Indian Independence Day: All eyes on the Prime Minister
“At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom,” said independent India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, while delivering the nation’s first Independence Day speech just before midnight on August 14, 1947.
Several decades have passed since the great freedom fighters of India defeated the British, and achieved the independence that they had been fighting for. And this year, on August 15, 2015, India will be celebrating the 69th Indian Independence Day, and will be one year away from seven decades of independence. It is also important to mention that Pakistan will also be celebrating its 69th Independence Day on August 14, 2015.
It is not surprising the netizens have taken to the internet to wish both the nations Happy Independence Day. Early online data and insights show that people are going online to talk about a multitude of topics including India, Pakistan, Independence Day, and Mr. Narendra Modi, the current Indian Prime Minister‘s upcoming speech.
During last year’s Independence Day celebration, still celebrating a landslide victory in the national elections, Mr. Modi spoke about a broad vision for development and social change: a clean India where women are safe and religious violence is rare, where universal access to banking bridges inequality, where businesses employ thousands to manufacture everything from textiles to satellite technology, and where political parties work together toward reform.
This year Indians everywhere are looking forward to Mr. Modi’s 2nd Independence Day speech. The early optimism is now mixed with realism. Mr. Modi has achieved some successes in recent months, but also faced protests, criticism and partisan gridlock, that have dented his larger-than-life image. He is facing the incredibly difficult task of managing expectations.
While we await his speech tomorrow, here are some of my personal favorite issues that Mr. Modi touched upon in hisspeech last year:
- “Everything is not for us. There are some things that should be for the nation. Let’s think beyond ‘what about me’ and look at the nation.”
- “I tell the world – come, make in India. Sell anywhere but manufacture here. We have the skill and the talent.”
- “Sadly we saw instances of communal violence for long. How long can this go on? No one has gained anything from this.”
- “With a gun, you can make the earth red but if you have a plough, you can make the earth green.”
- “I came from outside Delhi but I can say there is immense skill in the people who are in the government. But I also saw that in one government, there were different governments. It was as if each had their own fiefdoms.”
With that, sources in the PMO have said the Independence Day celebrations this year will be given a Modi touch by making it elaborate and spectacular. Helicopters or hot air balloons that will shower flower petals on the Red Fort and the attendees there are even being planned for the event.
What are you most excited for in this year’s celebration?