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Top Highlights of PM Narendra Modi’s Speech on India’s 71st Independence Day

10 Important points in PM Modi’s speech

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth Independence Day speech from Red Fort
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth Independence Day speech from Red Fort. Twitter
  • We have to take the country ahead with the determination of creating a ‘New India’
  • His government is serious about tackling various national security issues
  • I want to proudly tell people that within just three years, we have recovered black money of Rs 1.25 lakh crore

New Delhi, August 15, 2017: It was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fourth Independence Day speech from Red Fort, Delhi. He talked about a variety of issues like GST, demonetisation, terrorism, and triple talaq among others. Here are the top 10 points of Modi’s speech:

  • A New India will be our democracy’s biggest strength

During his speech, Modi expressed that India should create a new India before 2022, the 76th year of Independence. Modi said, “We have to take the country ahead with the determination of creating a ‘New India’. Let us come together to create an India free of corruption, nepotism, casteism, communalism, and terrorism. Let us build a country which is clean, healthy and is self-determined.”

  • From Quit India Movement to a United India Movement

Modi has previously spoken about the Quit India Movement during the monthly address of Mann ki Baat as well as the special session of the Parliament to commemorate the event. During the Independence Day speech, he once again brought back the historic event.

Asking Indians to take inspiration from the 1942 movement, Modi said, “Within five years, the British had left the country because of our unity. We have to take a sankalp of new India and take the country forward.” Remembering the contribution of Mahatma Gandhi in the freedom movement, “There was a Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi once. People with cotton in their hands support Gandhi and eventually, the country got freedom,” he added. He said on the Independence Day that the need of today’s India is Bharat Jodo, a united India.

  • 2018: A crucial year for India

Modi put special emphasis on January 1, 2018, telling Indians that 2018 will be the year that will mark the coming of age of a whole generation, the generation which will steer India forward.

1 January 2018 will not be an ordinary day. “The people who were born in the 21st century will find that this date will decide a lot in their lives. I welcome all the youths who will turn 18 in 2018. Now, you are getting an opportunity to be a part of the force which develops India,” said the prime minister. He called them the Bhagya Vidhatas’ of our country

  • Surgical Strikes and National Security

Modi hailed the surgical strikes (29 November 2016) on the Independence Day and stressed upon the fact that his government is serious about tackling various national security issues. He said, “After the surgical strike, the entire world had to acknowledge India’s strength.” The concern for national security is a natural one in an independent India. Our armed forces always showed their capabilities in handling both terrorism and during the war.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi Condemns Religious Violence on 71st Indian Independence Day, Warns “Will Not Accept Violence In The Name Of Faith”

  • Breakthrough measures of Modi government

Modi said that people are celebrating a Mahotsav of honesty today. His government implemented various praise-worthy measures like One Rank One Pension, GST, and demonetisation.

Talking about his government’s commitment to armed forces, Modi said, “For 30 or 40 years, the matter of One Rank One Pension was stuck. But our government took steps to fulfill the demand of our security personnel.” He said that GST gave the nation a new direction to competitive federalism and that GST was rolled so fast across the country, all thanks to technology. He said, “After GST enrollment, our truck drivers save 30 percent of their time in travel now.”

PM Modi spoke on demonetisation, “Today, I want to proudly tell people that within just three years, we have recovered black money of Rs 1.25 lakh crore.” Through Note ban, the black money came out. It was their endeavor to recover black money and then to make it a constructive part of the economy. Demonetisation proved to be a successful move against corruption. “The businessmen with black money used to run shell companies. After demonetisation, three lakh shell companies were found. And out of that, we canceled the registration of 1.75 lakh companies,” said the prime minister.

On development measures, he said, “Today, roads and railway tracks are being constructed twice as fast. Today, over 14,000 villages have got electricity. 29 crore people have got bank accounts now.”

  • Modi opposes Triple Talaq

His government supports the movement against Triple Talaq and India will also support Muslim women in their struggle. “I believe India will fully support the women in their struggle. The women of this country created a revolution against Triple Talaq. There was an atmosphere against Triple Talaq in the country with even the media supporting the women,” he said.

  • Gorakhpur tragedy

The prime minister was being criticized for not speaking on the Gorakhpur hospital tragedy which has killed over 70 children so far. But, Modi broke his silence today. He said, “In the last few days, some of our innocent children died in a hospital. All the countrymen stand together at this time.”

  • Militancy in Kashmir

On Independence Day, taking a peacemaking approach towards Kashmiris, Modi expressed his opinion that the Kashmir issue can be solved only through peaceful means.  He said, Na gaali se samasya sulajhne wali hai, na goli se, samasya suljhegi har Kashmiri ko gale lagane se (Kashmir problem can’t be resolved by either bullet’s or by abuses. It can be resolved only by embracing all Kashmiris).

He promised to bring prosperity to the militancy-infested state. “The development of Jammu and Kashmir is also a commitment of the people and the government there,” said Modi.

  • No leniency for terrorism

Prime Minister spoke of involving common Kashmiris in India’s growth story but took a tough stance on militancy. “A lot happens in Kashmir. A lot of claims have been made. A lot of people abuse each other. There are a lot of separatists. But there will be no leniency for terrorism. I have told many to become a part of democracy,” said the prime minister.

  • Communalism and Casteism are poison for the country

Modi said that violence in the name of faith is not acceptable and described casteism and communalism as poison for the country. The comments assume importance in the backdrop of various incidents of lynching by cow vigilantes. He said that issues like communalism and casteism can’t benefit the country in any way. “Therefore, violence cannot be emphasized in the name of faith,” Modi said.

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COVID 19: American Democracy Not Exhibiting Maturity

Perhaps, the citizens of America has a lesson or two to learn from the way that India has reacted to the COVID 19 crisis.

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USA COVID 19
The ongoing COVID 19 crisis has clearly exposed the weakness and shortfalls in American democratic culture, system and wisdom. Pixabay

By N.S.Venkataraman

The ongoing COVID 19 crisis has clearly exposed the weakness and shortfalls in American democratic culture, system and wisdom.

With around million Americans infected by the virus and more than 50000 people losing their lives, a healthy democratic country, that America claims itself  to be , should have gone into a near silent mode without airing counter productive critical views,  with  grim determination to overcome the crisis with cooperative spirit.

Counterproductive criticism in crisis period :

On the other hand, this crisis period has been marked in America by politicking, counterproductive arguments, use of abusive language about the duly elected American President and media’s comments losing sense of proportions and visual, print and social media  liberally  using  vituperative language and publishing sarcastic cartoons

Such scenario in America today gives an impression of a divided country, with various groups exhibiting  bitterness and hatred against each other, giving an overall impression to the outside world that American democracy lacks maturity.

USA COVID 19
With regard to the COVID 19 crisis in USA , there could be different views as to whether President Trump has failed to check the entry of virus into America. Pixabay

Limits of democratic system :

While there is no dispute with regard to the  superiority of democratic form of governance  over that of dictatorial regimes or communist governance , the  underlying factor governing the quality and merit of  democratic form of governance  is tolerance for opposite views and liberty  not being considered as  personal affair but recognized as social contract and adjustment of mutual interests.

While the entire world community is recognizing the fact that social distancing is immediate need to overcome the crisis, particularly since vaccines/drugs for treating the virus are now only  in the development stage, it is shocking that public protests and voices are being heard against the government’s directives to observe social distancing regulations in USA.  Further, it is even more shocking to see section of people protesting against American President and demanding his resignation by holding protest meetings with “body bags” in front of the White House, even as the country is facing grim crisis.

Further, the despicable terms such as idiotic, clown etc. are being freely used to criticise the actions of  American President.

The above condition indicates that the concept of personal freedom have been taken to ridiculous level , which make many people suspect that what America has today is not orderly democracy but chaotic democracy.

Need to rally behind the leader in crisis period :

In a matured democracy, while confronting with a severe crisis of COVID 19 that America faces today, what is important is that people of America should rally behind the American President , indulge in productive discussions and consultations and finally accepting the decision of the President in toto.

With regard to the COVID 19 crisis in USA , there could be different views as to whether President Trump has failed to check the entry of virus into America.  Nobody seems to have a clear answer to this vexed question.

Everybody in USA  seem to agree that WHO has failed in it’s duty  to forewarn the world about this COVID 19. Probably, if such forewarning has been issued, President Trump might have taken early steps to prevent the virus spreading,  on which one cannot comment conclusively at this stage.

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As it is known, no American President is a master  of all subjects and he is supported by an army of advisors with specialization in different fields and he is heavily dependent on them for taking crucial decisions. He receives advice and takes his decision by a process of consensus and finally President’s views being decisive.  In this process, there may be different style adopted by different Presidents to express their views.

 With regard to suggestions of Trump like use of Chloroquine drug for treating COVID 19 , there could be different alternate opinions.

In daily briefings, obviously President Trump has been airing various suggestions given to him by different experts and probably throwing it open for public debate and deliberations to understand the public perspective.

In America like so many other countries , President does not decide the drugs for treatment. But scientific bodies like Food and Drug Administration in USA (FDA) test the drug and  recommend it’s use.

All said and done, whatever one may think about the track record of Donald Trump in earlier days and as President of USA, it is necessary that in a matured democracy , people should realize the need to stand behind the duly elected leader in a democratic way, at the time of national crisis.

USA COVID 19
Everybody in USA seem to agree that WHO has failed in it’s duty to forewarn the world about this COVID 19. Pixabay

Even if criticisms were  to be aired , it has to be done in a dignified and healthy manner and without diverting the attention of the society to politicking rather than curative plans and strategies.

Learn from India :

Perhaps, the citizens of America has a lesson or two to learn from the way that India has reacted to the COVID 19 crisis.

When Indian Prime Minister Modi wanted the country men to clap on one occasion and on other occasion  switch off power for a few minute and light a lamp to applaud the medical professionals  and express national solidarity,  the entire country responded , though some could have questioned the need for such symbolic gestures.

Also Read- Indian Farmers’ Woes Amid Covid-19 Lockdown

Media and think tank in Amrica  need to introspect :

It is high time that media in USA should  introspect  about commenting on any issue or views in a crisis period  that would degrade to the present level of hate mongering. Media in USA has a lot to answer and explain to the people about the behavior during this severe COVID 19 crisis.

It is also high time that think tank in America should examine whether American democratic system and practices is now going astray.

 

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Medical Fraternity Asks Central Government To Withdraw GST on Hand Sanitizers, Masks

Hospitals, ambulance, nursing and support staff desperately require sanitisers, masks and other protective equipment in 24x7 mode

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Sanitizer
, hospitals, ambulance, nursing and support staff desperately require sanitisers, masks and other protective equipment in 24x7 mode. Pixabay

In the wake of the increasing threat of Covid-19, the medical fraternity has asked the government to consider withdrawing GST on hand sanitiser and masks in these ‘difficult times’.

“We understand that certain ingredients (in sanitisers) are taxable, still in these difficult times or at least for next few months, hand sanitisers should not attract GST,” said Sandeep Sharma, President of Indian Medical Association’s (IMA) Delhi branch.

According to Sharma, hospitals, ambulance, nursing and support staff desperately require sanitisers, masks and other protective equipment in 24×7 mode.

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“We require all these items in bulk, but at present we are paying 18 per cent GST on sanitisers and 5 per cent on masks etc. Besides, medical practitioners and public at large also require hand sanitisers and masks as a major preventive measure to keep away from the highly infectious virus. It would be a big relief for people if GST is not levied on these items,” said Sharma, who coordinates with all leading chains of top private hospitals and doctors.

Meanwhile, the President of the Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Roy K George, has appealed to all the state governments to ensure urgent and smooth supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), and essential items like masks and sanitisers to serve patients and combat the spread of the infectious disease to the medical staff.

Envato, Covid, Corona Virus, Corona, Virus, Gloves
In the wake of the increasing threat of Covid-19, the medical fraternity has asked the government to consider withdrawing GST on hand sanitiser and masks in these ‘difficult times’. Pixabay

“Our state associations, particularly from Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, have informed us that adequate supply of PPEs, masks and sanitisers has to be provided to the nurses and other medical staff,” said George, adding, “What happened in Mumbai, where 26 nurses tested positive for Covid-19 in private hospitals, suggest that frontline soldiers of the this war against virus need more attention in terms of equipments and medical kits.”

TNAI, founded in 1908, has 6 lakh nurses as its members, making it one of the largest associations of nurses in the world. It has postponed all its celebrations related to the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale, legendary social reformer and founder of modern nursing.

ALSO READ: Actor Arjun Kapoor Pledges To Donate To Various Coronavirus Relief Funds

While nurses world over combat the dreaded infectious disease, the WHO has declared 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and Midwife in honour of Florence Nightingale. (IANS)

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Apple Increases Price of its Smartphones in India Post GST Hike

The iPhone 7 (32GB) which was earlier priced at Rs 29,900, is now priced at Rs 31,500

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Apple
Another hit model iPhone XR (64GB) which was priced at Rs 49,900 will now cost Rs 52,500 -- a price hike of Rs 2,600. Pixabay

Apple on Wednesday increased prices of its iPhones in India due to the GST hike from 12 per cent to 18 per cent which became applicable from April 1.

The most popular iPhone 11 (64GB) model which was earlier priced at Rs 64,900 will now cost Rs 68,300 — up by Rs 3,400.

Another hit model iPhone XR (64GB) which was priced at Rs 49,900 will now cost Rs 52,500 — a price hike of Rs 2,600.

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Apple
Apple on Wednesday increased prices of its iPhones in India due to the GST hike from 12 per cent to 18 per cent which became applicable from April 1. Wikimedia Commons

The Rs 101,200 iPhone 11 Pro (64 GB) is now priced at 106,600 while iPhone 11 Pro Max (64GB) which costs Rs 111,200 will now be available for Rs 117,100.

The iPhone 7 (32GB) which was earlier priced at Rs 29,900, is now priced at Rs 31,500.

ALSO READ: Majority of Smartphone Apps Contain “Backdoor Secrets” Which Allow Hackers To Access Private Data

With the GST Council, headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, increasing the GST on mobile phones from 12 per cent to 18 per cent, industry experts had indicated that it would hit the industry and brands would not be in a position to absorb this impact. (IANS)