On India’s 74th Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his 7th speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort. As has been made a tradition by Prime Minister Modi, the Independence Day speech has been changed from a mere hailing of secularism and the spirit of India to talking about the ‘report card’ of the government in the past one year and a brief about what the government aims to achieve in the next one year.
The Modi government, in general, has been mindful and has displayed utmost seriousness when it comes to delivering the promises that it made to its core voters in its manifesto. Two of the most important promises were the removal of Article 370 and the construction of the Bhavya Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
In the year 2019, the Modi government delivered on its first promise by abrogating Article 370 and integrating Jammu and Kashmir completely with the rest of the country. In 2020, PM Modi performed the Bhoomi Pujan of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
In his Independence Day speeches, Prime Minister Modi often gives a brief about the work that has been done in the past one year and the promises that have been delivered by his government.
In his Independence Day 2020 speech, PM Modi spoke about the contraction of the Ram Mandir and how a long-standing demand had finally been resolved peacefully after centuries.
Prime Minister Modi, from the ramparts of the Red Fort, said, “10 days ago, construction of Ram Mandir work has begun in Ayodhya. A peaceful resolution to Ram Janambhoomi issue is unprecedented. The peace and understanding with which the Nation presented itself is evident and will become an inspiration for us in the future. Peace, unity and harmony are going to become the power of Atma Nirbhar Bharat. This devotion is the foundation of India’s future. It is with this harmony that we need to move forward”.
It is perhaps the first time that a persevering, pervasive and 500-year-long civilisational struggle saw resolution in modern India and was also mentioned from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
Along with talking about the Ram Mandir, PM Modi also spoke about the Citizenship Amendment Act and how, India was successful in forming a policy to give refuge to the persecuted minorities from neighbouring Islamic states.
While in 2020, PM Modi spoke about CAA and the resolution of the Ram Mandir dispute, in 2019, PM Modi had spoken about his government delivering on the promise of abrogating Article 370. PM Modi had underlined decisions like Triple Talaq Bill and abrogation of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir were long pending demands of the people which have been fulfilled. He had said Sardar Patel’s long-cherished dreams have been now been realised by his government’s path-breaking moves. “One Nation, one Constitution has now become a reality,” PM Modi said.
“It has been under ten weeks since the new Government was formed but several path-breaking decisions have been taken. This includes decisions for Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh, the end of Triple Talaq, steps for the welfare of farmers and traders. The old arrangement in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged corruption, nepotism but there was an injustice when it came to rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal communities. The dreams of sanitation workers were incomplete. How can we accept such a situation”, PM Modi had said.
Further, in 2019, PM Modi had said, “We do not believe in creating problems or prolonging them. In less than 70 days of the new Government, Article 370 has become history, and in both Houses of Parliament, 2/3rd of the members supported this step. We want to serve Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh. Those who supported Article 370, India is asking them – If this was so important and life-changing, why was this Article not made permanent? After all, those people had large mandates and could have removed the temporary status of Article 370. It is always India First for us. Politics comes and goes but steps in the interest of the nation are paramount”.
Every year, Prime Minister Modi and the government led by him deliver on important promises that were made in their election manifesto and the Independence Day speech is seen as an opportunity to speak directly to the nation. To tell the nation that this government believes in keeping its promise.