On the eve of 71st Independence Day 2017 , Prime Minister Modi is all set to deliver the traditional address to the nation in a speech that typically outlines the hopes for the future of the nation and achievements of the past. The prime minister also uses this address to lay out the most important issues facing the nation at that time and major policy decisions that the government wants to push. In his address last year, PM Modi reiterated the idea of “Ek Bharat, Shreshta Bharat”, emphasising that violence on lines of caste or religion would not be tolerated in his term. The prime minister talked about the infrastructure development projects that government agencies were working on, including roads and electricity, and took quite a moment to talk about cheap LED bulbs that the government planned to introduce in markets to make homes more energy efficient. There was also time taken out to talk about the Jan Dhan Yojana, the thousands of Aadhar-linked bank accounts that were opened for the poor for targeted subsidies.
In 2015, the Prime Minister’s address was more focussed on the agenda of growth that he has espoused and less on the social tensions that have seemed to caught on with the government. He spoke at length about rooting out corruption from the system, saying that “Team India” would collectively push out the termite of corruption in various sectors. The prime minister spoke at length about his government’s initiatives to promote start ups in the country, but also made out time to address the then-raging issue of One Rank One Pension(OROP) controversy that had led to protests by veterans the previous year. Finally, the PM concluded his speech by remarking that it was the inclusion of poor and social justice that his government wanted, and stated that the dignity of labour should be the duty of every citizen.
In his first address in 2014, the new prime minister had a more idealistic flavour to his address, talking about the changes he had seen in Nepal as the Himalayan kingdom waited for its Constitution. He spoke a lot about gender inequality, the skewed sex ratio and violence against women and how the society still mirrors a patriarchal view in these matters. The PM took time to laud the efforts of Indian athletes in the recently concluded Commonwealth games and also struck a bipartisan chord by acknowledging the efforts of all prime ministers that preceded him in the nation building process. The PM ended his speech by congratulating the armed forces on their bravery and sacrifices, something which has become customary in his subsequent speeches.