New Delhi: In his address to the nation on the 73rd Independence Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke about how his current regime has moved forward from his first tenure. He said that 2014-19 was an era to fulfil people’s needs and now the time has come to meet aspirations and dreams of the people. He said all the work done till 2019 gave people the hope and the faith in the government which, in turn, gave the Centre the strength to plan ahead.

“The 2019 mandate shows that hopelessness has given way to hope among masses,” he said.

Now that Article 370 has been revoked, the country can today say with pride, “One nation, one constitution,” pointed out the PM.

He said his government has had just about ten weeks in power but has worked in all sectors to improve the ease of living. “We will work harder in the next five years,” he said.

Reminding the nation how his government had managed to see the triple talaq bill through, the PM pointed out that Muslim women were rid of the fear of triple talaq that they nursed all their lives. “Remember how scared Muslim women were, those who suffered due to the practice of Triple Talaq, but we ended that. When Islamic nations can ban it then why can’t we? When we can ban Sati, when we can take strong steps against female infanticide, child marriage, then why not this?” he asked.

Hitting out at the naysayers of Article 370, the PM said that if it was so important for the people of J&K, why was it still ‘temporary’, why hadn’t the earlier governments made it ‘permanent’ instead? “Those who supported Article 370, India is questioning them, If this was so important then why was this Article not made permanent? After all, those people had huge mandates and could have easily removed its temporary status,” he asked.

He said now was the time for “discussions on one nation one election, it is imperative to make the country great.”

The PM quoted ancient texts on the importance of water conservation and said, “It is unfortunate, however, that a lot of people lack access to water even after 70 years of Independence. Work on the Jal Jeevan Mission will continue with great enthusiasm in the years to come.”

He said that Jal Jeevan Mission should be pursued like Swachh Bharat Mission and it should not end up like another government scheme but become a people’s movement.

Touching upon the problem of population explosion, he said people should plan judiciously before starting a family. He said governments, state and Central, will have to come up with schemes to curb population explosion because “we cannot afford an illiterate, ill-fed nation”.

On making India a US$ 5 trillion economy, the PM said his government will invest Rs 100 lakh crore on developing modern infrastructure that will aid in nearly doubling the size of the Indian economy to US$ 5 trillion in the next five years.

The PM also urged the people to accord priority to local products for a better tomorrow. He also exhorted the people to visit at least 15 tourist destination within India by 2022.