Independence Day 2018: PM Narendra Modi invoked the nation's achievements in his speech.
New Delhi: On India's 72nd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the long-awaited manned space mission by India, for which space agency ISRO has been prepping. By 2022, "a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolor in hand," PM Modi said. The other big announcement was the rollout of the world's largest government-funded healthcare programme -- the Ayushman Bharat, which would benefit 50 crore people. Focussing on the achievements of his government in his fifth and final address from the ramparts of the Red Fort before next year's elections, PM Modi said, "We can take tough decisions because nation's interest is first for us, not the party's".
Here are the top 10 updates on PM Modi's Independence Day speech:
"Today, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I want to give the country a good news," Prime Minister Modi said. "India has always advanced in space science but we have decided that by 2022, when India completes 75 years of Independence, or before that, a son or daughter of India will go to space with a tricolor in their hands," he added. India will become the fourth nation after US, Russia and China to send a human to space.
Ayushman Bharat, popularly referred to as "Modicare", will be rolled out on September 25, on the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay, co-founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the Prime Minister said. The programme aims to provide coverage of Rs. 5 lakh to 10 crore economically backward families.
In the inspirational speech on India's 72nd Independence Day, the Prime Minister invoked the nation's achievements -- from the scaling of Mount Everest by tribal children to the expedition to South Pole expedition by Indian women.
In a dig at the Congress, he said, "If we don't look at where we started, we will not be able to how far we have come. If we take 2013 as the base year, you'll be surprised to learn the pace of progress... The world used to talk about electricity blackouts, bottlenecks in India. Today it says the "sleeping elephant" has started walking".
PM Narendra Modi also issued a warning on the spiraling atrocities on women -- one of the subjects recommended by the people after he sought their advice on subjects to be covered in his Independence Day address. "Rapes are being tackled sternly. It should be widely reported how rapists are being sent to the gallows for their crimes. Rule of law is supreme, no one can take law in their hands," he said.
He also spoke of Kashmir, saying the way forward was the one indicated by Atal Bihari Vajpayee -- Insaniyat, Jamhuriyat, Kashmiriyat. "We want to go ahead on that road... Not bullets and abuse, we want to embrace the patriotic people of Kashmir," he said.
India, he said, has improved its standing in the world today. "Today when any Indian goes anywhere, all countries of the world welcome them... The power of the Indian passport has increased," he said.
He also promised that the law against triple talaq will materialize and the removal of AFSPA from large parts of the northeast. "Our forces have ushered in a new era of internal security," he said.
For his Independence Day speech, PM Narendra Modi had asked for ideas from people, a practice he has followed for the past three years. Some of the suggestions received on the MyGov.in website included on rape, open defecation, reservation system and education.
Huge security arrangements have been made at the Mughal-era fort and the national capital, where 70,000 Delhi Police personnel have been deployed.