Modi underlined the need of impartiality, transparency, and probity, and asked citizens to oppose corruption, nepotism, and appeasement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his 10th Independence Day speech that India will be a developed country by 2047, contrasting that long-term goal with the more immediate goal of the country’s economy becoming the world’s third largest — it is currently fifth — during his third term. He emphasized democracy, diversity, and demographics as fundamental advantages that will allow India to flourish.
The vision, both short- and long-term, economic and political — if Modi wins a third consecutive term as Prime Minister in 2024, he will become only the second Indian Prime Minister after Jawaharlal Nehru to do so — has been mentioned in some of his recent speeches, and continues a theme from last year: India as a developed nation by the 100th anniversary of its independence.
Modi’s addresses in 2022 and 2023 were forward-looking, moving the narrative itself, and the PM mentioned this — in a speech that lasted 90 minutes, one of the longest he has given on the occasion.If his first term was founded on the promise of change, his second term was based on performance, and his third term will be based on “unprecedented development,” according to Modi.
Even as he looked ahead, Modi made sure to mention three things: corruption, which is widely blamed for his BJP’s 2014 thrashing of the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance; appeasement, which is widely blamed by the BJP’s support base for many of the country’s ills; and nepotism (and dynastic politics), which he has repeatedly targeted, distinguishing himself and his politics from his opponents.
With less than eight months until the Lok Sabha elections, Modi said that during his tenure, 135 million people have risen from poverty to join the ranks of the middle class, and he has reached out to a variety of social and demographic groups, particularly the young and women.
He conducted an analysis of his government’s welfare spending over the previous nine years and announced new projects aimed at the urban lower middle class, the poor, and women.
He defined India’s foreign policy as that of a “vishwa mitra,” or friend of the world.
Modi also praised India’s achievement in addressing internal security, while acknowledging the bloodshed and suffering in Manipur and claiming that peace was returning to the state.
He said he would inaugurate the projects for which he lay the foundation stone and return to the Red Fort next year, hinting at the outcome of the 2024 election.