Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said the completion of 75 years of Independence was a time to step towards a new direction with a new resolve.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort for the ninth consecutive time, Modi offered tributes to a galaxy of freedom fighters, including Mahatma Gandhi, Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Veer Savarkar, Bhagat Singh, Jawaharlal Nehru among others.
"During our freedom struggle, there was not one year where our freedom fighters did not face brutality and cruelty. Today is the day when, as we pay them our respects, we need to remember their vision and dream for India," Modi said.
"It is a day to step towards a new direction with a new resolve," Modi said in the presence of a host of dignitaries including union ministers, Supreme Court judges and senior diplomats.
"We salute not only those who fought for freedom, but also the architects of free India such as Jawaharlal Nehru, Ram Manohar Lohia and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, amongst the many others," he added.
In line with the "Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav" celebrations, Modi, who wore the traditional kurta and churidar paired with a blue jacket and black shoes, chose to wear a white safa with tricolour stripes and a long trail for his 76th Independence Day look.