On Anniversary of India's Independence From British Rule, PM Modi Renews '1000-Year Slavery' Pitch

Modi also made several mentions of "nari shakti (women power)" and "Ma Bharti (mother India)" at a time when women's rights and the lack of it has made daily news.

New Delhi: In his tenth Independence Day speech at the Red Fort and the last one before the 2024 Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke in Hindi about attacks on the country “1,200 years ago” – invoking the Bharatiya Janata Party’s oft-repeated claim that India under Mughal rule did not have “freedom.”

“People did not know then that one incident” – the defeat of a king at the hands of another – “would ensnare India in a 1000-year slavery,” Modi said.

Modi renewed the pitch for his party’s tirade against Mughal – and in effect Muslim – rule, by saying that India continued to be stuck in slavery for years afterwards. “Whoever wanted to looted us,” he said.

“The incident was small, but it left an impression for 1,000 years,” Modi added.

The country has an opportunity again, Modi said. “We are lucky that we are in this first year of Amrit Kaal…mark my words, what we do in this time will go into making the next 1,000 years,” Modi said.

Minutes later, Modi said India now has “demography, democracy and diversity.”


“I pay my respects to everyone who sacrificed their lives for freedom,” Modi said at the beginning, taking the names of Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and others.

“In that time, there was probably no one who did not contribute to the freedom movement,” Modi said. The Sangh Parivar, which is the precursor to Modi’s party, Bharatiya Janata Party, did not participate in the freedom movement, say historians.

Later in the speech too, Modi said there was “no Hindustani who did not live with the dream of freedom.”


Modi mentioned Manipur, where ethnic violence has led to at least 150 deaths and very deep divisions among the state’s communities. Modi’s silence on the issue has been summarily criticised earlier.

“Hatred was seen in Manipur. People had to lose lives. Games were played with mothers’ and sisters’ dignity but for the past few days there has been news of continuous peace. The country is with Manipur’s people. Manipur’s people have been keeping the peace for the past few days, let them continue it. Peace will pave the way for a solution. The state and Union government together are trying their best to solve the issues,” he said.

Modi made several mentions of “nari shakti (women power)” and “Ma Bharti (mother India)” at a time when women’s rights and the lack of it has made daily news.

Bare months after India’s top wrestlers were engaged in protest against lack of action against BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh – who they had accused of sexual harassment – Modi brought up how sport has given a chance to Indians in the smallest locales to bring glory.

Modi also claimed that India’s small towns may be small but when it comes to efforts and ability, they shine.

Modi also said that corruption, dynasty politics and appeasement need to be tackled.