Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered an annual address from the Red Fort in Delhi to mark India’s 77th Independence Day on Tuesday.
He speaks of a new era of abundance. He said that the government will make many decisions in the near future that will influence the next 1,000 years for the country.
“Now we have demography, now we have democracy and we have diversity,” he said, adding that they are the main instruments for India’s future. He praised his government for making many reforms in the last nine years of his leadership.
What else did Modi say in his speech?
Modi also referred to racial violence in the northeastern state of Manipur, saying many people had lost their lives and women had been raped in the past four months. He said that peace has returned to the state in the last few days and hopes to continue it.
“The way for a solution in Manipur will be found through peace. The central and state governments are making all efforts for the solution. We will continue to do so,” he said.
Other topics Modi discussed included agricultural development, digital transformation and the need to put the country first on the global stage. The speech takes center stage ahead of the general election due in mid-2024.
The national capital saw tight security in the days leading up to the event with over 1,000 surveillance cameras, anti-drone technology and over 10,000 policemen deployed across Delhi.
Independence Day Traditions in India
On August 14, 1947 — on the eve of India’s independence from British rule — the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, raised the national flag from the Red Fort in Delhi followed by the famous speech known as “Tryst with Destiny.”
Since then, every year the Indian flag is unfurled at the fort.
Modi is the 13th prime minister to deliver an Independence Day speech at the historic fort. He paid tribute to the country’s freedom fighters on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, reaffirming the “commitment to fulfill their vision.”
Freedom from British rule
The East India Company took control of the country in 1757 after the Battle of Plassey. Nearly two centuries later, the “Quit India Movement” resulted in the British withdrawal from the country in 1947.
Freedom came at the price of partition – with the creation of two countries, India and Pakistan – which resulted in widespread riots and massacres, which continue to haunt both countries to this day.
Across India, the day is celebrated with local flag ceremonies, cultural programs, and songs commemorating India’s freedom fighters.
Edited by: Rob Turner