ever Independence Day address by an Indian Prime Minister. He spoke for over 65 minutes in 2014 and 86 minutes in 2015.

India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru spoke for 72 minutes in 1947 which was the longest ever speech from the Red Fort till 2015.

Modi said in his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ before last Independence Day that he had received letters from people complaining that his speeches were “a little too long” and promised to make them shorter.

His predecessor Manmohan Singh, who delivered 10 speeches over his long tenure at the helm, stuck to the 50-minute mark in his Independence Day speeches. Singh delivered speeches that lasted 50 minutes only on two occasions, 2005 and 2006, and during the remaining eight years, his address ranged from 32 to 45 minutes.

Modi’s party colleague and the first Bharatiya Janata Party prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee spoke for 30-35 minutes in his Independence Day addresses. Vajpayee delivered a speech that lasted 25 minutes in 2002, and in 2003 he gave a 30-minute address from the historic 17th-century Mughal-era monument.

This was Modi’s fifth speech after the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance came to power in 2014.

The Prime Minister began his speech by hailing the six women officers of the Indian Navy, who circumnavigated the globe recently. He mentioned the flood-hit state of Kerala, spoke on the issue of social justice and addressed the concerns of farmers and the recent decision of hiking the minimum support price (MSP) for Kharif crops.

Modi also praised the soldiers for their exemplary valour and sacrifices and raised the issue of One Rank One Pension as demanded by army personnel. He talked about the progress being made under the Swacch Bharat campaign and announced the date for the launch of Jan Arogya Abhiyaan on September 25.

He also spoke on triple talaq and said justice will be ensured to Muslim women.

First Published: Aug 15, 2018 13:10 IST