Referring to the Republic Day violence, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his weekly Man ki Baat address, said that the country was very pained to see the dishonour to tricolour on January 26. In reference to the farmer protests, he said that the government is committed to modernising agriculture and was taking many steps in this direction. He added that India had become self-reliant when it came to vaccines and pharmaceuticals. “You must have noticed about the vaccination programme that India is able to help others because India today is self-reliant in the field of medicines and vaccines,” PM Modi said.

Thousands of protesting farmers had breached the Red Fort on January 26 after deviating from their tractor rally route, triggering a conflict with the police. Tens of thousands of farmers broke barriers to storm the national capital, their tractor parade to highlight their demands dissolving into unprecedented scenes of anarchy as they fought with police, overturned vehicles and hoisted a religious flag from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

The prime minister’s remarks come amid ongoing protests by thousands of farmers, mostly from Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh, at several border points into Delhi since November-end, demanding a repeal of the three new agri laws and a legal guarantee to the minimum support system for their crops.

Modi also touched upon the Padma awards announced last week, and said the country has continued the recent tradition of honouring unsung heroes. The prime minister also hailed the Indian cricket team’s performance in its historic series win in Australia, saying the team’s hard work and teamwork was inspirational.

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