Hailing his government's decision to revoke Article 370 of Indian Constitution, that gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that it was a step towards realising the dream of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Emphasising that a new approach was needed to deal with Kashmir, PM Modi said that his government ‘neither nurse problems nor keep them pending’.
"In this short span of time, we have taken important steps in every sector. Article 370 and 35A being revoked from Jammu and Kashmir is a step towards realising the dream of Sardar Patel," the prime minister said while addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the 73rd Independence Day.
He said the work which was pending for the last 70 years was accomplished in less than 70 days under his government. PM Modi said everyone wanted Article 370 to be scrapped, but they were waiting for the appropriate time.
“Why did those who are supporting Article 370 make it a permanent provision for J and K and kept it a temporary measure,” he questioned.
He also talked about abolition of Triple Talaq and said that the decision was taken to ‘give equal right to Muslim sisters and for political gains.’
“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, PM Modi said.
The prime minister also condoled the death of people in recent floods and assured affected people of all help.
"The country is reeling under floods and heavy rains in some parts, I express my empathy," said PM Modi.
"Today when the country wakes up to yet another independence day, there are many affected due to floods. Bodies such as NDRF are fighting to resolve such issues. I want to reach out to everybody," he added.
He also talked about various welfare schemes that his government has launched for the welfare of the common man.
"In the last five years, we tried to improve the ease of living. We will work harder in the next five years,” he said.
This is PM Modi's sixth Independence Day speech and the first after returning to power with a massive mandate, from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
Before coming to Red Fort, he paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat.