“If we want to achieve our dreams, we have to get rid of three evils of corruption, nepotism and appeasement,” PM Modi said in his last I-Day speech ahead of the Lok Sabha elections next year.
The Prime Minister exuded confidence of returning back to the Red Fort next year to give an account of his government and “present the achievements of the country, capabilities, the progress made, the successes achieved with even greater self-confidence.”
While his speech dwelled on several aspects – from listing the achievements of his government to outlining his vision for the future – the emphasis was on setting the political tone for the upcoming electoral battles.
The speech also reinforced PM Modi’s emphasis on Bharat, a significant shift observed since the opposition named their grouping as INDIA (Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance).
However, the hallmark of today’s speech was the strong and focussed attack on the politics of dynasty.
“Parivaarjan” to counter “parivaarvad”
While PM Modi has spoken about the ills of “parivaarvad” in his speeches hundreds of times, the 77th Independence Day speech saw a new weapon to counter it.
PM Modi used the word “parivaarjan” for the first time instead of the usual “my beloved brothers and sisters” or “my dear fellow citizens”.
He repeatedly referred to the entire country as his “parivar” to drive home the contrast with politicians who promote their own immediate “parivar” in politics.
“My family members, I have come from amongst you. I live for you and if I dream, I dream for you. I work hard for you. I do not do it merely because you have given me the responsibility but I do so because you are my family. As a member of your family, I cannot tolerate your pain and cannot allow your dreams to be crushed,” PM Modi said.
The Prime Minister said ‘parivarvaad’ (dynastic politics) has hollowed out and tightened its grip over the country, taking away the rights of the people.
“That’s why my ‘parivaarjan’ (dear family members), we have to fight these three evils with all our might. Corruption, dynastic politics, appeasement, these challenges have suppressed the aspirations of the people of our country,” PM Modi said.
“How can this happen in a democracy that a political party, and I am giving special emphasis on ‘political party’, has brought such a distortion in the democracy of my country. It can never strengthen India’s democracy. What is that disease? Dynastic politics. And what is their mantra? Party of the family, by the family and for the family. For the strengthening of the democracy of this country, we must liberate ourselves from nepotism,” he added.
He combined dynasty politics with corruption and appeasement and said: “We have to look these evils in the eye and wage a war against them. We can’t tolerate corruption in any form to realise the dream of a developed nation.”
“Like termites, corruption has completely hollowed out the systems of the country and its capabilities.”
The Prime Minister asserted that it was important to fight corruption in every sector and it was his lifelong commitment to pursue this fight.
Focus on Bharat
When 26 opposition parties named their group INDIA in Bengaluru, some leaders wondered how the BJP and PM Modi will now take on this new nomenclature.
What followed was a fierce war of words with the Prime Minister leading the attack over opposition’s new front. From comparing the use of name India by some terror organisations to ridiculing the opposition alliance as “Ghamandia gatbhandan”, the Prime Minister led a strong counter attack against the opposition bloc that is preparing to challenge him in 2024.
Prime Minister also took pot shots at the opposition with his “corruption quit India”, “appeasement quit India” and “dynasty quit India” jibes.
Some of key BJP leaders including Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma were quick to dissociate with the use of India calling it a colonial legacy.
Another perceptible change triggered by the new name of the opposition alliance was the increased use of Bharat by the Prime Minister.
In several of his speeches in the recent times, Prime Minister Modi has spoken about Bharat and avoided the use of India.
Clearly, PM Modi is going all out to not just highlight his achievements and his vision for the future but also to discredit what he calls an opportunistic alliance out to defeat him in 2024.
Watch Independence Day 2023: ‘Party of family, by family and for family…’, PM Modi slams dynastic politics