Delivering his seventh straight Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said the call for "Atmanirbhar Bharat" (self-reliant India) has captured people's imagination and become a "mantra" for everyone, as he pushed for raising India's share in global economy.
For how long India will keep exporting raw materials and import finished products, Modi said in his address to the nation on the occasion of India's 74th Independence Day from the ramparts of the Red Fort, and asked citizens to prepare themselves for a self-reliant India.
He also listed out a number of reform measures undertaken by his government which has resulted in a record Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country last year. The prime minister began his address by paying tributes to freedom fighters and security forces while also remembering Aurobindo Ghose, a freedom fighter and spiritual philosopher whose birth anniversary falls today.
Hailing 'corona warriors', including doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and sanitation workers who have been continuously fighting the coronavirus pandemic, he said, the country will achieve victory over coronavirus with the resolve of its over 130 crore citizens. In the midst of coronavirus pandemic, Indians resolve to become self-reliant, the prime minister said, adding this is not a word but mantra for all people.
Speaking of self-reliant India, he said many concerns are raised about it and acknowledged challenges ahead but asserted that there are "crores of solutions" offered by the country's citizens to "lakhs of challenges". Vocal for local should be the mantra of the free India, he said.
He said his government has freed farmers of their contraints, and they can now trade their products freely at their terms. India's freedom struggle, he said, became a challenge to forces of expansionism while attempts were made for hundreds of years by various rulers to root out India's culture and traditions.