Prime Minister Narendra Modi inspects the guard of honour at the Independence Day celebrations in Delhi (Photo: IANS)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi hit out at corruption and nepotism in his Independence Day speech, calling them twin evils that people have to fight.
Addressing the country from the Red Fort on India’s 76th Independence Day, he said the country has to give opportunity to citizens who deserve. He added that dynastic politics, “Bhai-Bhatijawad" and nepotism, “Parivaarwad” have hollowed out the institutions in the country.
Modi said: "We need to come together as a society to punish those who have propagated the evil of corruption. We are making efforts to seize properties of people who have fled the country. I request you all to help me fight corruption”.
He said that India needs to be alert against the corrupt as well as corruption. "Today the nation shows anger towards corruption, but not the corrupted. Until and unless, people have the mentality of penalizing the corrupt, the nation cannot progress at optimum pace”, Modi said.
In a visibly emotional appeal, the Prime Minister said: “Corruption is damaging the country like termites. The country will have to fight it… We have to weed out corruption”.
Highlighting his government’s efforts at rooting out corruption, he said: “We have to fight against corruption with all our strength. In the last eight years, Aadhaar, DBT (Direct Benefit Transfers) and the mobile phone were used to prevent nearly Rs two lakh crore of black money from falling into the wrong hands”.
Modi said that though India is faced with numerous challenges and restrictions, the country has the ability to overcome them to build a new India.
Speaking about nepotism, he said: “Another evil we need to come together against is nepotism. We need to give opportunities to those who are talented and will work towards the progress of the nation. Talent will be the basis of a New India”.
Indirectly pointing at dynastic rule in Indian politics, Modi said: "The shadow of parivarvaad lies on several institutions. Our many institutions are affected by family rule, it harms our talent, nation's capabilities and gives rise to corruption… We have to develop an intolerance for this to save institutions. The welfare of the family has nothing to do with the welfare of the nation. Let's cleanse India's politics and institutions from the shackles of parivaarwad".
Modi explained that the ambit of nepotism goes beyond dynastic politics as it pervades other aspects of public life.
"When I talk about bhai-bhatijawad, people think I am talking about politics. But it is not so, I am not talking only about politics. the bhai-bhatijawad has entered many institutions in the country which is depriving eligible, talented people”, he said.
"We need to discourage this in institutions, in sports. We need to start a revolution against it. This is our social responsibility. We need transparency," he said, adding that the selection of sportspersons is now conducted on the basis of talent and not 'bhai-bhatijawad'. “India's flag is flying high now”, PM Modi said.
This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ninth address to the nation on the occasion of India's Independence Day.