English rendering of the Indian Prime Minister’s address at the Parakram Diwas celebrations at Red Fort in New Delhi on January 23, 2024
Congratulations to all of you on the birth anniversary of Netaji Subhas Chandra, officially recognized as Parakram Diwas. The Red Fort, which witnessed the strength of the Azad Hind Fauj revolutionaries, is once again brimming with renewed energy today. The initial years of Amritkaal, the nationwide enthusiasm of ‘Sankalp Se Siddhi,’ and this particular moment are truly unprecedented. Just yesterday, the entire world witnessed a historic milestone in Bharat’s cultural consciousness. The entire world and humanity experienced the energy and emotions associated with the ‘Pran Pratistha’ of the grand Ram temple. And today, we are celebrating the birth anniversary of the great leader Shri Subhas Chandra Bose. Over the last few years, since 23rd January was declared as Parakram Diwas, the significant festival of Republic Day now begins from 23rd January and continues until 30th January, the death anniversary of Bapu. Now, the grand spiritual festival of 22nd January has also been added to this celebration of Republic Day. These last few days of January are becoming highly inspiring for our spiritual and cultural consciousness, as well as our democracy and patriotism. I extend my best wishes!
Today, there is an exhibition portraying the life of Netaji. Artists have captured the life of Netaji on one vast canvas. I commend all the artists involved in this effort. A short while ago, I also had a conversation with my young friends who were honoured with the Rashtriya Bal Puraskar. Their courage, talent, and skills at such a young age are astonishing. Every time I get an opportunity to meet the youth of Bharat, my belief in a developed Bharat becomes stronger. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose is a great role model for this capable ‘Amrit’ generation of the country.
Today, Bharat Parv is also commencing from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Parakram Diwas. Over the next nine days, the country’s diversity will be showcased through Republic Day tableaux and cultural programmes in this Bharat Parv. Bharat Parv reflects the ideals of Subhas Chandra Bose. This is a festival to adopt ‘Vocal for Local’. This festival is meant to promote tourism. It is a celebration of respect for diversity and aims to elevate ‘Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat’ to new heights. I appeal to everyone to celebrate the country’s diversity by participating in this festival.
I will never forget the day when I had the honour of raising the tricolour at the Red Fort on the 75th anniversary of Azad Hind Fauj. Netaji’s life symbolizes not only hard work but also bravery. He sacrificed his dreams and aspirations for Bharat’s independence. He could have chosen an easier life for himself, but he aligned his dreams with Bharat’s resolve. Netaji was one of those great sons of the country who not only opposed foreign rule but also provided a fitting reply to those who questioned Indian civilization. He boldly presented Bharat’s identity as the Mother of Democracy to the world. At a time when some doubted democracy in Bharat, Netaji reminded them of Bharat’s democratic heritage and history. Netaji used to assert that democracy is a human institution, which has been prevalent for hundreds of years in various parts of Bharat. Today, as Bharat takes pride in its identity as the mother of democracy, it reinforces Netaji’s ideas.
Netaji understood that not only governance but also thoughts and behaviour could be enslaved. Thus, he aimed to raise awareness about this, especially among the youth of that era. If Netaji existed in today’s Bharat, one can imagine how pleased he would be with the newfound consciousness in young Bharat. The pride that today’s youth feel for their culture, values, and Indianness is unprecedented. Every young Indian is confident in their abilities and firmly believes that they are on par with anyone else.
We have landed on that part of the moon where no one has reached before. We have traveled 15 lakh kilometres towards the sun for scientific study, and every Indian takes pride in this achievement. Whether it’s the sun or the depths of the seas, reaching anywhere is not beyond our capabilities. We can emerge as one of the top three economic powers globally. We possess the ability to offer solutions to the world’s challenges. This belief, this confidence is evident in today’s youth of Bharat. The awakening among them has become the driving force for building a developed Bharat. Therefore, today’s youth are embracing the ‘Panch Pran’ or five resolves, working with a mindset free from slavery.
Netaji’s life and contributions serve as a wellspring of inspiration for the youth of Bharat. Over the past decade, we have endeavoured to ensure that this inspiration remains ingrained in our collective consciousness at every juncture. A prominent statue of Netaji has been placed on the ‘Kartavya Path,’ with the intention that every visitor is reminded of his unwavering dedication to duty. The islands of Andaman and Nicobar have been named after Netaji, the very location where the Azad Hind government hoisted the tricolour for the first time. Currently, a memorial dedicated to Netaji is under construction in Andaman. Additionally, we have built a museum at the Red Fort dedicated to the contributions of Netaji and the Azad Hind Fauj. For the first time, a national award has been declared in Netaji’s name for disaster management. I consider it a privilege that our government has undertaken unparalleled initiatives dedicated to the Azad Hind Fauj, which no other government in independent Bharat has done so far.
Netaji astutely recognized the challenges confronting the nation and sounded warnings to this effect. He advocated for strengthening political democracy on the bedrock of a democratic society to propel Bharat towards greatness. Unfortunately, after independence his idea was severely attacked. Post-independence, issues like nepotism continued to plague Bharat’s democracy. This has been a significant impediment to Bharat’s development, hindering progress at the desired pace. A substantial segment of society remained deprived of opportunities, and the nation lacked the essential resources for economic and social upliftment. A select few families wielded control over political, economic decisions, and policymaking. The youth and women were particularly impacted. The youth had to face a discriminatory system at every step. Women had to wait a long time even for their most basic needs. It is evident that under such circumstances, no country could flourish, and regrettably, Bharat was no exception.
Therefore, upon assuming office in 2014, we progressed with the ethos of “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas” . Presently, the nation is witnessing transformative changes over the last decade. The vision Netaji had for an independent Bharat is now materializing. Even the sons and daughters of the poorest families believe they have ample opportunities for advancement. Women across the country are confident that the government is attuned to their fundamental needs. After years of anticipation, the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam has been enacted. To every youth, sister, and daughter of the country, I say that the present era, ‘Amrit Kaal’, provides an opportunity to display your courage. You have a significant role in reshaping the political landscape of a developed Bharat. Only our youth and women can liberate the nation’s politics from the vices of nepotism and corruption. We must muster the courage to eradicate these maladies through politics and emerge victorious.
Yesterday in Ayodhya, I expressed that this is the time for nation-building through ‘Ramkaaj’ (service to Ram). This is the period to fortify patriotic sentiments through devotion to Ram. The world is scrutinizing each step and action of Bharat today. What we accomplish, the world eagerly anticipates. Our objective is to transform Bharat into a developed nation by 2047. We aim to make Bharat economically prosperous, culturally robust, and strategically formidable. To achieve this, it is imperative that we become the world’s third-largest economic power within the next five years. This goal is well within our reach. In the last decade, we have ascended from being the tenth-largest economy to the fifth-largest Over the past ten years, around 25 crore Indians have emerged from poverty due to collective efforts and encouragement from the entire nation. Bharat, today, is accomplishing goals previously deemed unimaginable.
In the last 10 years, Bharat has charted a new course to enhance its strategic capabilities. For an extended period, Bharat relied on foreign nations for its defence and security requirements. However, we are altering this dynamic by striving to make India’s forces self-reliant. There are hundreds of such weapons and equipment, whose import has been completely stopped by the country’s armies. Presently, a dynamic defence industry is emerging nationwide. Bharat, once the world’s largest importer of defence goods, is now on the verge of becoming one of the world’s largest exporters of defence goods.
Today’s Bharat, as a global ally, is busy connecting the entire world. We are currently dedicated to finding solutions to global challenges. On one hand, our efforts are directed towards transitioning the world from conflict to peace. Simultaneously, we are fully prepared to safeguard our interests.
The upcoming 25 years are of immense significance for Bharat and its people. We must make the most of every moment during this ‘Amritkaal’ for the national interest. Hard work and courage are essential for building a developed Bharat. ‘Parakram Diwas’ will remind us of this resolution every year. Once again, hearty congratulations to the entire nation on ‘Parakram Diwas’. Remembering the virtues of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, I respectfully offer my tribute. Join me in saying:
Bharat Mata Ki Jai!
Thank you very much!
This is the approximate translation of Prime Minister’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.