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Take five pledges to make India developed nation by 2047: PM

By, New Delhi
Aug 16, 2022 03:55 AM IST

“This will help us fulfil our dreams in the next 25 years… we have to take the pledge to make our country developed and work with full force to achieve this goal… we know that when India makes big promises, it fulfils them,” Modi said to loud cheers.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday set five resolutions for India to become a developed country by its 100th year of independence in 2047 as he etched an expansive map for national, social, economic and technological progress, touching on issues of gender equality, self-dependence, innovation, and the fight against corruption.

**EDS: RPT, CORRECTS SCHOOLCHILDREN TO NCC CADETS** New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi waves at NCC cadets as he leaves after addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of the 76th Independence Day, in New Delhi, Monday, Aug 15, 2022. (PTI Photo/Kamal Kishore) (PTI08_15_2022_000044B) (PTI)

Speaking from the ramparts of the Red Fort to mark 75 years of Independence, Modi spoke of the panch pran” or five pledges — creating big aspirations such as a developed India, uprooting all signs of colonial slavery from mindset and habits, exhibiting pride in India’s heritage, safeguarding its unique unity in diversity, and focusing on the duties of a citizen.

“This will help us fulfil our dreams in the next 25 years… we have to take the pledge to make our country developed and work with full force to achieve this goal… we know that when India makes big promises, it fulfils them,” Modi said to loud cheers.

Dressed in a powder-blue jacket and a white turban with saffron and green stripes, Modi underlined the importance of women’s rights and celebrating India’s diverse heritage while hitting out at corruption and nepotism in all walks of life, not just politics, and hailing the spirit of self-reliance in the defence forces and among common people.

“A distortion has crept in our conduct and we at times insult women… can we take a pledge to get rid of this from our behaviour and values? It is important that in speech and conduct we do nothing that lowers the dignity of women,” the PM said.

He pointed out that India was making rapid progress on many goals, including two billion vaccinations, pushing renewable energy, getting electricity and water connections to millions of people and eradicating open defecation. “This is why I say that in the upcoming 25 years, we should have big aspirations,” he added.

Modi spent the morning visiting Rajghat and paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi, before arriving at the Red Fort. He began speaking at around 7.35am and for roughly 83 minutes, addressed an audience comprising school students, political leaders, diplomats and senior officials, without a teleprompter, referring to paper notes.

Modi urged Indians to uproot a mindset of slavery and said India was ready to set standards for the world. He cited the new education policy (which he said was born out of the churn of diverse thoughts and voices from the ground) and the focus on developing skills would help in ending a culture of dependence. “We have to be proud of our languages, irrespective of whether we can understand it. This is the language of my country, bestowed to the world by our ancestors,” he said. He pointed out that the force propelling India to new heights in the technology and digital space hailed from tier-2 and 3 cities and poor families in villages.

The PM paid homage to the freedom fighters who fought against British rule, including Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Subhas Chandra Bose and architects of free India such as BR Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhai Patel, Ram Manohar Lohia, and Syama Prasad Mukherjee, and leaders such as Deen Dayal Upadhyay and VD Savarkar. He also said that India was home to great thinkers such as Vivekananda, Aurobindo and Rabindranath Tagore, while recalling the immense contributions of women freedom fighters — Rani Laxmibai, Jhalkaribai, Chennamma and Begum Hazrat Mahal, among others.

Modi asked the citizens to feel pride in India’s heritage that is connected with nature and influencing the world. “When the world is talking of holistic health care, it is focusing on yoga, ayurveda and India’s holistic lifestyle. This is our heritage that we have given to the world,” he said.

Another pledge he focused on was celebrating the country’s unity in diversity and asked people to forget barriers of faith, tradition, language and gender, and treat everyone equally. “India’s diversity is its unique strength and proof of its enduring power. This country is the mother of democracy, whose resolve can shape the world,” he said.

“India is an aspirational society where changes are being powered by a collective spirit. The way the world is seeing India is changing because India is a ray of hope for everyone,” he added.

He also spoke at length about the importance of gender equality. “We should celebrate the diversity of India....At home too, the roots of unity are sowed when both the son and the daughter are equal. If they are not, the mantra of unity cannot reverberate. I hope we can get rid of this attitude of upper-lower or mine-others,” Modi said. “Gender equality is a crucial parameter of unity,” he added.

He further said women power was present in all sectors of society and significant for the growth of the country. “If we look at ‘nari shakti’ (woman power) in law, education, science and police, our daughters and mothers are making major contributions to India,” Modi said.

His speech also stressed on duties and the importance of a disciplined life.

“We will have to stress on duties. It is the duty of the administration to make efforts to provide 24-hour electricity. But it is the duty of the citizens to save as much electricity as possible,” PM Modi said. “Giving water to every field is the duty of every government, but the spirit of per drop more crop should rise from every field, saving as much water as possible,” he added.

The PM said that if every citizen fulfilled their duty, the country could achieve any target. “Be it police or people, nobody is untouched with duties,” PM Modi said.

He recalled the contribution of former prime ministers Lal Bahadur Shastri and Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and the slogans they had given — Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan, Jai Vigyan (hail the soldier, farmer and science) — and said it was time to Jai Anusandhan (hail research and innovation) to it.

“It is our endeavour that the youth of the country get all support for research in all areas from — space to the depths of the ocean. That is why we are expanding our Space Mission & Deep Ocean Mission. The solution to our future lies in the depths of space and the ocean,” the Prime Minister said.

He underlined the importance of self-reliance, especially in the defence sector and pointed to the importance of indigenisation of products and processes. For the first time, a prototype of the advanced towed artillery gun system (ATAGS) was used for the ceremonial 21-gun salute along with British guns that have been traditionally used for the event. The howitzer was designed and developed under the government’s Make in India initiative.

“The digital movement with production of semiconductors, 5G and optical fibre shows strength in education, health and is bringing a change in the common man’s life. India’s ‘techade’ is here, with 5G, chip manufacturing, we are bringing revolution through Digital India to the grassroots,” he said.

The PM argued that competitive and cooperative federalism was the need of the hour. “Let there be a healthy spirit of competition among the states on progressing in different sectors,” he said.

He, however, pointed out two evils that can threaten India’s future — corruption and nepotism.

“Corruption is eating the country like termites and we have to fight it with full might. It is our endeavour that those who have looted the country have to return it,” he said and also criticised the efforts to “glorify” them, an apparent reference to the opposition parties defending those accused of corruption.

“This mindset is not going to end unless there is a feeling of ‘nafrat’ (hatred) for corruption and the corrupt and people are forced to look down upon them socially,” he said.

Hitting out at dynasty and nepotism, he said their presence in politics nourished this evil in all other institutions of the country. “This nepotism harms India’s talents and capabilities. This is also a reason for corruption as people resort to it when they see no other option,” he said, seeking awareness against this to rid India’s institutions of these evils for their bright future.

The Congress hit out at the Prime Minister over his speech, saying he let the country down by not discussing the promises made by him in the last eight years and by not giving an account of his tenure. Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera said he wondered what happened to the promises of doubling farmers’ income, giving houses to all, bringing back black money and providing jobs.

Modi’s call against misogyny also met with jibes from the Opposition leaders. “Let’s pledge to wipe out misogyny, said PM Modi today. Completely agree, Sir. Should we start with you, leading by example,” Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien tweeted with an old video of the PM campaigning against West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.

“One has seen in the last eight years, the Prime Minister has a magic with words and the capacity to communicate it to an audience. It would be interesting to see in the two years of this term how much of that would they translate into action and how much of that would they take into the 2024 general elections. Because he’s already provided an insurance policy to say that this is a 25-year plan and not just a two-year plan,” political analyst Sandeep Shastri said.

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