15 Aug 2018
PM Narendra Modi resumes trend of long Independence Day speeches
In his last Independence Day address from the Red Fort ahead of the next Lok Sabha election, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to the nation for over 80 minutes today.
Modi had last year spoken for 57 minutes, his shortest Independence Day speech in five years.
In 2016, he had spoken for 96 minutes, the longest ever Independence Day address by an Indian PM.
Before Modi, Nehru delivered the longest speech
India's first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru spoke for 72 minutes in 1947, which was till 2015, the longest ever speech from the Red Fort.
In his radio address 'Mann Ki Baat' before last Independence Day, Modi said he had received letters from people complaining that his Independence Day speeches were "a little too long" and promised to make a shorter speech.
Manmohan Singh stuck to the 50-minute mark in I-Day speeches
Modi spoke for over 65 minutes in 2014 and 86 minutes in 2015.
Modi's predecessor Manmohan Singh, who delivered 10 speeches over his long tenure, stuck to the 50-minute mark in his Independence Day speeches.
While Singh delivered speeches that lasted 50 minutes only on two occasions, 2005 and 2006, during the remaining eight years, his speech ranged from 32 to 45 minutes.
Atal Bihari Vajpayee also believed in short speeches
Modi's party colleague and the first BJP PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, spoke for 30-35 minutes in his Independence Day addresses. In August 2002, Vajpayee delivered a speech that lasted 25 minutes, while in 2003 he gave a 30-minute address from the historic 17th-century Mughal monument.