India celebrated its 69th Independence Day Saturday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation from the iconic Red Fort in the capital New Delhi. "Team India" was the theme of Modi’s nearly 90-minute speech that focused on measures to take the Asian nation to “new heights” with the help of a "team" of about 1.28 billion Indians.

Modi pledged his commitment to eradicate graft and poverty in the country, and talked about corruption that has been eating away the nation "like a termite." He also vowed to improve policies for workers and farmers, and include millions of poor Indians in the banking and insurance systems.

Here are some of the top quotes from Modi’s speech:

  • My tribute to all those people who laid down their lives for India during India's freedom struggle. I salute our brave freedom fighters today
  • Be it casteism or communalism there is no place for them. In no way can they be tolerated. If the unity of India is destroyed then the dreams of the people are also destroyed.
  • We are looking at systems for enabling start-ups. We must be Number 1 in start-ups. 'Start-up India' & 'Stand up India'.
  • We need to increase agricultural productivity. Save water, save energy, save fertilizers should be our motto.
  • A farmer in the country is as important as a soldier of the country. Farmers need protection. For 60 years very little attention was paid to their welfare. We want to change this approach.
  • When the economic strength of the last man increases, nobody can stop the growth and development of India. The biggest achievement of team India is completing the promises within the time frame.
  • In 15 months, there is no allegation of corruption against my government; I am determined to end the termite of corruption. Corruption had become part of the system; contractors were running the nation; we have taken steps to correct the system.
  • I'm confident that it is with the strength of the poor that India will move forward. Bank accounts are essential for integrating the poor into the financial system.
  • Unity in diversity is India's strength. There is simplicity in every Indian. There is unity in every corner of India. This is our strength. If the unity of India is destroyed then the dreams of the people are also destroyed.
  • There should be a momentum created for achievement of goals by 2022. When we celebrate 75th anniversary of our freedom, we should have achieved these targets by then. We have to ensure a prosperous India by 2022.

In his first Independence Day speech last year as the prime minister, Modi had mentioned "Make in India," calling on investors to set up base in the country. But in his second speech Saturday, Modi made no mention of the project that was aimed at speeding up India's industrial revolution.

India Independence_1 Prime Minister Narendra Modi paying homage at the Samadhi of Mahatma Gandhi, at Rajghat, on the occasion of 69th Independence Day, in Delhi on Aug. 15, 2015. Photo: Press Information Bureau, Government of India

"Today is not the day for politics, I will speak tomorrow," Rahul Gandhi, vice-president of the opposition Indian National Congress party, reportedly said Saturday when asked about Modi's speech.

India Independence_8 Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldiers dance during a ceremony at the India-Pakistan Wagah Border Post on Aug. 15, 2015, held to celebrate India's Independence Day. Photo: Getty Images/Narinder Nanu/AFP