NEW DELHI (AP) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pledged to lift millions out of poverty and make India a developed country over the next quarter century as he marks 75 years since the independence from British rule.
Wearing a flowing cream-colored turban printed with small orange, white and green stripes, the colors of the country’s flag, Modi addressed the country on Monday from the 17th-century Mughal-era Red Fort in New Delhi, claiming that the world is looking to India. to help solve global problems.
Modi said the journey of the past 75 years has had its ups and downs with India battling against the odds with resilience and perseverance. He asked people to remove all traces of colonial mentality.
Modi said India will be guided by the ideals of self-reliance and the spirit of international partnership to achieve excellence in science and technology, build industries and achieve food and energy security. He said billions of dollars of investment were flowing into the country, turning it into a manufacturing hub.
India’s efforts have already propelled the country of 1.4 billion people into the ranks of leading countries in information technology, pharmaceuticals, space science and civil nuclear energy.
Modi said millions of people across the country were commemorating the 75th anniversary of independence by hoisting national flags over their homes and businesses for three days as part of a government campaign “to awaken the spirit of patriotism in all hearts”. The Parliament of India, the Presidential Palace, national monuments and other government offices lit up with multicolored lighting.
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The main opposition Congress party has accused the Modi government of excluding opposition parties from the celebrations.
“There were special functions in the historic central hall of Parliament to mark the 25th, 50th and 60th anniversary of Indian independence,” said Jairam Ramesh, spokesman for the Indian National Congress party. “Unfortunately, nothing like this was organized for the 75th anniversary, which was reduced to an occasion to glorify the Sarvagyaani”, a term meaning “one who knows everything” in reference to Modi.
US President Joe Biden, in a statement celebrating India’s Independence Day, said the two countries were indispensable partners based on a shared commitment to the rule of law and the promotion of freedom and justice. human dignity.
Biden said he was confident that “both countries will continue to stand together to uphold the rules-based order; foster greater peace, prosperity and security for our people; advancing a free and open Indo-Pacific; and tackle together the challenges we face in the world.
India and the United States have expanded their security partnership, underscoring their mutual concerns over China’s growing influence in the region. They are both part of the regional Quad alliance which also includes Japan and Australia and focuses on China’s growing economic and military might. China has called the Quad an attempt to contain its ambitions.
In his 80-minute speech, Modi made no reference to India’s strained ties with immediate neighbors Pakistan and China, or any moves to improve relations.
He called for unity to move forward but did not respond to pundits and critics who say the country is drifting away from some commitments and say the backsliding has accelerated since taking over. power of Modi in 2014. They accuse his populist government of using unbridled policies. power to undermine democratic freedoms and preoccupied with pursuing a Hindu nationalist agenda.
Modi pledged to fight political corruption and nepotism, which he said act like termites that eat away at development gains.