New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi hoisted national flag at Red Fort on Friday and delivered an Independence Day speech that was being closely watched for announcements of major reforms, amid growing scepticism about his chances of quickly transforming the struggling economy.
Modi won the biggest mandate in 30 years at national elections in May on promises of creating much-needed jobs, attracting investment, cutting red-tape and cleaning up corrupt government.
But he has yet to deliver on the promised reforms, dampening expectations that his right-wing government can overhaul an economy suffering through the worst slowdown in two decades.
Here are the highlights:
- I speak here today as the Chief Servant and not the Prime Minister of India
- So many generations gave sacrifices for Independence, spent youth and life in freedom struggle. I salute those martyrs
- National festival should be used as an opportunity to hone our patriotism and get inspired to serve our nation better
- This country was not built by politicians or rulers or governments. It was built by our farmer and working class
- It is the beauty of our constitution that a person from a poor family from a small village has the honour to stand under the flag here
- I express my gratitude to all the former governments, former Prime Ministers who have brought the country to such heights
- We must walk together, think together, and make a determination to take the nation ahead together'
- This day gives us inspiration, it showcases the national character. This day can inspire us to take India to newer heights
- We want to move forward not on the basis of majority but on consensus
- I'm an outsider to Delhi but when I came here, it felt that there were many governments within one
- One government department is quarrelling against the other. Matters reached the Supreme Court. How can we take India forward?
- Want the government to be an organic unity and not an assembled entity
- Wasn't happy to read that government officers coming to work on time made news. Should this be news?
- We have to rise above 'mera kya - mujhe kya'; some things have to be done for greater national good
- We should shun the self-centered attitude of what is it in for me, rather focus on country's welfare
- Our head hangs in shame when we hear news about rape. Parents ask their daughters but did anyone dare ask their sons?
- We haven't got anything from violence. We need to leave that path and promote brotherhood
- Instead of a gun on your shoulders, have a plough and this land will be coloured green instead of red: PM Narendra Modi at Red Fort
- We have a skewed sex ratio in India. This is not done by God. I appeal to doctors, parents - don’t kill daughters in the womb.
- The daughters of the nation have contributed a lot to the progress of the country, I request all to respect them
- Govt servants should be aware that they are providing a service to the nation
- From a 'chaprasi' to Cabinet Secretary, every government servant in competent. We'll harness that strength
- Jan Dhan Yojana - we want to integrate the poorest of the poor with bank accounts
- We believe in 'Jan Bhagidari' (people's participation in governance). We believe in taking everyone together
- Have we ever thought of utilizing the power of our youth? India needs skilled workforce
- Skill development will be towards job creation and empowering the youth with skills. That is progress
- "Come, Make in India": PM Modi matra on making India a manufacturing hub. PM says 'sell anywhere but manufacture here'
- We should not forget and imbibe the true meaning of the slogan given by Lal Bahadur Shashtri 'Jai jawan jai kisan'
- Indian youth has given a progressive name and face to the nation in last few decades
- Let us come together and think of ways India does not have to import but we export goods to the world
- We should work towards becoming 'Digital India' with e-governance
- Let us think about zero-defect production with no adverse effect on the environment
- E-Governance is easy governance, effective governance
- We have to move towards 'Digital India'. We import electronic goods, but if we start manufacturing these it will benefit India
- We need to clean the filth from our country. We should pledge that we will work towards keeping our nation clean
- In 2019, ensuring cleanliness will be the most fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary
- It is a shame that our women have to wait for darkness to go out in the open to defecate
- Every school should have toilets. There should be separate toilets for girls. Appeal to MPs and corporates to come forward for this
- We'll decide on parameters for the villages to make them progressive, I will ask the MP's to work for at least one
- There are many schemes named after leaders. Today I announce a scheme in the name of Parliament - Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana
- October 11 is Jay Prakash Narayan's birth anniversary. On that day we'll share blueprint of Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana with MPs, states'
- Times have changed from the time the Planning Commission was created
- We have to strengthen India's federal structure. A new body will soon start working in place of the existing Planning Commission
- If we can fight the freedom struggle without any weapons, then we can come together and fight against poverty too
- Let us pledge to work with our neighbours to defeat poverty in the SAARC region
- I request all to work hard and extra hours for the betterment of the nation. I am saying this as the Pradhan Sevak
The entire 10-kilometre route that Modi travelled from PM’s residence to the Red Fort is under CCTV surveillance. Intelligence agencies had sounded a high alert in the city.
Reportedly, apart from about 500 CCTV cameras, about 200 cameras were placed inside Red Fort.
Unmanned aerial vehicles or drones were being used for close surveillance across the route and around the Red Fort. The Air Force is on its feet for any emergency.
Snipers and anti-aircraft guns have also been stationed in about 350 high-rise buildings in the Red Fort area. Security personnel have been posted at each corner within an eight-kilometre radius around the Red Fort.
Sources said Modi did not want the bullet proof glass from behind which the Prime Minister addresses the nation, but security agencies advised against removing it.