Prime Minister Narendra Modi delivered his first Independence Day speech since his resounding victory after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Ever since his maiden Independence Day speech, after his first big win in 2014, Modi has done away with most of the norms and rules that his predecessors had followed. His longest Independence Day speech was the one in 2016, when he spoke for nearly 96 minutes, according to data available in the public domain.
Apart from PM Modi’s leadership skills, another attribute that sets him apart from his contemporaries is his oratorical skills. It is fact that Independence Day speeches by our Prime Minister have become a perfect platform to showcase the achievements of their government, and to reiterate their commitment of developing the nation. In fact, over the course of his tenure as PM, his speeches have always earned him standing ovations and there have been number of incidents when his speeches were interrupted by rounds of applause.
One would have observed that Modi’s speeches particularly Independence Day speeches are the longest carrying around 8,000 words. There is no doubt that Modi’s speeches have retained the thrust on nationalism and focus on rural topics and the most arresting feature of his speeches is the theme he chooses is on removing poverty in India. Political analyst Pushpesh Pant has pointed out that, “A good political speech should have an emotional charge, it should have credibility and a subtle sense of humour woven into it. Modi’s speech managed all three.”
Modi’s speeches are a “collective achievement that still come across as uniquely individual. A good leader like Modi puts his own stamp on the speech. He is one of the most insightful and versatile speakers in India today. Every speech is different, is rich in vision and is loaded with a several anecdotes of the past. If there is one person that has caught the attention of the whole world with his public speaking – it is NaMo.
PM Modi begins his speech by softly chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. His voice gradually gets louder. He starts speaking faster. The audience is captivated. Modi’s critics may laugh and also make fun of it. But this only goes to show that they are completely missing his clever tactics. He not only talks about the problems of India and about the missions of his government to solve them but also dares to talk about topics which his predecessors dared to even think about.
Though many might think it to be the changing social media effect, but the tweets stating his speech to bring tears in the eyes of politicians to being a speech that can create a thunder at Red Fort clearly speaks why this particular speech was a result of the sheer brilliance of this one man. Modi’s oratory skills are par excellence. I have followed all his speeches and have observed that all are shining examples to rate him one of the best orators. Why? Because his speeches thrive on the argumentative and debating font typical of this medium. He is at his oratory best promising everything from toilets to satellites, from agriculture to high speed manufacturing, from a gender just to a communal and caste violent free India in a mesmerising flow of words.
In his speech, Modi addresses a wide range of issues, including those faced by common people in India. These ranges from socio-economic issues like violence against women, a moratorium on caste and communal violence, launch of a ‘clean India’ programme, a financial inclusion scheme which will give banking access to every Indian, along with insurance cover; to economic issues like extending an invitation to the world for making India a manufacturing hub with a catchy slogan ‘come make in India’.
His tone is always full of encouragement and enthusiasm, measured gaps between the lines to let the effect sink into the audience and end on a high and positive note, establishing himself as one of India’s greatest orators. With his rich experience in politics and humble demeanour, he remains favourite among many and even during his last days in politics he could deliver the best speeches with maximum impact.
(This is the first part of the article and the remaining portion will continue on Sunday)
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)