Narendra Modi urges people to build a new and clean India
NEW DELHI: In his maiden Independence Day address as
Prime Minister, Narendra Modi urged people to work for a new and clean India by
shedding the ‘poison’ of communalism and making the country the world’s
Addressing tens of thousands of cheering people
gathered on the Red Fort complex in the morning, Modi spoke for over an hour,
focussing mainly on nation building and underlining the need to forge national
consensus on major issues.
In the process, Modi, 63, who took charge of India on
May 26, outlined his vision for the country, frankly admitting the faults
within and calling on neighbouring countries to team up with India to battle
He also announced a burial of the Planning Commission,
saying it was not needed any more. He said a new institution will take its
place. For the first time in years, there was no reference to Pakistan in the
Independence Day address. Indeed, he made no mention to any other country
except neighbouring Bhutan and Nepal which he recently visited.
Indians, he said, needed to give up the ‘poison’ of
casteism and communalism and added it was a shame that these plagued India even
so many years after independence. “How long will this continue?” he asked,
sounding emotive. “We have fought enough, we have killed enough. Turn back and
see has anyone gained anything?”
He said decades of bloodshed had caused deep wounds to
‘Bharat Mata’, adding there should be no violence for 10 years. Modi reached
the 17th century Red Fort after paying homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Raj Ghat.
Before beginning the speech, Modi - in a departure
from convention - took salute from the armed forces. He spoke mostly extempore,
occasionally looking down for a peek at his notes. Asking the world to “Come,
Make in India!”, Modi urged global investors to make this country a manufacturing
“I tell the world, Make in India! Sell anywhere, but
manufacture here. We have the skill and talent.” He said it should be every
Indian's dream to see Made in India products around the world -- green-friendly
and with zero defects.