Prime Minister of India, Narendra ModiIt has promised to transform India into a developed country in the next 25 years.
Wearing a flowing, cream-colored turban with the orange, white and green stripes of the Indian flag, Modi addressed the nation from New Delhi’s 17th-century Mughal-era Red Fort to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence from British rule. .
Modi said the world’s view of India is changing and it is looking at the country to solve global problems.
After a 21-gun salute, allegedly using a home-made howitzer for the first time under Modi’s “Make in India” industrial policy, the prime minister said Indians must put “colonialism in our minds and habits”.
“Hundreds of years of colonialism have limited our emotions, distorted our thinking. Whenever we see even the smallest thing related to colonialism in us or around us, we must get rid of it,” Modi said in a 90-minute speech from the ramparts of the Indian capital’s fort. and guarded by mechanical elephants.
Modi also said that India must eradicate the “termite” of corruption and nepotism, adhere to the “India First” mantra and ensure that “in speech and conduct we do not do anything that diminishes the dignity of a woman”.
“Self-reliant India is the responsibility of every citizen, every government, every section of society,” he said.
President Joe Biden, in a statement marking India’s Independence Day, said the US and India are indispensable partners and their partnership is based on a shared commitment to the rule of law and the promotion of human freedom and dignity.
Biden said he believes “both countries will stand together to protect the rules-based order; promote greater peace, prosperity and security for our people; pursue a free and open Indo-Pacific; And together we will tackle challenges around the world.”
India will be guided by the ideal of self-reliance and the spirit of international partnership to achieve excellence in science and technology, establish industries and achieve food and energy security, Modi said. He said billions of dollars of investment are coming into the country, making it a manufacturing hub.
India’s efforts have made the country of 1.4 billion a leader in information technology, pharmacy, space science and civilian nuclear power.
Modi said millions of people across the country are commemorating the 75th anniversary of independence by hoisting the orange, white and green national flag at their homes and businesses for three days as part of the government’s drive to “instill a sense of patriotism in every heart”.
Modi said that the journey of the last 75 years has seen ups and downs and India has faced all difficulties with resilience and perseverance. He asked people to remove any trace of colonial mentality.
The main opposition Congress accused the Modi government of keeping opposition parties away from the celebrations.
“Special programs were organized in the historic Central Hall of Parliament to mark the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of India’s independence,” said Jairam Ramesh, spokesperson of the Indian National Congress Party. “Sadly, nothing has been organized to mark the 75th anniversary, which has been reduced to an occasion to glorify the omniscient,” said the phrase, referring to Modi as the “all-knowing person”.
In his speech, Modi did not take any steps to mend or improve strained relations with India’s closest neighbors Pakistan and China.
He called for unity among Indians but did not respond to experts and critics who say the country is slowly drifting away from some democratic commitments and that the backsliding has accelerated since Modi came to power in 2014. They accuse their popular government of exercising unbridled political power. Undermining democratic freedoms and indulging in Hindu nationalist agenda.
Modi vowed to fight corruption and nepotism in the country’s politics, which are acting as termites eating away the benefits of development.
AP and AFP contributed to this report