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india today insightIn his 10th straight Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi positioned himself before the nation as on the cusp of winning another mandate for himself in the 2024 general election. Another big takeaway from the speech was Modi exhorting Indians to work towards laying the foundation of India for the next thousand years, something that seemed to some from the RSS’s thought process of a civilisational battle to uphold the ethos of the county. Modi also sought blessings and contributions to be able to make India a developed country by 2047. He argued that the world no longer had any doubts when it came to India’s growth and development.

Modi’s speech, which lasted 89 minutes, was one of the lengthiest of the 77 delivered from the ramparts of the Red Fort since India’s Independence. If he had used his first I-Day address in 2014 to talk about key policies, such as the Swachh Bharat Mission and Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, this time he presented a report card of sorts, arguing how his government’s social sector schemes had transformed the lives of the poor and their execution had been applauded by global multilateral agencies. His confidence reflected as he concluded with the promise of returning for the next I-Day speech in 2024. Here’s a broad analysis of the narrative that Modi sought to build in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election.


Modi said that when his government was formed in 2014, India was the tenth largest economy in terms of GDP size. Today, with the efforts of 1.4 billion Indians, the country had reached the fifth position, and this had been achieved by curbing corruption, plugging leakages and creating a strong economy, he said. Modi added that India had emerged as ‘vishwa mitra’, a friend of the world. “It is Modi’s guarantee that in the next five years, India will be among the top three nations in terms of economy,” he said.

Inflation, Modi said, was something that had affected all economies in the world. “We have been striving hard to tackle inflation, and I will not rest till my countrymen are happy and not affected by rising expenses,” he declared.

Women first

Modi emphasised on the importance of women-centric progress. “The one thing that will take the country forward is women-led development. Today, we can proudly say that India has the highest number of women pilots. Women scientists are leading the Chandrayaan-3 mission. Even G20 countries are recognising the importance of women-led development,” the PM said. He said women’s self-help groups (SHGs) will soon be trained to use drones—fly as well as repair unmanned aerial vehicles—and that while 100 million women were associated with SHGs, his dream was to create 20 million ‘lakhpati didis’ in the villages. “We are working to meet the target,” he said.

Target Congress
If Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge chose to skip the flag-hoisting at Red Fort, Modi spared no chance to target the party. “Today, ‘parivarvaad’ and appeasement have destroyed our country. How can a political party have only one family in charge? For them, their life mantra is ‘party of the family, by the family and for the family’,” he said.


Instead of his conventional style of addressing people as ”my fellow citizens“, Modi referred to them as ”My beloved 1.4 billion family members“. Throughout the speech, he referred to the people of the country as ”parivarjan” (family members).

A world in awe

Modi spoke about India’s clout in world politics. With India’s presidentship of the G20 and a series of G20 events being held across the country, he said the world was watching India’s diversity and capabilities with great enthusiasm. He said that at the G20 meeting in Bali, leaders of other countries were keen to know about India’s achievements, especially in technology and digitisation.

Other countries, he said, were looking at India in awe and, in the post-Covid world, the relevance of yoga and Ayush in holistic healthcare was being acknowledged globally. He said a new geopolitical order had come into being after the pandemic, just like after World War 2.

Modifying India

Modi said reform, perform and transform was his government’s motto, with every penny being used to make India better. His emphasis on transformation of the poor reflected in the selection of special guests, who included over 400 sarpanches from 660 villages, 250 participants from the Farmer Producer Organization Scheme, 50 participants each from the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, 50 Shram Yogis of the Central Vista project, as well as 50 school teachers, 50 nurses and 50 fishermen.

Modi is making provisions for the launch of the ‘Vishwakarma Yojana’ on Vishwakarma Jayanti on September 17. He mentioned about plans to recognise and uplift skilled labourers and craftsmen. The scheme seeks to boost the prospects of workers such as barbers, tanners, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, ironsmiths, washermen, hairdressers and masons, who mostly belong to the OBC bloc.

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Edited By:

Arindam Mukherjee

Published On:

Aug 15, 2023

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