On the occasion of Independence Day, Prime Minister Modi on Saturday addressed the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort in New Delhi. This was his seventh consecutive address, and touched upon many current topics -- from the Aatma Nirbhar Bharat movement to the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent border conflicts with China and Pakistan.
Here are 10 quotes from his lengthy speech:
1. "Congratulations and best wishes to all the countrymen on this festival of Independence Day. The sacrifice and the resolve to free the country of lakhs of sons and daughters of Maa Bharati is the reason for us being able to breathe in independent India today. This is a day to remember the sacrifices of our freedom fighters. This is also a day to show gratitude to security personnel including that of Army, paramilitary and police ensuring our safety."
2. "Whether it is terrorism or expansionism, India is fighting both with determination....From LoC to LAC, anyone who casts an eye on the sovereignty of the country, the armed forces of the country have responded in the language they understand."
3. "India is constantly trying to deepen its age-old cultural, social and economic ties with its neighbouring countries....Today, neighbours are not only those with whom we share geographical boundaries but also those with whom our hearts meet... In recent times, India has strengthened its relations with all countries in the extended neighbourhood."
4. "From merely one lab, we have today more than 1,400 labs across the country. We were earlier conducting just 300 tests on a day. Today, we are conducting more than seven lakh tests in a day. We have achieved this in a very less amount of time....we will win against corona. Our strong will shall lead us to victory."
5. "Presently, three (COVID-19) vaccines are in different stages of testing. As soon as the scientists give a nod, mass production shall commence. A blueprint for the production and distribution of the vaccine is also ready."
6. "We are going to train around one lakh new cadets and efforts will be made to ensure one-third of those are girls."
7. "A special campaign is being worked out to reduce pollution in 100 selected cities with a holistic approach."
8. "Road network and Internet connectivity is now expanding at an unprecedented pace; be it in Himalayas or Indian Ocean islands."
9. "Did anyone even think that online classes would reach our villages so quickly? Sometimes an opportunity can show itself even during a disaster. Online classes have become a culture during the times of COVID."
10. "Education has an important role to play in making India self-reliant, happy and prosperous. With this objective, we have been able to give the country a new education policy after over three decades."
(With inputs from agencies)