Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation on India’s 74th Independence Day, his 7th I-day speech in a row. Wearing his signature turban, he stood on the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi addressing a muted gathering, thanks to the global coronavirus pandemic.
Modi, in his speech, praised the Indian democracy, the people of the country and the work that his government has done. He said that India was ready to mass produce a Covid-19 vaccine, and spoke of a self-sufficient country that gives jobs to the poorest of poor labourers in the country.
Prime Minister Modi also said its government had given 5 crore women sanitary pads for Re 1.
He spoke of the freedom fighters because of whom the country gained independence from colonial rule. Modi said that India had given fitting replies to everyone who challenged India — from the LAC to LOC.
But what he did not mention was the way in which his government has cracked down on free speech putting scores of activists — from Devangana Kalita, Natasha Narwal to Anand Teltumbde, Vernon Gonsalves and Sudha Bharadwaj — in jail using draconian laws like the UAPA and NSA. There was no mention of why politicians such as former Kashmir chief minister Mehbooba Mufti were still in detention.
Many took to Twitter and questioned Modi’s idea of India. Here are some tweets that talk about why in a democracy like India, perhaps true freedom has not been achieved.
India, the largest democracy in the world, celebrates it's 74th independence day tomorrow, keeping it's activists & poets in jail, lynching it's innocent civilians in the name of religion & food they eat, locking down an entire state, and letting the criminals roam around free!— Suvarna Haridas (@Suvarna_haridas) August 14, 2020
This Independence Day, don’t take comfort in the past. The idea of India for which the freedom fighters fought is rubble. The dreams of the revolutionaries are dust. We could let the delusions of grandeur linger. Or we could do the...