On this #IndependenceDayIndia is celebrated 72 years as a free country. As I watched Prime Minister Narendra Modi address the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in Delhi, I too felt that #RamRajya_IsComing – not because of Saint Rampal Ji Maharaj (I must confess I don’t know who he is), but because of what all the PM said.
He showed us his vision for a #NewIndia
He did not speak like a politician asking for votes, but as a true leader who has delivered what he has promised, and someone who is promising much more in the next five years.
What were the six biggest takeaways from his address to the nation?
(1) He spoke at length about the need for a social revolution to control our population explosion. Does this mean that India will soon have a #populationcontrollaw If this is the case, opposition will once again jump at the PM and the BJP for targeting a particular minority community. They won’t care about how population control will be good for the economy in general, and for joblessness in particular.
(2) As he has been doing in many of his recent speeches, Modi talked tough on terror.
(3) The PM spoke at length on the huge water crisis, and how citizens can help the government to address this by conserving water.
(4) Modi requested middle-class and rich Indians – who travel abroad for holidays – to visit at least 15 Indian tourist spots in the next 3 years. He explained how this will help create jobs, and also result in attracting more foreign tourists. Earlier, he explained how ‘tourism’ can play a big role in making India a $5 trillion economy in the next 5 years.
(5) The prime minister requested Indian farmers to stop poisoning ‘mother earth’ by reducing the consumption of chemical-based fertilizers. Does this mean that we will soon have a new policy on fertilizers?
(6) Modi urged shopkeepers and consumers to stop using ‘single-use plastic’. He called for a nationwide movement on this issue.
(7) He made a far-reaching announcement for India’s defence forces – the creation of the post of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS). The need for having a CDS was first recommended after the 1999 Kargil War. The post is aimed at ensuring better coordination between the three services (Army, Air Force and Navy). I will write a separate blog post on this.
(8) Modi asked those opposing the revocation of Articles 370 and 35A that, if these articles were good for the state of Jammu and Kashmir, why didn’t they (the opposition) make these articles permanent, instead of keeping them temporary for 70 years? He said that the Government’s recent move effectively resulted in “One Nation, One Constitution” for the first time in India.
(9) The PM made a very important observation about citizens’ expectations today – he said if you give people good railway stations, they ask for an airport; if you give them pucca roads, they ask when they are going to get 4-lane or 6-lane highways; if you give them electricity connections, they ask when they will get 24×7 power supply. In other words, meeting people’s expectations is a much bigger challenge today than in the past.