As India celebrates its 71st Independence Day today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation from the bulwarks of the Red Fort.

Since he assumed office, this was PM Modi’s fourth Independence Day address. On reaching the Red Fort to address the country for his customary Independence Day speech, he was received by Defence Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre and Defence Secretary Sanjay Mitra.

PM Modi was attired in the traditional off-white kurta and crimson turban. He first paid tributes to the Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat this morning before heading to the Red Fort where he unfurled the Tricolour.

Soon after that, he received a Guard of Honour from a contingent of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Delhi Police. Amid 21-gun salute he unfurled the national flag.

In his social media posts, PM Modi had asked all Indians to share their ideas for his speech from the Red Fort and, surprisingly enough he received over 8,000 messages.

In last year’s Independence Day speech, PM Modi had hailed India’s rich cultural heritage. His speech focused on ushering a digital and corruption-free India. He had spoken on social issues, including cleanliness and the education of girls.

This time around, he began his speech by remembering the victims of the recent unfortunate incident of Gorakhpur tragedy in which over 60 children affected by encephalitis allegedly died due to lack of oxygen supply.

He also recollected the victims of floods in several states of the country, saying the country stands shoulder to shoulder with them.

PM Narendra Modi took to twitter to congratulate everyone on the twin-occasion of Janmashtami and 71st Independence Day.

Here are some highlights of the speech he delivered from the ramparts of Red Fort this morning.

  • Greetings to my fellow Indians on Independence Day
  • I see that lots of you have come as young Krishna’s… today being Janmashtami too
  • We remember the great women and men who worked hard for India’s freedom
  • People of India stand shoulder to shoulder with those affected due to natural disasters & the tragedy in Gorakhpur
  • This is a special year- 75th anniversary of Quit India, 100th anniversary of Champaran Satyagraha, 125th anniversary of Ganesh Utsav
  • We have to take the country ahead with the determination of creating a ‘New India’
  • In our nation, there is no one big or small…everybody is equal. Together we can bring a positive change in the nation
  • We need the same determination as we did in the five years between 1942 and 1947. It is with that passion that we need to take India forward…
  • 1st January 2018 will not be an ordinary day- those born in this century will start turning 18. They are Bhagya Vidhatas of our nation
  • We have to leave this ‘Chalta Hai’ attitude. We have to think of ‘Badal Sakta Hai’- this attitude will help us as a nation
  • India’s security is our priority
  • Those who have looted the nation and looted the poor are not able to sleep peacefully today
  • GST has shown the spirit of cooperative federalism. The nation has come together to support GST & the role of technology has also helped
  • Today, even the poorest is linked to the mainstream and the country is moving towards progress
  • Good governance is about speed and simplification of processes
  • India’s stature in the world is rising. The world is with us in fighting the menace of terror. I thank all nations helping us doing so
  • We have to work for the progress of Jammu and Kashmir
  • There is no question of being soft of terrorism or terrorists
  • We all stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our brothers and sisters in Jammu and Kashmir. They have suffered a lot due to terrorism. We are determined to develop the state, educate the youth, give them jobs, include them in the mainstream, increase business and jobs and give them reasons to rejoice
  • Kashmir’s problem can only be solved by embracing Kashmiris
  • A New India is an India where the system doesn’t control the common man, but the common man should control the system. Every Indian in a New India should remember the words ‘Swaraj mera janm siddh adhikaar hai’ (Swaraj is my birth right).
  • A New India will be our democracy’s biggest strength
  • Times are changing. There is a constant change in demand, and a constant change in technology… with these, the nature of jobs are also changing, and we must move with the times
  • We are nurturing our youngsters to be job creators and not job seekers
  • I want to mention those women who have to suffer due to ‘Tripe Talaq’- I admire their courage. We are with them in their struggles
  • India is about Shanti, Ekta and Sadbhavana. Casteism and communalism will not help us
  • Violence in the name of ‘Astha’ is not something to be happy about, it will not be accepted in India
  • We are taking the nation on a new track (of development) and are moving ahead with speed. We are devoting significant attention to eastern India- Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Northeast. These parts have to grow further
  • In 1942, the nation’s call was ‘Bharat Chhoro’ (Quit India). In 2017, the nation’s call is ‘Bharat Jodo’ (A United India)… that is our true strength. Irrespective of caste, community and religion we are one India
  • Today people are celebrating honesty. Dishonest have no place here
  • There is a significant rise in taxpayers in the country. Following GST and note ban, over 18 lakh people with disproportionate incomes have been brought to book. Tax has been collected from them and they have been brought into the tax fold
  • We have shut down 1.75 lakh companies who did illegal practices. We shut down 300 Hawala companies and many more offshore companies that indulged in malpractices. We have shown that corruption will not be tolerated in India
  • We are fighting corruption – for the bright future of India and the wellbeing of our people
  • India is fast moving towards a digital economy. That is a very promising trend… BHIM app has seen large transactions and I urge businesses to make the BHIM app a part of your business transactions