New Delhi, Aug 15 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi,addressing the nation on Independence Day on Thursday spoke on several issues from creation of the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) post, Rs 100 lakh crore on developing infrastructure, population explosion, eliminate use of plastic bags, promote digital payments, water conservation, one nation, one election and many others.
He also defended decisions made by his government within 10 weeks of its second term, including abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A from Jammu and Kashmir, and a ban on triple talaq or instant divorce.
Dwelling on the theme of a “New India”, PM Modi also, for the first time, expressed concern on what he called the “population explosion” in India, and said those who had limited their family to only two children were true patriots and deserved respect. The government’s mega “Article 370” move was the headliner of the Prime Minister’s 92-minute speech from the 17th century Red Fort in Delhi.
“One Nation, One Constitution – this spirit has become a reality and India is proud of it,” he said, declaring that the decisions to end special status to Jammu and Kashmir and split it into two Union Territories were a fulfilment of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s dream of a unified India.He also lashed out at the opposition for speaking against the move, asking if they felt it was so necessary why didn’t they make it permanent in the past 70 years.
Creation of the CDS post: Modi said I want to announce a major decision from the Red Fort that India will have a Chief of Defence Staff — CDS. This is going to make the forces even more effective. The new CDS post will oversee all the three wings of the armed forces.
Abolition of triple talaq: Modi said it was aimed at benefitting the Muslim women. He said the country has taken several steps for women, including ending the evil of female foeticide. If we can take so many steps then why not raise our voice against the evil of triple talaq, so that our Muslim sisters get equal respect and are part of the country’s progress. The decision is not to be weighed in political terms.
Population explosion: Modi said population explosion will cause many problems for our future generations. But there is a vigilant section of public which stops to think, before bringing a child to the world, whether they can do justice to the child, give them all that she or he wants. They have a small family and express their patriotism to the country. Let’s learn from them. There is need of social awareness.
Jal Jeevan Mission: Modi announced a new Jal Jeevan Mission for realising the vision of Har Ghar Jal, or drinking water to every home, with an allocation of Rs 3,59,000 crore. Modi also asked the citizens to adopt the water conservation, they way they adopted the Swachh Bharat campaign.
PM Modi faces a number of challenges that include lack of jobs, economic crisis and farm distress.
He said reforms would continue to help India break into top 50 countries on the ”ease of doing business” ranking.
Eliminate use of plastic: Modi said single-use plastic poses grave threat to the environment. The time for implementing such an idea has come. Teams must be mobilised to work in this direction. A significant step must come out by October 2.
Promote digital payment: Modi said shopkeepers already have a board outside their shops that reads: ‘Aaj nagad, kal udhar’. Similarly they can have a board saying ‘yes’ to digital payment and no to cash payment.