On India’s 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the second NDA government has taken several "pathbreaking" decisions, including abrogation of Article 370, end of Triple Talaq, steps for the welfare of farmers and traders. Addressing the nation from the Red Fort on Thursday, PM Modi said that the old arrangement in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged corruption and nepotism.
"Different governments made efforts in 70 years to deal with Kashmir, but it did not bear results; a new approach was needed," he said about the Centre’s move to scrap special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Here are some top quotes from his address:
* Jammu and Kashmir: "We neither nurse problems nor keep them pending. Different governments made efforts in 70 years to deal with Kashmir, but it did not bear results; a new approach was needed. Why did those who are supporting Article 370 make it a permanent provision for J&K and kept it a temporary measure. In less than 70 days of the new Government, Article 370 has become history, and in both Houses of Parliament, two-third of the members supported this step. We want to serve Jammu, Kashmir, Ladakh. The old arrangement in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh encouraged corruption, nepotism but there was injustice when it came to rights of women, children, Dalits, tribal communities. The dreams of sanitation workers were incomplete. How can we accept such a situation."
* Triple Talaq: "Remember how scared the Muslim women were, who suffered due to Triple Talaq but we ended the practice. Scrapping of triple talaq will help Muslim women live a better life. The decision should not be seen through political prism. If we can take steps against ‘Sati’ custom, female foeticide and dowry, then why not against instant triple talaq."
In Pictures | India celebrates 73rd Independence Day
* Water conservation: "It is unfortunate, however, that so many people lack access to water even 70 years after Independence. We understand the importance of water conservation and that’s why a new ministry for Jal Shakti has been created. The movement towards water conservation has to take place at the grassroots level. It cannot become a mere Government programme. People from all walks of life have to be integrated in this movement."
* One nation, one election: "Discussions should now be held on one nation one election, it is imperative to make the country great. Time has come to take on key challenges head on. One nation, one constitution spirit has become a reality and India is proud of it. GST brought to life the dream of One Nation, One Tax. India has also achieved One Nation, One Grid in the energy sector. Arrangements have been made for One Nation, One Mobility Card."
* Economy: "We have decided to invest Rs 100 lakh crore in infrastructure building. India can become a 5 trillion dollar economy in the next five years. Wealth creation is a great national service. Let us never see wealth creators with suspicion. Unless wealth is created, we can not distribute wealth. Wealth creation is absolutely essential. Those who create wealth are India’s wealth and we respect them."
* Population explosion: "It leads to many difficulties. We have to be concerned about the population explosion. We have to think- can we do justice to the aspirations of our children. Centre, as well as state governments, should launch schemes to tackle it."
* Corruption: "Every effort made to remove corruption and black money is welcome. These are menaces that have ruined India for 70 years."
* Terrorism: "India is strongly fighting against those supporting terrorism. India is not the only target of terrorism in the region. Countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan have also been affected."
* Freedom: "Government should have a minimal role in people’s lives. Let our people have the freedom of pursuing their own aspirations, let the right eco-system be made in this regard."
* Pollution: "Can we free India from single-use plastic? Time for implementing this idea is now. May teams be mobilised to work in this direction. Let an important step in this direction be made on October 2."
* Tourism: "There is huge scope to improve our tourism sector. Time has come to think about how we can boost exports. Each district of India has so much to offer. Let us make local products attractive. May more export hubs emerge. Our guiding principle is Zero Defect, Zero Effect. I know people travel abroad for holidays but can we think of visiting at least 15 tourist destinations across India before 2022, when we mark 75 years of freedom."