At 92 minutes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's sixth Independence Day speech from the ramparts of Red Fort in New Delhi on August 15, 2019, is the second-longest delivered by him on the occasion. The speech on India's 73rd Independence Day is also the first one by Narendra Modi in his second term as the Prime Minister of the country.
PM Modi's longest Independence Day speech was in 2016 which lasted for 96 minutes, followed by 2015 at 86 minutes, 2018 (82 minutes), 2014, (65 minutes), and 2017 (57 minutes). Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first Prime Minister, had delivered a 72-minute-long speech on the occasion of India's first Independence Day in 1947, which till 2015 was the longest ever speech by an Indian PM from the Red Fort.
Abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35A which ended Jammu and Kashmir's special status and led to the complete integration of the former state with the rest of India, Jal Mission, infrastructure and economic development, plight of the Muslim women, a stronger defence force equipped with indigenous weapons, formation of Chief of Defence Staff post, and scourge of terrorism were the theme of PM Modi's speech on Thursday.
In one of the most momentous announcements, he declared that India will now have a Chief Of Defence Staff, the senior-most military-officer of the country who will the point-person for all defence-related matters to the Prime Minister of India. He also stressed that defence forces were the pride of the nation and must be equipped with the best weapon systems to ensure that they are ever-ready for all the challenges.
PM Modi also gave a call for population control and asked people to always think and plan before deciding on giving birth to a child. He pointed put that the burgeoning population of the country was putting great stress on the available resources and could prove to be counter-productive soon.