Prime Minister Narendra Modi, badgered for months by the Opposition to speak on Manipur, today began his address to the nation after unfurling the national flag at Red Fort with a reference to the strife-torn northeastern state.
“In the last few weeks, Manipur witnessed a wave of violence. Several people lost their lives, and our mothers and sisters were dishonoured. But, peace is slowly returning to the region. India stands with Manipur,” he said, adding that the Centre and the state government are working together to maintain peace.
“The people of Manipur should build on the peace that has been restored over the past few days. The path for a solution will be found through peace in Manipur,” he added.
PM Modi mentioned Manipur later in his speech as well, while speaking about the need to respect and address regional aspirations and ensure overall development.
“When I talk about unity…if there’s violence in Manipur, the pain is felt in Maharashtra as well,” he said.
PM Modi begun his 10th consecutive Independence Day speech with greetings to the 140 crore Indian citizens, who he called his “parivarjan (family members)”. He offered gratitude to the Satyagrah movement led by Mahatma Gandhi, and remembered the sacrifices of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdev and other freedom fighters that made Independence possible.
“I pay homage to all those who contributed for independence of the county, made sacrifices,” he said.