India awaits Modi's 10th consecutive I-Day speech

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will deliver his 10th consecutive Independence Day address on Tuesday, marking his last before the 2024 Lok Sabha polls. The annual event is expected to be opportunity for him to present his government's accomplishments and unveil flagship initiatives.

Anticipation surrounds this address, as there is a possibility that Prime Minister Modi will reflect on the country's progress across various sectors since 2014 and articulate his vision for the years ahead, a pattern observed in his previous speeches.

While traditionally refraining from direct political attacks on Opposition parties during his Independence Day speeches, Modi has often highlighted the governance reforms introduced by his administration, addressing issues of "corruption" and policy paralysis.

Central themes in his past addresses have included India's increasing global stature, the nation's renewed energy in pursuing development, and the growing self-confidence of its population. These speeches have underscored India's commitment to robust security and foreign policy doctrines rooted solely in national interest.

Since his inaugural Independence Day speech in 2014, where he introduced programmes like Swachh Bharat and Jan Dhan accounts, Modi has consistently used the platform to announce significant initiatives and engage with citizens on a range of social issues, including crimes against women and social conflicts.

In his 2022 speech, he introduced the concept of 'Panch Pran' (five pledges), urging citizens to propel India into a developed nation by 2047, shed colonial mindsets, take pride in heritage, strengthen unity, and fulfil civic duties with integrity.

While addressing grassroots concerns, such as constructing toilets for impoverished households to eliminate open defecation, Modi has continued to articulate broader national goals in areas like the Rs 100 lakh crore Gati Shakti project, nationwide electrification, and modernising defence forces.

Historically, these addresses have also been occasions for announcing important schemes. For instance, in 2018, preceding the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Modi introduced the ambitious health insurance initiative for the underprivileged, Ayushman Bharat.

Several significant policy decisions have been unveiled in his August 15 speeches, such as establishing the position of Chief of Defence Staff in 2019, outlining the Gati Shakti plan during the 2021 Amrit Mahotsav to celebrate independence, and introducing the project to launch 75 Vande Bharat Express trains.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle with agency inputs )
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