Amid the plans of e-governance and digital India, it was very unconventional and unusual of a Prime Minister to include topics of ‘toilets’ and ‘filth’ in an Independence Day speech; but then, it was perhaps an appropriate stage for Narendra Modi to convey to the world how much importance his government gives to cleanliness, hygiene and sanitation.
Stressing on the need to create a “Clean India”, he said, “If 125 crore people resolve not to dirty the surroundings, no force on the earth can dirty our country.
“I do not know if people will appreciate my talking about filth and toilets from the Red Fort on an Independence Day but I speak from my heart today, as I understand poverty. And what better way to address this issue than from here.”
Referring to the contributions made to the Independence of India by Mahatma Gandhi, who was also an advocate of cleanliness, “the making of Clean India will be the most fitting tribute that we can give him on his 150th birth anniversary in 2019.” Announcing to being the work on the Mahatma Gandhi Swachchatha Abhiyan on October 2, Namo called on all to complete the work within the next four years”, he said.
“Can we not create proper toilet facilities? It is most embarrassing that several women today have to wait until dark to defecate, as they do not have toilets. Just imagine the fear and diseases they are subjected to. Their dignity is at stake. Is it not our duty to protect the dignity of our women and provide them with toilets?”
Urging the parliamentarians to invest constituency funds in building toilets in every school, Namo also called upon the Corporates as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility to work with the Government in making toilets.
Setting deadlines in the most subtle way, Namo said, “Next year when we assemble here for the Independence Day, we should have toilets in every school for boys and girls. Can we not achieve that?”
This is now the right moment and the right time for the Indian Cleaning Industry to offer the best solutions as the country moves towards rebuilding the country into a ‘Clean India’. Standing at the threshold of a new demand for professional cleaning solutions, the cleaning industry is bracing for a new beginning.
Here are the highlights of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first Independence Day speech to the nation:
- My beloved countrymen, today Indians all over are celebrating Independence Day.
- My dear Indians, my greetings to all of you on this day.
- I am here not as pradhan mantri (Prime Minister) but as pradhan sevak (prime servant in service of country).
- Independence can became an inspiration to take India to new heights.
- These days give us inspiration and they showcase the national character. These days can inspire us to take India to newer heights.
- This country has not been made by politicians, kings or governments. It has been made by farmers, labourers, youth, our mothers and sisters.
- Our country has progressed because of the hard work of all these people.
- I salute all those who sacrificed themselves for India’s freedom.
- It is the pride of Constitution that a boy from a poor family has unfurled the flag at Red fort today.
- It is the strength of our Constitution. I thank the makers of the Constitution.
- All the previous governments have a hand in developing India. The state governments have a hand in it as well. I offer my respects to all previous governments and Prime Ministers.
- We should walk together, work together and progress together. We should move ahead with this mantra.
- The nation should move towards one target, one direction, one intention and one decision.
- I assure Indians I will develop India. This I say standing under the Tricolour.
- I am an outsider to Delhi. But an outsider came to Delhi and got an insider view in the last two months.
- For Delhi’s elite class, I was like an untouchable.
- This is not a platform for politics but nation building.
- The government should have the same direction, the same intention.
- Some say now that Modi government is here, people have started going to work at the right time.
- Should government officials going to work at the right time be in the news in this country?
- I want to remind government servants that they are not merely doing a job, they are providing a service.
- I want to expedite the nation-building process by encouraging the capabilities of government functionaries.
- From a chaprasi to Cabinet Secretary, every government servant in competent. We will harness that strength.
- We want to move forward not on the basis of majority but on consensus.
- The first Parliament session of our government just concluded yesterday.
- The session reflects our thinking. We don’t believe in the force of majority. We worked with everyone, we took everyone along.
- The credit for this goes not to the PM but the MPs and the Opposition.
- With an insider’s view, I found that there are many governments within a government. One department was fighting with another department.
- How can we work for the country if we fight amongst ourselves?
- I have tried to break the walls.
- I want the government to be an organic unity and not an assembled entity.
- I assure you that people in the government and government offices are extremely capable.
- Isn’t it our responsibility to build a nation our freedom fighters dreamed of, the nation they gave their lives for?
- When we hear about incidents of rape, our heads hang in shame.
- I want to ask every mother and father, you ask your daughters ‘where are you going, who are you going with’. But do you ever ask your sons these questions? After all, those who rape are also someone’s son.
- Everyone is busy giving their psychological opinions on rape.
- We have to rise above mera kya – mujhe kya (what am I getting out of this); some things have to be done for the greater national good.
- I appeal to the doctors not to kill the girl-child in the mother’s womb.
- I request the parents not to kill the girl-child because they want a son.
- Indian sportsmen brought pride to our country in the Commonwealth Games. 29 Indian women won medals at the CWG.
- Give up the path of violence, think of brotherhood and work for the country.
- Communalism and caste violence are obstacles to India’s growth.
- The law will take its own path but we need to take responsibility to bring our sons who deviated from right path to bring them back.
- If 125 crore people work together, India will move forward 125 crore steps.
- We have not got anything from the path of violence.
- Today our farmer commits suicide because he cannot repay his debt. We want to give the poor the benefit of bank accounts.
- Under the PM’s jan dhan yojna, the poor will be given insurance through debit card for up to Rs. 1 lakh.
- We want to integrate the poorest of the poor with bank accounts.
- With the gun you can make the earth red but if you have a plough you can make the earth green.
- Come, Make in India.
- We have the capability. Invite companies from all sectors.
- I invite our youth involved in manufacturing to ensure that all over the world, products say ‘Made in India’.
- Why should we have to import things when we have such capable young citizens?
- Out of all the things we import, I will ensure that we start making at least one of those in India.
- Let us think about zero-defect production with no adverse effect on the environment.
- The world used to think we are a land of snake charmers and black magic. But our youth has surprised the world with its IT skills. I dream of a digital India.
- We want to forge ahead with digital India. We want to give good governance through E-governance.
- E-Governance is easy governance, effective governance.
- We have to move towards ‘Digital India’.
- Our mission is skill development. There can be no development with a jaded system.
- The world has changed. India cannot sit isolated in one corner and determine its future.
- We import electronic goods, but if we start manufacturing these, it will benefit the country.
- Want to increase tourism. Tourism provides employment to a lot of people.
- When I became the PM, the first task I took up was that of cleaning. People were surprised.
- If we keep our country clean, no one can come from outside and spoil it.
- I don’t know whether people will appreciate me talking about dirt & toilets from Red Fort but I come from a poor family.
- All schools should have toilets. There should be separate toilets for schools. I urge all MPs to spend one year’s funds to construct toilets.
- In 2019, ensuring cleanliness will be the most fitting tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary.
- Gandhiji emphasised on cleanliness.
- We should ensure that every road, school, office, locality and neighbourhood is clean.
- It is a shame that our women have to wait for darkness to go out in the open to defecate. Can’t we build toilets for the security of our women?
- There are many schemes named after the PM and many leaders. Today I announce a scheme in the name of Parliament. A scheme for villages. Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana.
- By 2016, MPs should have at least made one village an ideal village.
- If we want to develop India, we need to develop villages.
- By the end of five years, each MP should have converted at least five villages into ideal villages.
- We will keep the blue-print of this scheme in front the MPs on October 11.
- There has been much speculation about the Planning Commission.
- The Planning Commission was made according to the country’s needs back then.
- The country has changed, its needs have changed. Times have changed from the time the Planning Commission was created.
- If we want to take the country forward, the states have to be taken forward.
- Sometimes renovating an old house takes a lot of money and we are still not satisfied, hence it is better to build a new one.
- With the object of building a partnership between the Centre and the state, with the object of strengthening our country, we will soon create a new institution.
- We fought for freedom together. We had no government, no weapons to help us. We defeated such a big empire without any government, without any arms.
- Let us today defeat poverty together. We should fight with the world against poverty.
- Together, with SAARC nations, we can became a world power. SAARC nations together can work to remove poverty.
Leaders of SAARC nations came to the swearing-in ceremony. It was a good sign.