India's Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi marked her country's independence anniversary on Friday (15 August)?
India's Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi marked her country's independence anniversary on Friday (15 August) with her first major public speech since a state of emergency was declared almost two months ago.
In a strong defence of her proclamation, Mrs. Gandhi told the nation from the ramparts of the historic Moghul Red Fort in New Delhi that she was forced to take the extreme step as "a situation had been created which threatened the country's integrity".
The Indian leader said "Sometimes bitter medicine has to be administered to a patient only to cure him". Thousands of people gathered to hear the traditional Independence Day oration.
It was from the Red Fort that Mrs. Gandhi's father, the late Prime Minister Nehru, had announced India's independence from British rule 28 years ago.
Mrs. Gandhi recalled her father's slogan "Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might", and said she would like to give the same call to the nation now, when some people had forgotten their democratic responsibilities.
The Prime Minister also defend her government's foreign policy. She said Indian would never allow any foreign power to dictate its policies. This did not mean, however, that India did not seek friendship with all countries, she added.