Prime Minister Narendra Modi, addressing the nation on its 74th Independence Day today, said an "Aatmanirbhar Bharat" or self-reliant India had become a mantra for 130 crore Indians and it would soon become reality. He urged the country to embrace the "Vocal for Local" pledge and use its vast natural resources to "Make in India and Make For the World".
"Aatmanirbhar Bharat is in the minds and hearts of every Indian. We are transforming this dream into reality," PM Modi said in his seventh address from the historic Red Fort, a speech dedicated mainly to his emphasis on a self-reliant economy.
"In the midst of the Corona pandemic, 130 crore Indians have pledged to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. I am confident that India will realize 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..."
India must grow for the world to grow, he said. "As we move towards our 75th year of Independence, the entire nation must take a pledge to make 'vocal for local' the mantra of the nation."
Making a strong case for his "Make in India" vision, the PM said: "How long will we export raw materials and import finished goods? Time has come that we end this cycle. India must now manufacture everything it consumes... and not just that - export to the world too as we grow."
PM Modi reiterated his plan to make India a global manufacturing hub, noting that even during the coronavirus pandemic, global businesses were investing in India like never before.
"FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) has broken all records. There has been an 18% growth in FDI. Even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, investments are pouring into India. It tells us that the world sees our potential and has hope from a rising India" he said.
This had become possible, he said, because India had worked on its policies, on infrastructure and on strengthening the foundation of its democracy. "Many businesses across India are looking at India as a center for their supply chains. From Make in India, we must go toward Make for World," he said.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need to boost self-reliance in farmers and agriculture for a stronger economy at the grassroots.
"Our mission for Vocal for Local, re-skill and upskill will help build an economy of self-reliance among those below the poverty line," he said.
There are numerous challenges in becoming self-reliant, said the Prime Minister, but there are millions of solutions as well.
"India has always believed in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam - 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 said.