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16.8.09

On India's 63rd Independence Day, Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, on Saturday asserted that Indians had immense faith and confidence in themselves and the world's largest democracy was headed to a "new glory."
In his sixth consecutive address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, the Prime Minister said, "Some people question whether India will ever be able to attain its true potential."
"We are rapidly moving forward. We have faith in ourselves. We have political stability. Our democracy is an example for the whole world. We are gaining in economic strength. Most importantly, we have confidence in our youth... I am sure that they will take our country to a new glory."
Speaking in Hindi from a prepared text, Dr Singh referred to a wide range of issues from climate change and water shortage to economy, terrorism and a new world order. But his tone was positive and said India was confident of returning to its 9 per cent growth path despite the global economic crisis and also of achieving a 4 per cent annual growth in agriculture in five years.
Pointing out that India's economic growth slid to 6.7 per cent in 2008-09, he said, "It is only a result of our policies that the global crisis has affected us to a lesser extent than many other countries." "Restoring our growth rate to 9 per cent is the greatest challenge we face," he said. "We expect there will be an improvement in the situation by the end of this year."
The PM said the time had come for India to unleash another Green Revolution to dramatically boost its food output.
Manmohan Singh made a reference to swine flu that has killed 24 people and affected 1,400. He said while the central and state governments would do everything to contain the disease, "the situation doesn't warrant a disruption of our daily lives because of fear and anxiety".
Dr Singh said India wished to tackle the problem of climate change along with other countries.
Perhaps for the first time in recent years, the Prime Minister made no reference to Pakistan by name even as he addressed issues related to South Asia, terrorism and Jammu and Kashmir.
He said India's security forces and intelligence agencies were being strengthened following the audacious terror attack on Mumbai by Pakistani terrorists that left nearly 170 people dead last year.
"I am sure that with cooperation from all sections of our society, we will be successful in eliminating terrorism,".

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