New Delhi: There was unprecedented interest among foreign missions in the national capital to hear Prime Minister Narendra Modi deliver his maiden Independence Day speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Friday.
While in earlier years, of the 153 foreign missions in New Delhi, around 50-60 would approach the ministry of external affairs for passes to attend the Independence Day function at Red Fort, this time the ministry received an "unprecedented request" from 150 missions to attend the function, an official statement said.
"Given paucity of space, only 144 of the requests could be accommodated. Given the enormous interest shown by foreign missions, for the very first time, arrangements were made for simultaneous English translation for the benefit of the foreign diplomatic corps," the statement said.
During the one-hour-15-minute-long-speech, which began at 7.35 am, the foreign diplomats were seen listening intently to every word delivered by Modi as he spoke extempore in Hindi.
In his speech, Modi reached out to global investors, asking them to come and manufacture goods in India.
"I tell the world, `Make in India`," Modi said in his maiden address from the Red Fort. "Sell anywhere but manufacture here. We have the skill and talent for it."