Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said that India was celebrating its 72nd Independence Day amid positivity and confidence stemming from its robust economy adding that the country registered its name as the ‘sixth largest economy’ in the world.
He said, “India has registered its name as the sixth largest economy in the world. It has created positivity. We are celebrating the festival of freedom in such a positive atmosphere,” Modi said in his last Independence Day speech before the 2019 elections.
“The country is brimming with self-confidence and is regularly crossing new heights.”
Given that this is was his last Independence Day speech as the country’s prime minister for this term, Modi sought to woo Dalits by talking about how his government had been working for the upliftment of the community and backward sections.
He said that the government, at the recently concluded monsoon session of parliament, gave constitutional status to the OBC and SC-ST Commission to protect the rights of the underprivileged.
“The session was devoted to social justice. The session witnessed the passage of the bill to create an OBC Commission. Dalits, women and other weaker sections of the society have been empowered,” he said.
However, the prime minister was quickly corrected about getting his facts wrong again by his party colleagues and journalists on social media. BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy took to Twitter to write, “PM in his Red Fort speech got his figures for GDP wrong. India’s GDP is third largest not sixth largest as PM has been informed probably by MoF (Ministry of Finance).”
Some journalists then pointed out that Modi had wrongly said his government was responsible for removing Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts (AFSPA). Vaijaita Singh, who’s a correspondent with The Hindu newspaper, wrote, “He just said that we removed AFSPA from Tripura! FACT: AFSPA was removed from Tripura by the then CM Manik Sarkar in 2015. (A concurrent list subject, AFSPA can be implemented both by State and Centre, in Tripura’s case it was being implemented by State govt).”
Modi in his speech had said, ” I am happy to announce that due to continuous efforts of our armed forces the situation has come under control in sensitive regions and AFSPA has been removed form Tripura and Meghalaya.”
This wasn’t the only reason for Modi’s embarrassment. He also faced ridicule for drinking water even after the national anthem had started. Social media users were quick to condemn him for not standing motionless as is the requirement while the national anthem is being played.
पूरे देश को राष्ट्रगान पर ज्ञान देने वालों को भी देख लीजिए । pic.twitter.com/dwYNrJyHyJ
— Vikas Yogi (@vikaskyogi) August 15, 2018
check at 1.44.40. National Anthem started in chorus 'suddenly'. Modi Ji drank water as he must have been tired after such long speech, he was asking shouting "Vande" with people following with "Matram" so he took just one sip. The anthem was sudden. He stood after it
— SM Hoax Slayer (@SMHoaxSlayer) August 15, 2018
Modi in his speech also spoke about his government’s resolve to tackle corruption adding that his government will not spare the corrupt and those who stashed black money.