Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed during an Independence Day speech from the historic Red Fort in Delhi to transform India into a developed nation in 25 years. Photo courtesy Narendra Modi/Twitter
Aug. 15 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed during an Independence Day speech from the historic Red Fort in Delhi to transform India into a developed nation in 25 years.
"I believe we must focus our attention on the Panch Pran for the coming 25 years," Modi said in his speech, according to a transcript provided by his office.
"You have to concentrate on your resolves and strength. And we must take up the responsibility of fulfilling all the dreams of the freedom fighters by embracing those Panch Pran by 2047 when the country celebrates 100 years of independence."
The Panch Pran are five resolves that include the goal of a developed India, removing any trace of colonial mindset, taking pride in the nation's roots, unity and a sense of duty among citizens.
His speech came as India celebrated 75 years of independence from nearly 200 years of British colonial rule that ended on Aug. 15, 1947.
"The world is looking at India proudly and with anticipation. The world has started searching for solutions to the problems on the soil of India. This change in the world, this change in the thinking of the world, is the result of our experienced journey of 75 years," Modi said.
The prime minister said India has already developed significantly since the early years of its independence, noting that "there is now antipathy towards filthiness" in comments on public health and that the country has successfully moved toward biofuel with goals of renewable energy.
Indian citizens struggled with poverty and illiteracy after the country gained independence and the bloody division of British India into modern India and Pakistan.
"Since the 2000s, India has made remarkable progress in reducing absolute poverty. Between 2011 and 2015, more than 90 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty," according to the nation's profile at World Bank.
Modi praised the National Education Policy of 2020, a comprehensive framework for elementary education through higher education that replaced a 1986 police, as well as a government program he announced in 2017 that aimed to connect 25 million people with electricity by the end of 2018.
"Providing electricity connection to 2.5 crore people in such a short time was not a small task, but the country has done it. Today the country is rapidly providing water from tap to the homes of lakhs of families," Modi said.
He said Indian citizens have "a major role in awakening this trust of the world in India," particularly young people as the nation enters a new era.
"Today we are witnessing the structure of Digital India. We are looking at start-ups. Who are these people?" Modi said. "This is that pool of talent who lives in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities, or in villages and belongs to poor families. These are our youngsters who are coming before the world today with new discoveries."
Modi also shared several critiques of Indian culture, particularly condemning corruption and gender inequality in his speech.
"It hurts me to say that we have witnessed a perversion in our day-to-day speaking behavior. We have been casually using expletives and cuss words, which are abusive and against our women," Modi said.
"Can we not pledge to get rid of every behavior, culture that humiliates and demeans women in our daily life? Women's pride is going to be a huge asset in fulfilling the dreams of the nation. I see this power and therefore I am insistent on it."