NEW DELHI — The prime minister on Monday pledged to work with vigor to turn poverty-ridden India into a developed country in the next 25 years.
Wearing a flowing, cream-colored turban printed with small stripes of orange, white and green, Narendra Modi addressed the country from New Delhi’s 17th-century Mughal-era Red Fort to mark the 75th anniversary of India’s independence from British rule.
Modi said the world’s view of India was changing and it was looking toward the country to help resolve global issues.
In a statement to celebrate Indian Independence Day, President Joe Biden said that the United States of America and India were indispensable partners. Their partnership was based on a common commitment to human rights and freedom.
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Biden said he was confident that “the two countries will continue to stand together to defend the rules-based order; foster greater peace, prosperity and security for our people; advance a free and open Indo-Pacific; and together address the challenges we face around the world.”
Modi stated that India would be guided by self-reliance and international partnerships to achieve excellence in science, technology and set up industry. India also needs to have food security and energy security. Modi stated that the country was becoming a hub for manufacturing with billions in investments.
India’s efforts have already launched the country of 1.4 billion people into the ranks of leading countries in information technology, pharmacy, space science and civil nuclear energy.
Victoria Memorial is the city’s iconic heritage symbol, and it has been lit up with the colors of India ahead of Independence Day festivities in Kolkata, India on Sunday August 14, 2022.
AP Photo/Bikas Das
Modi said millions of people across the country were commemorating the 75th anniversary of independence by hoisting orange, white and green national flags at their homes and businesses for three days as part of a government campaign “of awakening the spirit of patriotism in every heart.”
India’s Parliament House, the presidential palace, national monuments and other government offices blaze with multi-colored lighting.
Modi stated that the 75-year journey had been filled with ups and downs, with India fighting against every odds and showing resilience. He exhorted people to forget any colonial attitude.
Modi was accused of not celebrating with opposition parties by the Congress, which is the principal opposition party.
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“There were special functions in Parliament’s historic Central Hall to mark the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversary of India’s independence,” said Jairam Ramesh, an India National Congress party spokesperson. “Sadly, nothing like that has been organized for the 75th anniversary, which has been reduced to an occasion to glorify the Sarvagyaani,” using a term meaning “a person who knows all” in reference to Modi.
In his 80-minute speech, Modi made no reference to India’s tense ties with immediate neighbors Pakistan and China, nor any steps to improve relations.
He called for people’s unity to move forward but didn’t respond to experts and critics who say the country has been gradually departing from some commitments and argue the backsliding has accelerated since Modi came to power in 2014. His populist government is accused of using excessive political power to crush democratic freedoms, and of preoccupied with the pursuit of a Hindu nationalist agenda.
Modi pledged to fight corruption and nepotism in the country’s politics, which he said were acting as termites eating away the gains of development.
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