Independence Day: In his 92 minute Independence Day speech, which was his second-longest since 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked about everything from Article 370 to terrorism to the government's policies for the poor and on the state of the economy. However, contrary to anticipation, PM Modi did not mention 'Pakistan' even once. This was in stark contrast with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's Independence Day speech on August 14 in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, where he spoke at length about the recent revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Imran Khan, during his I-Day speech on August 14 in PoK, said Pakistan observed its Independence Day as "Kashmir Solidarity Day" and that people of Kashmir would retaliate against "illegal aggression by India". Calling himself brand ambassador of Kashmir, he also said "goons of RSS" were lynching people, threatening judges, intellectuals and declaring anyone who differed with them "anti-nationals".
بھارت کے زیر تسلط مقبوضہ کشمیر میں 12 روز سے جاری کرفیو, پہلے ہی سے فوجی کثرت والے مقبوضہ علاقے میں مزید فوجوں کی تعیناتی، آر ایس ایس کے غنڈوں کو مقبوضہ وادی میں بھجوانے، اطلاعات و وسائلِ ابلاغ کی مکمل بندش اور گجرات میں مودی کے ہاتھوں مسلمانوں کے قتل عام کی نظیر سامنے رکھتے ہوئے- Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) August 15, 2019
PM Modi, however, started his speech with a futurist address. He also announced that India would soon have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), a long-standing demand that has been pending two decades. Experts believe the CDS would be instrumental in integrating the operations of the three forces - Army, Navy and Air Force. "Our forces are India's pride. To further sharpen coordination between the forces, I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort: India will have a Chief of Defence Staff (CDS)," PM Modi said in his I-Day speech.
This is the time to think about the India of the 21st century and how the dreams of the people will be fulfilled: PM @narendramodi- PMO India (@PMOIndia) August 15, 2019
On the abrogation of Article 370 and subsequent tense situation in J&K, Modi called for "peace and prosperity" in the UTs. "The happiness of J&K & Ladakh can become a big motivator in India's prosperity & peace and can become a big motivator in India's development journey." Slamming the opposition, Modi said the previous government kept Article 370 and Article 35 A "temporary" as they lacked courage. "Those who supported Article 370, India is questioning them, if this was so important then why was this Article not made permanent? After all, those people had huge mandates and could have easily removed its temporary status," Modi said.
During his speech, PM Modi mentioned his earlier call for water conversation. Speaking at length about saving water, Modi talked about various ways through which one should conserve water. He also announced the NDA government would allocate Rs 3.35-lakh crore for the Centre's Jal Jeevan Mission to provide drinking water to every household. Talking about poverty, Modi said: "The country has to cross new heights, make its place in the world and we need to emphasise on the need from poverty in our home and it is not a favour to anyone." He called on people to root out the monster of poverty once for all and promised his government's full support.
On the issue of terrorism in India, PM Modi said terrorism had acted like a termite, which had hollowed the country from within. He said the BJP government would take decisive decisions to tackle the problem.
Edited by Manoj Sharma