PM’s Independence Day speech: INS Arihant, INS Vikrant and Uttarakhand crisis

India News Bulletin Desk

In his Independence Day speech, PM Manmohan Singh remembered the Uttarakhand flood crisis, the fire on submarine INS Sindurakshak as well as focused on India’s success in launching its first aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

Children form the tricolor while PM Manmohan Singh addresses the nation
Image: PM of India media gallery

In his previous Independence Day speeches since the global economic crisis, the prime minister has mostly focused on economy, poverty and corruption and the government’s pledges to take India on the swift path of development. But this year’s speech was dedicated to sympathising with lost lives in Uttarakhand and in highlighting India’s progress in launching first home-built aircraft and nuclear submarine.

“Government is working with all the resources at its command to rehabilitate those whose houses have been destroyed and rebuild damaged infrastructure,” he said.

He also paid tribute to the army, paramilitary forces and numerous officers and government staff that worked in “difficult conditions in providing relief to those who were stranded”.

“We especially pay homage to the officers and men of the Air Force, ITBP and NDRF who sacrificed their lives to save others,” he said.

The PM also remembered the loss of submarine INS Sindurakshak to a fire and remembered the lost loves.

He used his Independence Day to highlight the progress India has made in the field of science, engineering and manufacturing. “The Navy had recently achieved two major successes in the form of its first nuclear submarine, INS Arihant and the aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant.

“We congratulate the Navy on its successes.”

First locally-built aircraft carrier INS Vikrant was launched on the week of India’s 67th Independence Day (August 12). The vessel, weighing 37,500 tonne will be inducted into the navy in 2018. The launch of INS Vikrant was termed as “the crowning glory” by the officials.

The prime minister also spoke about the Food Security Bill which is now before the Parliament. 

This law will benefit 75% of India’s rural population and half of its urban population, Singh claimed.

“Under the law, about 81-crore Indians would be entitled to receive rice at 3 Rupees per kg, wheat at 2 Rupees per kg and coarse grains at 1 Rupee per kg. This is the largest effort of its kind in the whole world,” he said.

He attributed the Bill’s success to the hard work of the farmers as India’s food-grain production reached a record level of 25.9-crore tonnes in 2011-12.

Also read how UK Indians are celebrating India’s 67th Independence Day with flag hoisting, national anthem and cultural events across England, Scotland and Wales

The PM also used his speech as an opportunity to highlight the government’s achievements in economic progress such as increasing the cap on foreign direct investment in key sectors such as retail, telecom and aviation.

He concluded his speech on an encouraging note saying: “If in the future we can achieve the same kind of progress as in the last decade, the day is not far off when India will be rid of poverty, hunger, disease and ignorance,”

He concluded his 67th Independence Day speech with the words “Jai Hind”.

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