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OROP, Start Up India and more: blow by blow account of PM Modi's Independence Day speech

Durga M Sengupta | Updated on: 13 February 2017, 3:41 IST

For those curious to learn about what Prime Minister Narendra Modi has to say on 15 August, our 69th Independence Day, but do not have or enjoy a television, you needn't worry. We're live blogging it for you.

Quick promise: We'll try and keep it minimally boring.

12:30 am: Anxious to start early, we though the stroke of the midnight hour makes for poetically good timing to start talking about the day's events.

As of right now President Pranab Mukherjee, on Pakistan's Independence Day, 14 August, has already made an indirect reference to the terrorist outfits operating from the neighbouring state.

"We reject any attempt to use terrorism as an instrument of state policy. Infiltration into our territory and attempts to create mayhem will be dealt with a strong hand," said a sombre Poltu da.

With the Gurdaspur and Udhampur attacks fresh in our memories, Delhi has taken extra precaution with regards to security, especially at the spot where PM Modi will unfurl the national flag.

There's a multi-layer security ring in place around the periphery of Red Fort from where the PM will address the nation. A bullet-proof glass has been erected. One wonders if the PM will give it a miss like last year?

As always, the sky over Red Fort and its surrounding areas will be a 'no fly' zone in the morning.

Stay with us. We'll join you next at 7:00 am!

7:00 am: Hullo and good morning! Any moment now, the recorded narration of our history will give way to the PM's speech. Stay with us.

7:10 am: And we're at the Red Fort. The camera is panning from Amit Shah to Jaitley, to Shushma and wait... there's former PM Manmohan Singh!

7:13 am: PM Modi has arrived at Raj Ghat. He offers flowers to respect the father of the nation -- Mahatma Gandhi.

7:15 am: While we wait for the PM to reach his bullet-proof enclosure. You can watch the action with us, right here!

7:20 am: Okay the ads appear to be over. Oh look... the PM's string of cars.

The Prime Minister, donning his signature paghadi and what can now be called a Modi suit, walks the red carpet.

7: 30 am: PM Modi making his way to unfurl the flag!

PLEASE STAND UP FOR THE NATIONAL ANTHEM

The Indian national flag flies high. Armed forces perform their salute.

The 21 gun salute marks a free, independent India.

7: 33 am: And the Prime Minister speaks. 'Mere pyaare desh vasiyo' and he has everyone's attention.

The PM congratulates all Indians.

'This morning is no ordinary morning,' he says. 'This morning marks the dreams of our billion plus population'.

7: 35 am: India has produced many minds, men and women, who have made the country proud internationally, says the PM.

He thanks them.

7: 37 am: India is known for her simplicity, and her unit, says the PM.

With new dreams and aims, this country has reached where it has, he says.

'If the unity of this country is lost, all dreams will be lost.'

If there are differences of race, religion etc, progress alone can save it, vikaas alone can take us forward, says PM Modi. Sabka saath sabka vikaas?

7:40 am: Wherever India has reached, and wherever India dreams to be -- the aspirations lie with all 125 crore Indians, says PM Modi.

He invokes 'Team India's' strengths. And no, he isn't referring to the men bleeding blue. Sorry cricket.

7:42 am: The PM seeks the entire strength of India to pitch in.

'Jan Bhagidari' is the biggest asset of our democracy, he says.

7:45 am: On 26 January, when the country stands in front of the flag again, we would have fulfilled our promises, says PM Modi.

Modi talks about the significance of uplifting the poor. He wants banks to reach them. If a bank doesn't help the poor, what's the relevance of one, he asks.

7:50 am: The PM wants to bridge the rich-poor gap. He continues talking about banks.

Bringing crores of Indians to banks, and opening accounts is a lot of work, clarifies the PM.

He speaks of the pyramid of vikaas. With the help of financial inclusion, we can strengthen the base of the vikaas pyramid. Modi says this in reference to upliftment of the poor.

Modi highlights the yojanas that require every Indian's aid. Add one rupee a month, he says. That's Rs 12 a year. Register yourselves, says Modi.

7:55 am: In 100 days 10 crore citizens, or 10 crore families, have reaped the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Beema Yojana/Atal Pension Yojana/Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, says PM Modi.

Quick question: Doesn't the Independence Day speech sound like a special episode of Mann Ki Baat?

8:00 am: The PM has moved from one movement to the next. He invokes Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, congratulating the young Indians who are working towards keeping India clean.

This would be the biggest shradhhanjali for Mahatma Gandhi, says PM. Can 'Team India' do it, he challenges.

8:02 am: Modi applauds 'Team India' for successfully establishing toilets for boys and girls in schools and homes.

8:06 am: Modi has returned to the subject of unorganised labour. He wants to give them recognition.

Rs 27 thousand crore come from the labour of the gareeb mazdoor, says PM Modi.

'We introduced the Shrameva Jayate Yojana. It is an effort to change the way we look at the workers of India.'

8:10 am: There is a lot of talk about corruption in India. There are 'bimaar' people who give their advice about corruption, says PM Modi.

Is the PM insinuating?

'This country CAN be free of corruption,' says the PM. 'But we must start from the top.

The PM is now talking about bimaari and negativity. People who enjoy being sick cannot be helped but yojanas, he says.

8:15 am: Turns out the Prime Minister is still talking about everything his government has done -- against corruption, for the poor and clean India.

The PM is now talking about the availability of LPG. 'Instead of LPG subsidy, we're working on Direct Benefit Transfer - it goes straight into people's accounts,' he says.

8:20 am: The PM is now talking about his use of the FM Radio in order to talk to the people of India. The PM's Mann Ki Baat right now is that he likes to talk directly to the people.

8:22 am: It has been 15 months of this government's rule, and there is not a rupee of corruption we can be held accountable for, says the PM.

Has he politicised this speech too far? Ye campaign speech nahi hai PM sahab.

8:26 am: Indians are troubled with black money, says the PM. 'Team India 125 crore deshvaasi, we have ensured that no one can dare send black money out of the country.'

Narendra Modi makes 1st disclosure: Rupees 6500 crores disclosed under compliance window of black money & foreign assets law.

8:30 am: Before our government there were 800 registered cases of corruption. After we came into power, we have registered over 1800, says the PM.

The productivity of the land needs to be bettered. Our farmers need water, need electricity, says the PM.

'Save water. Save electricity. Save fertilizers.'

8:34 am: How is corruption fought, Modi asks. There is a lot of urea in the country being given out to farmers, but it doesn't reach them. It reaches our factories.

Neem coating is the way to go forward, says Modi.

8:37 am: Our government is ensuring urea reaches the farmers, says Modi.

He further says, 'We have ensured gas pipelines reach areas where water doesn't come in taps.'

Is this a good thing, Mr PM? Isn't water a bigger necessity?

8:40 am: It has been so many years of Indians, and yet 18,500 in India don't have the access to electricity, says the PM. If we were to light them up with khambas, it will happen in 10 long years. Can't wait that long, he says.

He talks about 'Team India' again. Promises that the 'Team' will get it done in 100 days. We're not sure what he means.

8:44 am: 'Start up, India. Stand up, India.' -- Modi chants thrice (perhaps a tad Ekta Kapoor-esque)Modi dreams of a day when many a Indians work in start ups. India should be the start up capital of the world, he says.

Rahul Yadav must be smiling somewhere.

8:50 am: 125 lakh bank branches across India to give loans to budding entrepreneurs, the PM announces.

Time to quit jobs and start something?!

8:53 am: Modi promises big -- Get rid of interviews for lower level jobs that helps poor people, give jobs based on merit, says the PM.

And finally, the PM comes to the most contentious and perhaps, the most relevant issue today -- that of One Rank One Pension (OROP).

8:55 am: Governments have come and gone, OROP transcends them, says the PM. We agree in principle, he says. 'They all made small promises, I promise again.'

And the PM has moved on again. Too little too late?

8:58 am: PM Modi congratulates all Indians yet again before saying 'Bharat mata ki jai.' JAI HIND!

He concludes his speech. -- National Anthem

Please stand up

9:00 am: All right ,people. That was a long 1.5 hour speech.

According to TV reports, people are angry about the PMs quick dismissal of the OROP subject. Chants of 'shame' are being heard outside the Red Fort.

Thank you for joining us for this live coverage. Let the debates begin!

First published: 15 August 2015, 12:45 IST
 
Durga M Sengupta @the_bongrel

Feminist and culturally displaced, Durga tries her best to live up to her overpowering name. She speaks four languages, by default, and has an unhealthy love for cheesy foods. Assistant Editor at Catch, Durga hopes to bring in a focus on gender politics and the role in plays in all our interactions.

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