From Red Fort, PM Modi delivers one message to 2 neighbours, China and Pak
PM Modi also said during his Independence Day speech that Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India has become the mantra of the 1.3 billion Indians have taken the resolve to transform the country even while facing several setbacks, including the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.Updated: Aug 15, 2020 14:48 IST
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday delivered a sharp message to two of India’s neighbours, China and Pakistan, declaring that the armed forces deployed along the borders with the two countries have given a fitting reply to those who sought to challenge India’s sovereignty.
Like in previous years, PM Modi’s 90-minute Independence Day address to the nation did not name Pakistan, or China. But as he wrapped up his speech that had extensively focused on the campaign to build a self-reliant India, the Prime Minister from the ramparts of the Red Fort underlined that the country’s sovereignty is supreme.
“The world has seen in Ladakh what our brave soldiers can do to deliver on this resolve. From LoC (Line of Control) to the (Line of Actual Control), the country’s armed forces have given a fitting response to countries that threatened the country’s territorial sovereignty,” PM Modi said in his Independence Day speech.
It was a reference to the standoff at the east Ladakh border that has continued for more than 100 days and violent scrap on June 15 when Indian Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) soldiers blocked attempts by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to expand its territory.
The Prime Minister, who wore a white and saffron turban with a kurta, said India is connecting with its neighbours, whether they are connected to us through land or the sea, with the partnership of security, development and trust. “Today, neighbours are not only those who share the same geographical boundaries but also those who meet our hearts. Where there is harmony in relationships, there is amity,” he said.
The Prime Minister also said Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliant India has become the mantra of the 1.3 billion Indians who he said have taken the resolve to transform the country even while facing several setbacks, including the coronavirus pandemic and natural disasters.
“I am confident that India will realise this dream. I am confident of the abilities, confidence and potential of my fellow Indians. Once we decide to do something, we do not rest till we achieve that goal,” he said.
“India has always believed that the entire world is one family. While we focus on economic growth and development, humanity must retain a central role in this process and our journey,” he added.
Several big companies of the world are turning to India and the will have to go ahead with the mantra of Make in India as well as Make for World, the Prime Minister stressed.
PM Modi also launched the National Digital Health Mission, which he said will bring a revolution in the country’s health sector. “You will get information about every test, every disease, which doctor prescribed you which medicine and when and your reports under one health ID,” Prime Minister said.
He had started his speech by paying his homage to all those who have laid their lives down in the line of duty, members of the armed forces and frontline workers amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister also pointed to the absence of the hundreds of school children who sit in front of the dais every year. He said the coronavirus pandemic has curtailed the celebrations as he also acknowledged the corona warriors and all those who have succumbed to the viral disease.
“In this extraordinary time of Corona, our doctors, nurses, paramedical staff, ambulance personnel, sweepers, policemen, servicemen, many people, are working round the clock, regardless of their lives, with the spirit of Seva Parmo Dharma (service is the highest duty),” he said.
In his Independence Day speech last year, PM Modi had talked about the decision to remove Jammu and Kashmir’s special rights and ban against triple talaq among the bold moves of the first 10 weeks of his second term.
Modi also talked about his aim to turn India into a $5-trillion economy within five years and announced the creation of a new post of chief of defence staff to ensure better coordination of the army, navy and air force, along the lines of western military forces.
A multilayered security ring, including snipers from the National Security Guard (NSG), elite SWAT commandos and kite catchers, has been thrown in around the Red Fort. More than 300 cameras have also been installed and their footage is being monitored round-the-clock.
Around 4,000 security personnel stood guard at the Red Fort in adherence with social distancing norms. There was heavy security deployment along the route taken by the Prime Minister to reach Red Fort as well.
Eight roads—Netaji Subhash Marg, Lothian Road, SP Mukherjee Marg, Chandni Chowk Road, Nishadaj Marg, Esplanade Road and its Link Road to Netaji Subhash Marg, Ring Road from Rajghat to ISBTand Outer Ring Road from ISBT to IP flyover—have been closed from 4am to 10am.