Referring to his humble origins, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said it is the power of the Constitution and democracy that a boy from a "poor family" has got the opportunity to hoist the national flag at Red Fort.
"This is the power of the Constitution that a boy from a small town, from a poor family is at the Red Fort and is fortunate to bow before the tricolour. This is the power of Indian democracy. This the best gift our Constitution makers have given us," Modi said in his maiden speech on 68th Independence Day.
In a bid to promote the country's tourism industry, Modi said it helps everyone including auto drivers and tea-sellers, an apparent reference of himself.
"Tourism helps bring money to many. An auto driver can earn money, chickpea (chana) seller, (pakodawalla) snack seller and even a chaiwalla.
"When I refer to a chaiwalla, I can related it to myself," the crowd responded in a thunderous applause as Modi mentioned his humble origins.
During his childhood, Modi worked as a tea-seller, a fact he mentioned several times in his Lok Sabha election campaigns.
Modi also applauded the work of security forces and their "sacrifice" while performing the duty of protecting the country.
"Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. The forces are vigilant and so should we to make progress," the PM said.