Friday, August 15, 2014

68th Independence Day of India-15th August 2014: A Day Which Should Be Remembered for A Historic Speech!

There have been speculations in the media for a couple of days about the character and content of the speech that would be delivered by the new vibrant Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi. Would the PM address the nation from the Red Fort or not? Would he read out from a prepared text or would he be delivering an extempore speech? Many argued that he would not go for extempore as he used to be during his election campaigns because as PM he would have to be cautious with his words. His words are now listened by the world!

But Modiji surprised and mesmerized every one who listened to his extempore I-day speech today from the Red Fort which was beamed nationwide and perhaps world wide. The voices of disapproval by some of those professional political opponents could simply be ignored!

In my unbiased opinion as a non partisan citizen of this country, the PM's speech today was historical and one of the most appealing and influencing speech ever done by any Indian PM in the recent history. I simply salute his clarity of thought and vision that he has put forward for this country at this crucial juncture. Unlike his many predecessors, Modiji is a real leader of the masses with a characteristic oratory skill which, I should admit, many of our politicians lack. How can a leader be a leader if he or she doesn't have a voice and a thought clarity that could influence people? 

I watched and listened to the whole of his speech that he delivered in Hindi that was beamed through the TV channels. Let me share with you some of those things that he said which I felt as coming honestly from his heart. It was unlike any ceremonial speech lacking energy and spirit read out by many of our past PMs and such other leaders, past and present! His speech electrified me and it should have electrified the nation!

I am not repeating all that he has told, but only highlighting a few of those which I felt as most noteworthy and important for India.If you missed this historic speech, and if you do not understand Hindi, you should consider reading its translation. I suggest all Indians who can read and understand should go through his speech which is now available in public duly translated and recorded.

Read the full English text of the 68th Indian Independence Day Speech by PM Narendra Modi here.

First he shared some of his anguish that he felt and experienced as the PM for the past few months. He expressed his concern about the lack of coordination among the various governmental departments and its functionaries. More than the lack of coordination, he expressed his displeasure on the mutually antagonistic manner in which the governmental departments and officers are working. It has created situations where one department is fighting a legal battle against another in the courts. This is the main issue he brought out:
"It appeared that everyone has its own fiefdom. I could observe disunity and conflict among them. One department is taking on the other department and taking on to the extent that two departments of the same government are fighting against each other by approaching Supreme Court." 
This situation has to change. No other PM has noticed this earlier or dared to talk about it earlier. If PM Modi has noticed this, he would definitely do something to change the situation. That is what I felt from his honest speech that came from his heart.

He talked about the need for promoting brand India by boosting the manufacturing and production sector toc create more and more jobs. He made clarion calls to the Indian diaspora  to 'come and make in India' and also for ' Zero-Defect-Zero-Effect' products ' Made in India' . By zero-effect he stressed upon manufacturing processes with least adverse impact on our environment. Indeed a vision statement that many of our latter day PMs totally ignored! What is the use for India and Indians if our locally generated wealth and money have to be siphoned out for importing products and services from abroad thereby reducing our own employment and wealth generation opportunities?

Narendra Modi is perhaps the first PM of India in all these 67 years of its independence who stressed upon the urgent need for changing India's international image as a nation of snake charmers, poverty and dirtiness. He stressed upon the need to have more toilets for our people at home and at public places and declared an ambitious plan to be initiated immediately. What is the pride of the Indian women who have to wait for the sun to set to attend the nature's call? What is the pride of even the affluent Indians when the situation of their country is in this way? 

Kudos to him. Most of the Indians, even the so-called high profile Indians apparently did nothing to improve this situation in India so far. I have seen many corporate and government offices in India where both men and women keep working with no facility for any decent toilets. Why the Indian men have to ease out so shamelessly in public? And what is the stress levels of even our so-called high profile ladies in such situations? They all have seen and felt this seriously shameful condition of India, but have never ever raised any effective voices any time. Even many of our ministers and civil service bureaucrats too ease our shamelessly in public, but have never thought it a necessity to do something to change that situation. In this context, I remember the situation in one of a majestic looking office building where I worked some time. The top authorities never gave any priority to maintain the toilets the building originally had. For decades, it existed without any toilet facilities. What is the situation in our factories? Nothing different. So at last even for such a simple thing, we need the PM to talk about it from the Red Fort! Let us hope his speech trigger the positive thought process! Yes, the PM even called our corporate leaders to spend from their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds for constructing more and more toilets where they are urgently needed.

Perhaps, it is the first time that any Indian PM did not talk about our army strength to act as a regional force. Instead, for the first time, the Indian PM talked about mending ways with our neighbors and initiating a process of healing instead of wounding!

He talked about the next Indian independence movement-independence from poverty. He had drawn up plans for that. He would bring about the blue print for our MPs and MLAs to get in to action in that direction and he even has a road map for that.

Yes, today's speech was historic. For the first time ever I heard people clapping in approval while they listened attentively to what he told. 

I think with a leader of that kind in the PM's chair, India has hope. Our coming generations may not have to migrate to foreign lands in search of a livelihood!

I looked at the picture of my grandchild my daughter shared through her 'Facebook'. She was selected for some I-day program in her School-Mount Carmel New Delhi. The girl has yet to be in her formal primary level class-she is in her pre-school now. But I look at her enthusiasm for the I-day which perhaps she understood little now. 

And I earnestly want to see this country to be a better place for the new generation like her. Let the future I-days be different. Different with a positive difference!

Jai Bharat! 

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