Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing the nation at the Red Fort on India’s 71st Independence Day, touched upon a number of key issues. From Kashmir to GST, a passing reference to mob violence and the recent Gorakhpur tragedy – here are the 5 takeaways from his speech:
After expressing his respect for those who sacrificed their lives during the Indian freedom struggle, the Prime Minister talked about the (nearly) 65 children who died in a Gorakhpur hospital recently due to lack of oxygen supply. He said that people must stand shoulder to shoulder in these times of tragedy.
Reference to Mob Lynchings
The Prime Minister made a veiled reference to mob lynchings and spread a message of peace at a time when his silence on the issue has earned him a lot of criticism. He said that violence in the name of faith cannot be tolerated and that the slogan now should be “Bharat Jodo”.
Success of GST
Speaking about key events from last year like the surgical strikes, the Prime Minister spoke about the Goods and Services Tax and how it has brought the country together. He said that the GST has shown the “spirit of cooperative federalism”.
Solution to Kashmir
Taking the message of peace forward, the Prime Minister said that neither ‘gaali’ nor ‘goli’ can be a solution to the Kashmir issue. In order to resolve the issue, the people of Kashmir need to be embraced with open arms. He also said that the government is committed to restoring Kashmir’s “heaven on earth” status.
Speaking about how India now has the highest youth demographic in the world, PM Modi said that IT is the way forward and that citizens must work hand-in-hand to internalise the system of digital transactions. He said that the youth in the country must become job creators and not just job seekers.
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