Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has promised to transform India into a developed country within the next 25 years.
Wearing a flowing cream turban with stripes of orange, white and green, the colors of the Indian flag, Modi addressed the country from the 17th-century Mughal-era Red Fort in New Delhi to mark the 75th anniversary of the To celebrate India’s independence from British rule.
Modi said the world’s view of India is changing and she is looking to the country to help solve global problems.
After a 21-gun salute allegedly carried out with howitzers, which were being produced domestically for the first time as part of Modi’s Make In India industrial strategy, the prime minister said Indians should shed “colonialism in our thoughts and habits.”
“Hundreds of years of colonialism have limited our feelings, distorted our thoughts. If we see even the smallest thing related to colonialism in or around us, we have to get rid of it,” Modi said in a 90-minute speech from the ramparts of the Indian capital’s fortress, which was adorned with portraits of freedom fighters and guarded by mechanical elephants.
Modi also said India should smash the “termite” of corruption and nepotism, follow an “India first” mantra and ensure that “in speech and conduct we do nothing that diminishes a woman’s dignity”.
“Separate India is the responsibility of every citizen, every government, every entity of society,” he said.
President Joe Biden, in a statement celebrating India’s Independence Day, said the US and India are essential partners and their partnership is based on a shared commitment to the rule of law and to promoting human freedom and dignity.
Biden said he is confident “that the two countries will continue to stand together to defend the rules-based order; promoting greater peace, prosperity and security for our people; promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific; and together address the challenges we face around the world.”
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Modi said India will be guided by the ideals of self-reliance and the spirit of international partnership to achieve excellence in science and technology, build industries and achieve food and energy security. He said billions of dollars in investment would flow into the country, turning it into a manufacturing hub.
India’s efforts have already propelled the country of 1.4 billion people into the ranks of the leaders in information technology, pharmaceuticals, space science and civil nuclear energy.
Modi said millions of people across the country are commemorating the 75th anniversary of independence by raising orange, white and green national flags in their homes and businesses for three days, as part of a government campaign “to infuse the spirit of patriotism in every heart.” wake up”.Narendra Modi (centre) greets attendees after addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi. Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Modi said the journey of the past 75 years has seen ups and downs, with India fighting all odds with resilience and perseverance. He urged people to eliminate every vestige of colonial thinking.
The main opposition party in Congress accused the Modi government of excluding opposition parties from the celebrations.
“Special events were held in the historic Central Hall of Parliament to celebrate the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversaries of India’s independence,” said Jairam Ramesh, a spokesman for the India National Congress Party. “Unfortunately, nothing of the sort was organized for the 75th anniversary, which was reduced to an occasion to glorify the Sarvagyaani,” using a term meaning “a person who knows everything” in reference to Modi.
In his speech, Modi made no mention of India’s strained relations with its immediate neighbors Pakistan and China, nor any steps to improve relations.
He called for Indian unity but did not respond to pundits and critics who say the country is gradually abandoning some democratic commitments and argue the backsliding has accelerated since Modi came to power in 2014. They accuse his populist government of using unbridled political power to undermine democratic freedoms and engaging in pursuit of a Hindu nationalist agenda.
Modi pledged to fight corruption and nepotism in the country’s politics, which he says act like termites eating up development gains.
AP and AFP contributed to this report