On the nation’s 71st Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday unfurled the national flag at the Red Fort to mark the occasion.
Modi, who reached the 17th century monument to give his customary Independence Day speech, was received by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra.
Later, he was given a Guard of Honour by a contingent of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police.
The Prime Minister then unfurled the national flag amid a 21-gun salute.
PM Modi started his speech by mourning the deaths of more than 60 children at a Gorakhpur hospital in Uttar Pradesh, while also talking about the challenges of natural calamities.
"People of India stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected due to natural disasters and the tragedy in Gorakhpur," Modi added.In his speech, Modi touched on various aspects, from terrorism to intolerance. Aspects such as demonetisation, GST and triple talaq also found mention in his speech. He spoke against casteism and communalism.
“Violence in the name of Astha is not something to be happy about, it will not be accepted in India. No place for intolerance in today's India,” PM Modi said.
He also spoke about how, “We will create an India where the poor own a house and have access to electricity and water. An India, where the farmer sleeps in peace and grows his income two-fold by 2022.”
Here are the highlights from his speech:
• 2017 is a special year - this year, we are celebrating the 75th anniversary of Quit India, 100th anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha and 125th anniversary of Ganesh Utsav.
• We have to take the country ahead with the determination of creating a 'New India’. Our country showcased a collective power between 1942 to 1947, let us show the same power and commitment over the next 5 years.
• In our nation, no one is big or small...everybody is equal. Together we can bring about a positive change.
• We have to leave this 'Chalta Hai' attitude. We have to think of 'Badal Sakta Hai'- this attitude will help us as a nation.
• Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today.
• We will continue our fight against black money, corruption and will use technology to bring in more transparency.
• GST has shown the spirit of cooperative federalism. The nation has come together to support GST and the role of technology has also helped.
• We are fighting corruption - for the bright future of India and the well-being of our people.
• Black money worth Rs 2 lakh crore was recovered post-demonetisation. We have also cancelled the registration of as many as 1.75 lakh companies.
• India's stature in the world is rising. The world is with us in fighting the menace of terror. I thank all nations for helping us in doing so.
• Neither gaali (abuse), nor goli (bullet) will bring a change. The change will take place when we embrace every Kashmiri.
• I want to mention those women who have to suffer due to 'Triple Talaq'- I admire their courage. We are with them in their struggles.
• We will not tolerate violence in the name of faith. Before freedom, the slogan was 'Bharat chhodo (Quit India). Today, it should be 'Bharat Jodo' (Bring India together).
• We are devoting significant attention to eastern India- Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Northeast. These parts have to grow further.