Mann Mera Table No 21 Song Download Free 4,0/5 4035votes
My dear countrymen, Namaskar. The mega festival of Chatth, celebrated 6 days after Diwali, is one of those festivals which are celebrated in accordance with strict rituals & regimen. In everything associated with it like cuisine or attire, traditional norms are adhered to. The unique festival Chhath Pooja is deeply linked with nature & worshipping nature. Surya & Jal –The Sun & Water are central to the veneration in Chhath, whereas utensils made of bamboo & clay and tubers are an essential part of the Pooja articles.
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In this mega festival of faith, veneration of the rising sun and worship of the setting sun convey a message that is replete with unparalleled Sanskar. The world respects & venerates those who rise; the Chatth Pooja bestows upon us the sanskaar to respect & revere those whose setting, whose dusk is imminent. The expression of the significance of cleanliness in our lives is intrinsic to this festival.
Before the advent of Chatth, people come together to clean up their homes, and along with that cleansing of rivers, lakes, pond banks and pooja locations, that is ghats, with utmost enthusiasm & fervour. Sun worship or Chhath Pooja is a festival of protecting the environment, ushering in wellness and discipline. Usually, people shy away from borrowing from others. But in Chhath Pooja, it is specially customary to ask for Prasad after the morning Arghya ritual. It is believed that the rationale behind this tradition is that, it destroys his ego that proves to be an impediment in one’s path of progress.
It is natural for each one of us to feel proud of this great tradition of India. My dear countrymen, ‘Mann - Ki - Baat’ has garnered accolades; it has also attracted criticism. But whenever I look at the overall outcome of ‘ Mann Ki Baat’, it reinforces my belief, that it is intrinsically, inseparably woven into the warp & weft of our common citizens’ lives, cent per cent. Take the examples of Khadi and handloom.
On Gandhi Jayanti I have always advocated the use of handloom and Khadi. What has it led to? You will be glad to know that on the 17 th of this month on the day of Dhanteras, the Khadi Gramodyog Bhavan store in Delhi witnessed a record sale of Rupees one crore, twenty lakhs. You too must be feeling happy with a sense of satisfaction at this mega sale in just one Khadi & Handloom store. During Diwali, Khadi gift coupon sales recorded an overwhelming 680 per cent rise.
Compared to last year, the total sales of Khadi & Handicrafts have risen almost by 90%. One can clearly see that today, the youth, the elderly, women, in fact every age group is taking to Khadi & handloom. I can imagine how many weaver families, poor families, and the families working on handlooms must have benefitted from this. Khadi was Khadi foundation earlier and we talked of Khadi fashion but with my recent experience I can say that after Khadi for nation and Khadi for fashion now, it is becoming Khadi for transformation. Khadi and handloom have transformed the lives of the poorest of the poor and are emerging as a powerful means of empowering them. It is playing a very important role for gramodaya. Shriman Rajan Bhatt has written on NarendramodiApp that he wants to know about my experience of celebrating Diwali with security forces and he also wants to know how the security forces celebrate Diwali. Shriman Tejas Gaikwad has also written on NarendramodiApp whether there could be an arrangement to send our homemade sweets to the security forces.
We also remember our brave security forces. We also feel that our homemade sweets must reach our country’s soldiers. All of you must have celebrated Deepawali with traditional fervour. To me, Diwali brought a special experience. Luckily I got another chance to celebrate Deepawali with our courageous and brave heart security personnel.
Memories of Diwali celebrations with our security forces in Gurez sector of Jammu & Kashmir will stay long cherished in my heart. On behalf of all our countrymen, I salute every soldier of our security forces who guard the country’s borders with utmost dedication and a spirit of sacrifice, braving all odds. Whenever we get a chance or whenever there is an opportunity we must try to know the experiences of our soldiers and listen to their tales of valour. Many of us may not be aware that the jawans of our security forces play an important role not only on our borders but they play a very vital role in establishing peace the world over. As UN Peacekeepers, they are bringing glory to the nation in the comity of nations. United Nations Day was observed recently all over the world on the 24 th of October.
Everybody recalls the efforts and constructive role of the UN in establishing peace throughout the world. And, we are believers in “Vasudhaiv Kutumbakam” which means the whole world is our family.
And with this belief, India has been cooperating very actively in various important initiatives taken by the UN. You may be aware that the preface of the Indian Constitution and the preface of the UN Charter; both start with the words ‘We the people’. India has always stressed on the importance of equality for women and the UN Declaration of Human Rights is a living example of this. In its initial phrase, it was proposed as ‘all men are born free and equal’ which was amended and adopted as ‘all human beings are born free and equal’ with the efforts of the Indian representative Hansa Mehta. It appears to be a minor change but it reflects a vision of a healthy thought.
India’s most important contribution under the UN umbrella is its role in UN Peacekeeping Operations. India has always been extending active support to UN Peace Missions. Many of you may be getting to know this for the first time.
More than 18 thousand Indian security personnel have lent their services in UN Peacekeeping Operations. Presently, about seven thousand Indian soldiers are associated with UN Peacekeeping initiatives which is the third highest number of soldiers from any country. Till August 2017, Indian soldiers had lent their services in about 50 of the total of 71 Peacekeeping operations undertaken by the UN the world over. These operations have been carried out in Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Congo, Cyprus, Liberia, Lebanon, Sudan and many other parts of the world. In Congo and Southern Sudan more than twenty thousand patients were treated in hospitals of the Indian army and countless lives were saved. Indian security forces have not only saved people in various countries but also won their hearts with their people friendly operations. Indian women have played a leading role in peace keeping efforts.
Very few people may know that India was the first country which sent a female police unit to Liberia for the United Nations Peace Mission. And see how this initiative from India became a big source of motivation for other countries too.
Later, all countries started sending their women police units. You will surely feel proud to know that India’s contribution is not limited to just peacekeeping operations but it is also providing training to peacekeepers from about eighty five countries. The brave peacekeepers from this land of Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Budha have sent a message of peace and amity around the world. Peacekeeping operation is not an easy task. Jawans from our security forces have to perform duties in difficult and remote areas. They have to live amongst many different people. They need to know and adapt to various situations and different cultures.
They have to mould themselves according to the local needs and environment. While remembering our brave UN Peacekeepers today, who can forget the sacrifice of Captain Gurbachan Singh Salaria who laid down his life while fighting in Congo in Africa? Every Indian feels proud while remembering him. He was the only UN peacekeeper, a brave-heart, who was awarded the Param Veer Chakra.
Lieutenant General Prem Chand ji is one among those Indian Peacekeepers who carved a special niche for themselves in Cyprus. In 1989, at the age of 72, he was appointed the Force Commander for an operation in Namibia and he gave his services to ensure the Independence of that country. General Thimaiyya, who had been India’s army chief, lead the UN Peacekeeping force in Cyprus and sacrificed everything for those peace efforts. India has always been giving a message of peace, unity and harmony to the world. We believe that everyone must live in peace and harmony and move ahead to carve a better and peaceful tomorrow.
My dear countrymen, our holy land has given great souls who selflessly served humanity. Sister Nivedita, whom we also know as Bhagini Nivedita, was one such extraordinary person. She was born in Ireland as Margret Elizabeth Noble but Swami Vivekanand gave her the name NIVEDITA. And Nivedita means the one who is fully dedicated.
She later proved herself true to her name. Yesterday was the 150 th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita. She was so impressed by Swami Vivekanand that she renounced her happy- prosperous life and dedicated herself to the service of the poor. Sister Nivedita felt very hurt by the atrocities of the British rule. The Britishers not only made us slaves but they tried to enslave us mentally as well. Constant efforts to belittle our culture and make us feel inferior were on.
Bhagini Nivedita ji revived the dignity and pride of Indian culture. She brought the people together by infusing a sense of national-awakening. She travelled to various countries and raised her voice against the mischievous propaganda against Sanatan Dharma and ideology.
Renowned nationalist and Tamil poet Subramanya Bharati is well known for his revolutionary poem Pudhumai Penn or New woman and is renowned for his efforts for Women empowerment. It is said that Bhagini Nivedita was the inspiration. Bhagini Nivedita ji also helped the great scientist Jagdish Chandra Basu.
She helped publication of Basu’s research and publicity through her articles and conferences. This is India’s unique beauty that spirituality and science complement each other in our culture. Sister Nivedita and Scientist Jagdish Chandra Basu are a powerful testimony to this.
In 1899, plague broke out in Calcutta and hundreds of people lost their lives in no time. Sister Nivedita, without caring for her health, started cleaning drains and roads. She was a woman who could live a luxurious life but she dedicatedly worked for the poor. Getting inspiration from her sacrifice, people came forward and joined her.
Through her work, she spread the message of the importance of cleanliness and service to mankind. And, it is inscribed on her grave – “Here reposes Sister Nivedita who gave her all to India”. Undoubtedly, she did so.
There cannot be any other befitting tribute to this great soul than every Indian taking a lesson from her life and emulating her. Thank you for your phone call. First of all, many felicitations to all the children on the occasion of Children's Day celebrated on the birthday of our first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru ji. Children are the emerging heroes in the creation of new India. Your concern is correct that the diseases which surfaced in old age, or emerged around the last lap of life - have started to appear in children nowadays. It is indeed surprising today, when we hear that children are suffering from diabetes.
In earlier times, such diseases were known as 'Raj-Rog' which means diseases that used to afflict only the rich or those who lived a life of luxury. Such diseases were very rare in young people.
But our lifestyle has changed. Today these diseases are known as ‘lifestyle disorders.’ One of the main reasons for being afflicted with such diseases at a young age is the lack of physical activity in our lifestyle and the changes in our eating habits. Society and the family need to pay attention towards this crisis. If you’ll start paying attention to it, you will see that there is no need to do anything extraordinary. You just need to make small regular changes in order to transform your habits, making them a part of your way of life.
I would like the family to consciously try to inculcate in children the habit of playing in open grounds. If possible, we can make the elder family members accompany these children to the playground and play with them.
The children can be made to take the stairs instead of taking the lift. After dinner, the entire family can go for a walk with the children. Yoga for Young India. Yoga will be helpful for especially our young friends, in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and protecting them from lifestyle disorders. The practice of Yoga 30 minutes before school can impart much benefit.
It can also be practised at home and the specialty of Yoga is that it is easy, simple and accessible to all. I am saying this because a person of any age can easily practise it. It is simple because it can be easily learned and it is accessible, since it can be done anywhere. No special tools or fields are needed.
There are several studies being conducted on how Yoga is effective in curbing diabetes. These studies are being carried out in AIIMS too and the results that have emerged so far are very encouraging. Do not look at Ayurveda and Yoga as a means of medical treatment only; instead of this we should make them a part of our life. My dear countrymen, especially my young friends, we have been getting glad tidings from the field of sports. In different games, our athletes have made the country proud. In hockey, India has won the Asia Cup hockey title through its dazzling performance. Our players performed magnificently and on the basis of their sterling efforts, India has become the Asia Cup champion after an interval of ten years.
India had earlier won the Asia Cup in Hockey in the years 2003 and 2007. I extend felicitations on behalf of the entire nation to the entire team and support staff.
After hockey, good news for India also came in badminton. Badminton star Kidambi Srikanth has filled every Indian’s heart with pride by clinching the Denmark Open title with his excellent performance.
After Indonesia Open and Australia Open, this win has completed the triad of the super series premiere title. I congratulate our young friend, Kidambi Srikanth for this feat and enhancing the prestige of India. Friends, the FIFA Under-17 World Cup was organized this month. Teams from all over the world came to India and all of them exhibited their skills on the football field. I also got an opportunity to go and watch a match.
There was a lot of enthusiasm among the players and the spectators. This world cup was a super event where the whole world was watching you. Such a big spectacle, I was astounded to see the energy, enthusiasm, and zeal of all the young players. The world cup was successfully organized and all the teams performed their best. Regardless of the fact that India could not win the title, the young players of India won the hearts of everyone. The whole world including India enjoyed this mega festival of sports and this whole tournament was both full of interest and entertainment for football lovers. The signs that the future of football is very bright have started to appear.
I extend my congratulations and good wishes to all the players, their colleagues, and all the sports lovers once again. My dear countrymen, a multitude of people write to me about ‘Swachch Bharat’, I feel that if I have to do justice to their feelings then I will have to do the program ‘ Mann Ki Baat’ every day and every day ‘ Mann Ki Baat’ will be dedicated solely to the subject of cleanliness. Some listeners send photo graphs of the efforts undertaken by children whereas others mention the role of youth in these efforts. Sometimes there is a story of an innovation to bring about cleanliness or winds of change that get ushered due to an official’s zeal.
A few days ago I received a very detailed report highlighting the story of transformation of Chandrapur Fort in Maharashtra. An NGO called Ecological Protection Organization launched a cleanliness campaign in Chandrapur Fort. In this campaign lasting for two hundred days, people performed the task of cleaning the fort, non-stop, without any fatigue and with team-work. Just think Two-hundred-days of continuous labour! They sent me photographs with a caption- ‘Before and After’! I was overwhelmed on seeing these and whoever will see these photographs, no matter how upset he is on witnessing the filth around him, and wondering how the mission of cleanliness will be fulfilled - then I have to tell such people that you can see for yourself the toil, resolve and determination of the members of the Ecological Protection Organization, in these living pictures.
Just on seeing these pictures, your disappointment will transform into hope. This mammoth effort of bringing about cleanliness is a wonderful example of fostering aesthetics, co-operation and continuum. Forts are symbols of our heritage. And it is the duty of all countrymen to keep our historical heritage safe and clean.
I congratulate Ecological Protection Organization, their entire team and the people of Chandrapur. My dear countrymen, we’ll celebrate Guru Nanak Jayanti on the 4 th of November. Guru Nanak Dev ji is not only the first guru of Sikhs; he’s guru to the entire world. He envisioned the welfare of all humanity and considered all castes to be equal. He stressed on women empowerment and respect for women. Guru Nanak Dev ji undertook a 28 thousand kilometre journey on foot and throughout the journey spread the message of true humanity.
He entered into a dialogue with people and showed them the path of truth, sacrifice & dedication. He advocated the message of equality in society, not through mere words but through concrete endeavour. He ran a LANGAR which sowed the seeds of the spirit of service amongst fellow beings. Partaking of LANGAR together created a feeling of unity & oneness in people. Guru Nanak Dev ji voiced three messages for a meaningful, fulfilling life- Chant the name of the Almighty, work hard and help the needy.
In order to convey his ideals, Guru Nanak Dev ji composed the Gurbani. Come 2019, we are going to celebrate the 550 th PRAKASH VARSH of Guru Nanak Dev ji. Come, let us try & advance on the path of his ideals & teachings.
My dear countrymen, we shall celebrate the birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel ji, two days from now, on the 31 st of October. All of us know that he was the one who laid the foundation stone of modern, unified India. We can learn a lot from the unparalleled saga of this great son of Mother India. The 31 st of October was also the day on which Smt.
Indira Gandhi left this world. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel’s speciality was that he not only put forth revolutionary ideas; he was immensely capable of devising practical solutions to the most complicated problems in the way. Translating a thought into reality was his forte’. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel took on the reins of weaving a unified India. He ensured that millions of Indians were brought under the ambit of one nation & one constitution. His decision making ability infused in him the strength to overcome all obstacles.
Wherever respectful coercion was needed, he proceeded gently. Wherever the use of force was imperative, he did not hesitate.
He set a definite goal and moved forward on its path with grit & determination. It was only he who could achieve this task of uniting India. He conceived a nation where everyone was equal.
One ideal of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel will always be inspiring to all of us. He had said “No division of caste or creed should be able to stop us, all are the sons & daughters of India, all of us should love our country and we should carve out our destiny on the foundation of mutual love & harmony. These lofty ideals of Sardar Sahab are relevant to and inspiring for our vision for a New India, even today. And that is why his birthday is celebrated as National Unity Day. His contribution in giving a unified texture to the nation is without parallel. On the occasion of the birth anniversary of Sardar Sahab, Run for Unity will be organized throughout the country, which will see the participation of children, youth, women, in fact people of all age groups. I urge you to participate in Run for Unity, the festival of mutual harmony.
My dear countrymen, you must’ve returned to your respective routines after the Diwali vacation, with a new resolve, with a new determination. May all your dreams come true, my best wishes to you. Many many Thanks. My dear countrymen, Namaskar to all of you! It is now a full three years since I started speaking to you over “Mann Ki Baat”. This is the 36 th episode today.
“Mann Ki Baat” has provided me with a unique opportunity to get connected with various feelings and positive energy of the country; emotions of our people which include their desires, expectations and at times, even grievances, which come to their minds. And I have never said that these are the expressions of my mind; Mann Ki Baat reflects our countrymen’s minds, their expressions, their expectations. And when I say things in Mann Ki Baat, people from across the country send their ideas, experiences and feelings to me. I am probably not able to convey all these to you but still I get a treasure-full of ideas over e-mail, over telephone, over mygov. Or over Narendra Modi App.
I receive a multitude of such ideas and suggestions. Most of these are inspiring to me. A large number of these ideas are regarding improvements in the functioning of our government. There are personal grievances and complaints and sometimes attention is drawn to community problems. I just take half an hour of your time in a month but people keep sending suggestions, ideas and other material over Mann Ki Baat during all 30 days of the month.
And, the result of this whole exercise is that the government has started realizing the sensitivities and powerful ideas of the people of far off places. And, this is why the three-year journey of Mann Ki Baat is in fact a journey of our countrymen, their emotions and their feelings. I am thankful to our countrymen for having provided me an opportunity to understand the feelings of the common man. In Mann Ki Baat, I have always remembered one sentence of Acharya Vinoba Bhave. He always used to say ‘ A- sarkari, Asarkari’, meaning non government is effective. I have also tried to focus on the people of the country in Mann Ki Baat, have kept it away from political hues & tried to remain connected with you with a stable mind rather than being diverted by the heat of the moment or anguish.
I surely believe and feel that now after three years, social scientists, universities, research scholars, media experts would undertake its analysis and highlight its every aspect, positive as well as negative. And I am sure that this brainstorming could be useful for Mann Ki Baat in future and will infuse a new energy into it. And, in one episode of Mann Ki Baat I had said that while having our food, we must also be conscious of consuming only as much as we need and see to it that there is no wastage. But, later, I received letters from all corners of the country.
Many social organizations and many youth are already observing this in practice. I come to know about a lot many people who were involved in ensuring that leftover food was best utilized.
I derived much satisfaction and joy to learn this. Once, in Mann Ki Baat, I had mentioned about a retired teacher from Maharashtra Shriman Chandrakant Kulkarni who donated 51 post - dated cheques of Rs. 5,000/- each for the cleanliness drive out of his total monthly pension of Rs.
And then I saw that a lot many people came forward to donate for this cause. Once, I saw a selfie of a sarpanch with a daughter and referred to the same in Mann Ki Baat. In no time, “Selfie with Daughter” became a big campaign not only in India but across the whole world. This is not only an issue of social media.
It became an incident to create a new self-confidence and a feeling of self pride in every daughter. Every parent started feeling that they should take a selfie with their daughter. Every daughter started regaining her own self confidence & self esteem.
I was in a meeting with the Tourism Department recently. I asked people who were planning to go travelling that where-ever they visit ‘Incredible India’, they must send photographs of those places. Lakhs of photographs from every corner of India were received which actually became a treasure for those working in the tourism sector. I’ve experienced through ‘Mann Ki Baat’ that even a tiny incident can launch a massive campaign. Today I felt like sharing it, since I thought that it has been three years, and events & incidents over those three years ran across my mind. The nation is always ready to move in the right direction. Every citizen of the country wants to do something for the benefit of others, for social good, for the country’s progress.
This is what I gathered, learnt and understood from our countrymen during three years of the Mann Ki Baat campaign. This is the most valuable capital and enormous strength for any country.
I heartily bow to my countrymen. In one episode of Mann Ki Baat I had discussed about Khadi and Khadi is not a fabric but an idea, a principle. I have noticed that these days interest in Khadi has increased very much and I had just said that I was not asking people to makeover into wearing Khadi permanently; rather, since there are a number of fabrics then why not Khadi also be one of the fabrics of your choice? May be a bed-sheet in the house, a handkerchief or a curtain, it has been felt that the younger generation has got interested in Khadi. Sale of Khadi has increased and as a result of this, the poor man’s household has directly got connected to employment. Discount is offered on Khadi from 2 nd October and people get quite a good rebate. I once again urge that we should try and take forward the Khadi movement.
We should follow the spirit of helping the poor to be able to light a Diwali lamp. The poor of our country will derive strength from this and we must do it. The increasing interest in Khadi has infused a new thinking in those working in the Khadi sector as well as those connected, in any way, with Khadi. How do we bring in new technology, how do we increase productivity, how do we introduce looms driven by solar power? How do we rejuvenate our traditional heritage which was lying inactive for 20, 25 or 30 years? Sewapuri Khadi Ashram at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh was lying closed for 26 years but has got a fresh lease of life now. A number of thoughts were implemented.
New employment opportunities were created for a number of people. Khadi Gramodyog revived its training centre at Pampore in Kashmir and in this sector Kashmir has so much to offer. With the reopening of this training centre, the new generation will get a boost in jobs in manufacturing, in weaving, in creating new things and it feels so good to see that even big corporate Houses have started including Khadi items as Diwali gifts.
Even people have started exchanging Khadi items as gifts. We now experience how something grows naturally. My dear countrymen, we had taken a resolve in last month’s Mann Ki Baat and had decided to observe a 15-day Cleanliness Festival before Gandhi Jayanti. We shall connect people through cleanliness. Our Honourable President inaugurated this programme and the country got connected. The old or the young, men or women, city or village everyone has become a part of this Cleanliness campaign now. And when I say “Sankalp Se Siddhi”, we can see for ourselves as to how a Cleanliness Campagin is advancing towards Sankalp Siddhi, that is Attainment through Reslove.
Everyone accepts this, co-operates in this and makes a contribution in realizing this. I am grateful to our Honourable President. But, every section of society has taken this as its own campaign, everyone has got connected to this. Whether it be people from the sports world, academicians, schools, colleges, universities, farmers, workers, officers, government employees, police, or army jawans – every one has got connected with this. A kind of a pressure has been created in public places and now people resist if someone tries to spoil or to make a public place dirty in any way and even those spoiling public places are also feeling this pressure. It is a good thing and I am pleased to know that just in the first four days of “Swachhata Hi Sewa Abhiyan” more than 75 lakh people joined these activities with more than 40 thousand initiatives.
I have seen that some people are continuously working and are determined to bring out results. I noticed something else this time – one is that we clean up a place, and the second is that we become aware and do not spread filth; but if we have to inculcate cleanliness as a habit, we must start an idea- based movement also.
This time a number of competitions were organized on the theme “Cleanliness is Service”. More than two and a half crore children took part in an Essay Competition on cleanliness. Thousands of children made paintings.
They drew pictures based on their own imaginations. Many people wrote poems and these days I post drawings made by our young children on social media and praise their efforts. Whenever there is a reference to cleanliness, I do not forget to express my gratitude to media persons.
They have taken this campaign in a religious manner. They have made a big contribution in creating a positive environment and are leading the Cleanliness Campaign in their own ways. We can see in “Swachhata Hi Sewa” movement as to how the electronic media and the print media in our country can render a big service to the country. Just a few days ago some one drew my attention towards Bilal Dar, a young man of 18 years from Srinagar. And you will be glad to know that Srinagar Municipal Corporation has made him their brand ambassador and when there is a talk of brand ambassador, there is a general feeling that he/she must be a Cine artist or a sports-personality.
But not in this case. Bilal Dar got connected to the ‘Swachhata Abhiyan’ or Cleanliness Campaign since the age of 12-13 years and has been working for the last 5 to 6 years.
He clears plastic, polythene, used bottles, dry or wet waste – every piece of dirt from Aisa’s biggest lake near Srinagar. He also earns from this activity. His father had died of cancer at a very young age but he connected his livelihood with cleanliness. I congratulate Srinagar Municipal Corporation for taking this initiative towards sanitation and for their imagination to appoint an ambassador for this cause of cleanliness because Srinagar is a tourist destination and every Indian wants to go there; and if such attention is given to Cleanliness it is a very big achievement in itself.
And I am glad that they have not only appointed Bilal as their ambassador but also given him a vehicle, and also a uniform and he goes to other areas and educates people about cleanliness and inspires them and keeps tracking them till results are achieved. Bilal is very young age wise but is a source of inspiration for all of us who are interested in cleanliness. I congratulate Bilal Dar.
My dear countrymen, we will have to accept the fact that history begets history and when there is a reference to history, it is but natural to recall our great men. The month of October is a month to remember so many of our titans. From Mahatma Gandhi to Sardar Patel, there are many great leaders who gave us the direction towards the 20 th and 21 st century, led us, guided us and faced so many hardships for the country. 2 nd October is the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and Lal Bahadur Shastri, 11 th October is the birth anniversary of Jai Prakash Narain and Nanaji Deshmukh and Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s birth anniversary falls on 25 th September. This is the centenary year of Nanaji and Deen Dayal ji.
And, what was the main focus of all these great men? One thing was common and that was to live for the country, do something for the nation; they led the people not by mere sermons but by their actions. Gandhiji, Jai Prakashji, Deen Dayalji were such great personalities who remained far away from the corridors of power but lived every moment for the people, kept fighting all odds following the principle “Sarv Jan Hitay – Sarv Jan Sukhay”, they kept endeavouring tirelessly. Nanaji Deshmukh left politics and joined the Gramodaya Movement and while celebrating his Centenary year, it is but natural to honour his contribution towards Gramodaya. India’s former President Shriman Abdul Kalamji used to speak of Nanaji’s contribution in rural development while talking to the youth. He used to mention Nanaji’s contribution with great respect and he even went to a village to see Nanaji’s work there.
Like Gandhiji, Deen Dayal Upadhyayji also talked about the last person at the farthest fringes. Deen Dayalji talked about the poorest of the poor the deprived, distressed ones and spoke of how, through education, employment or otherwise his life could be transformed.
We are not obliging these great men by remembering them but we remember them so that we may be able to foresee our forays into the future and the direction we choose. In the next Mann Ki Baat, I will surely mention Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel but on 31 st October, Run for Unity - Ek Bharat Shreshth Bharat - will be organized throughout the country. There should be a number of Run for Unity programmes in every city, every town and the weather is also such that one would enjoy running – It is essential for developing a will power of steel, like that of Sardar Saheb. Sardar Saheb unified the country. We also have to run for unity in order to promote the mantra of unity.
The element of Unity in diversity being India’s speciality comes naturally to us. We feel proud of diversity but have you ever tried to feel this diversity? I would like to re-iterate to my countrymen, and specially to my young friends that we are alive & aware beings.
We should feel India’s diversity, touch it, feel its fragrance. You may see for yourself, that for your inner development also, these diversities of our country work as a big teaching tool. There are vacations, Diwali is drawing near, all around in our country, there is an inclination to travel to some place or the other; people go as tourists and it is very natural. But, it is a matter of concern when we do not see our own country, we do not know about its diversities nor do we understand them. Impressed by mere superficial glitter we have started enjoying touring foreign countries only. You travel around the world, I have no issues but have a look at your own country too. People of North India may not be knowing what all is there in the South!
People of West India may not be knowing what all is there in the East! Our country is full of such myriad diversities. If you refer to Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Swami Vivekanand, our former President Abdul Kalamji then you will notice that when they toured around India, they got to see and understand India and they got inspired to do and die for the country. All these great men travelled widely in India. At the beginning of their endeavour, they tried to know and understand India; tried to live India within themselves. Can we make an effort as a student to learn, understand and try to live as per the traditions, culture, attire, eating habits and beliefs of different states, different societies, different groups of our country? There will be a value addition in tourism only when we travel not only as a visitor but also like a student and make efforts to assimilate, understand & adapt.
This is my personal experience, I had a chance of visiting more than five hundred districts of India. In more than four hundred & fifty districts, I had a night stay too. And now, when I am shouldering this responsibility in India, that travel is coming in very handy and proving to be very useful. That helps me a lot in understanding things. I request you too, to feel the “Unity in Diversity” which is not a mere slogan but is a storehouse of enormous energy.
The dream of “Ek Bharat – Shreshtha Bharat” is inherent in this. How many varieties of cuisines there are! If we eat a new dish every day, we won’t have to repeat any variety throughout our life. This is the power of our tourism.
I would request that during these vacations do not go out just for a change but leave with the intention to know, understand –& gain something. Internalize India within yourselves. Internalize the diversities of millions of denizens of India within you. These experiences will enrich your lives. Your vision will expand. And, who can be a better teacher than experience! Generally, October to March is the suitable time for tourism.
People travel. I am sure that even this time if you go, you will lend further fillip to my campaign. Wherever you go, share your experiences, share photographs. You must send photographs on # incredibleindia. If you happen to meet people there, send their photos too. Write not only about architecture or natural beauty but write something about their daily life too.
Write good travelogues. Send on Mygov. And on Narendra Modi App. A thought comes to my mind, that in order to promote tourism in India what could be the seven best tourist destinations in your state – every Indian must know about these seven tourist spots of his state.
If possible, one must visit these seven places. Can you provide some information about that? Can you post on Narendra Modi App? Can you post on #incredibleindia? You see, if all the people of one state will do this, then I will ask the government to do a scrutiny of it and prepare publicity material based on seven common things received from each state. In other words, how can tourist destination be developed keeping public aspirations in mind? Similarly, whatever you have seen throughout India and whichever seven out of these you liked the best and you wish that someone should see these things, or should go there, should get information about them, then you must send photos and information of seven such tourist spots on Mygov.
Or on Narendra Modi App. The Government of India will work on that. The government will accept suggestions about making films, videos or preparing publicity material and about promoting that destination. Come, get connected with me. You can also act as a major catalyst in promoting the tourism of our country by utilizing the time from this October to March.
I invite you. My dear countrymen, being a human being, there are many things that touch me too. They agitate my heart. They leave a deep impression on my heart. After all I am also a human being just like you. You might have noticed one recent incident, a unique example of grit, determination and patriotism that was witnessed by all countrymen.
The Indian Army has got two extraordinary brave women officers; they are Lieutenant Swati and Nidhi. Their husbands laid down their lives in the service of mother India.
One can imagine one’s agonizing mental state if her world gets shattered at such a early age! But Swati Mahadik, the wife of martyr colonel Santosh Mahadik – resolved to face the difficult situations and she joined the Indian Army. She received training for 11 months putting in great efforts and she put her life at stake to fulfill her husband’s dreams. Similarly, Nidhi Dubey’s husband Mukesh Dubey was a Naik in the army and attained martyrdom while fighting for his country. His wife Nidhi also took a resolve and joined the army. It is very natural for every countryman to have a deep sense of respect for these two bravehearts, our Matri Shakti.
I convey my heartiest congratulations to both of them. They have evoked a new inspiration and a new awakening among millions of our countrymen. Many congratulation to these two sisters. My dear countrymen, there is a big opportunity for our younger generation between Navratra festivities and Diwali. FIFA under- 17 world cup is being organized in our country. I am sure reverberations of the spirit of football will be heard all around.
It will evince more interest in Football in every generation. There should not be a single school-college ground in India where we will not see our youngsters at play. Come on, the whole world is coming to play on Indian soil, let us make sports a part of our lives. My dear countrymen, Navratras are going on. It is a time for praying to Ma Durga. The whole environment is filled with sacred fragrance.
All around there is an atmosphere of spirituality, an air of festivities, an atmosphere of bhakti, of reverence. This is revered as a festival of Shakti Sadhana. This is also known as Sharadiya Navratri, the beginning of autumn. On this pious occasion of Navratri, I convey my best wishes to our countrymen and pray to Ma Shakti to let our country attain newer heights so that the desires and expectations of all our countrymen get fulfilled.
May our nation be blessed with the strength to face any challenge. May the nation move forward and may the year two thousand twenty two- 75 years of India’s Independence be an attempt to realize the dreams of our freedom fighters, the resolve of 125 crore countrymen, with their tremendous hard work, courage and determination to fulfill our resolve and prepare a roadmap for five years.
We have moved on; may ma-shakti shower her blessings upon us. My good wishes to all of you. Celebrate festivities, enjoy with enthusiasm.
Many Many thanks. My dear countrymen, Saadar Namaskar. When on the one hand, a sense of festivity pervades the land, and on the other, news of violence comes in, from one part of the country, it is only natural of be concerned. Ours is the country of Buddha and Gandhi, it is the land of Sardar Patel who gave up his all for the unity of the nation. For centuries, our forefathers have imbibed community values, nonviolence, mutual respect – these are inherent to us. We have been hearing and saying Ahimsa ParmoDharmah from our childhood.
In my address from the ramparts of the Red Fort, I had said that violence in the name of faith will not be tolerated, whether it is communal belief systems, whether it is subscribing to political ideologies, whether it is allegiance to a person or customs and traditions. No one has the right to take the law into one’s own hands in the name of one’s beliefs. In the Constitution given to us by Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar there is every provision for ensuring justice for each and every person. I want to assure my countrymen that people who take the law into their own handsand are on the path of violent suppression – whether it is a person or a group –neither this country nor any government will tolerate it.
Each and every person will have to abide by the law; the law will fix accountability and the guilty will unquestionably be punished. My dear countrymen,our country is a land of diversities – these diversities are not limited to our cuisine, life style and attire. We observe diversity in every walk of life. Even our festivals are replete with diversity. Ours is arich cultural heritage, spanning thousands of years – when we look at our cultural traditions, social customs, historical events, there would hardly be a day left in the year which is not connected with a festival.
You would have noticed, that all our festivals follow the almanac of nature. There is a direct connect with nature. Many of our festivals are linked straightaway with farmers and fishermen. Speaking about festivals today, I would first like to wish you all michhamidukkadam. The Jain community celebrated the SamvatsariParva yesterday. In the month of Bhadra, ParyushanParva is celebrated by the Jain Community.
The last day of ParyushanParva is observed as Samvatsari. This is indeed a remarkable tradition. The festival of Samvatsari is symbolic of forgiveness, non-violence and brotherhood. It is also known as the KshamavaniParva, and on this day, people traditionally greet each other with, ‘michhamidukkadam.’ We have been hearing in our shaastras, our holy texts, “KshamaVeerasya Bhushanam”, that is, forgiveness is the adornment of the brave. The one who forgives is valiant.
And Mahatma Gandhi always said, that forgiveness is the quality of great men. Shakespeare in his play, “The Merchant of Venice”, while explaining the importance of forgiveness, has written, “Mercy is twice blest, It blesseth him that gives and him that takes,” meaning, the forgiver and the forgiven both stand to receive divine blessing. My dear countrymen, Ganesh Chaturthi is being celebrated with great fervor all across the country.
When we speak of Ganesh Chaturthi, it is but natural to talk about SarvajanikGaneshotsav, that is, community celebrations of the Ganesh Festival. This tradition was established by Bal Gangadhar Tilak 125 years ago, and it was 125 years ago that SarvajanikGaneshotsav became a symbol of India’s struggle for freedom. And after Independence, this festival has become a vehicle of raising social and educational awareness. Ganesh Chaturthi is a ten-day festival.
This Mahaparva, mega-festival stands for unity, equality, integrity and honesty. My heartiest greetings to all of you on the occasion of Ganeshotsav. The festival of Onam is being celebrated in Kerela. Of the numerous colourful festivals of India, Onam is a prime festival of Kerela. This festival is known for its social and cultural significance. This festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of Kerala. It gives the message of love and harmony - awakens new hopes and aspirations, and gives new confidence to the people.
Our festivals are now becoming great attractions for tourism. And I would like to mention to my countrymen, that festivals like Navaratri in Gujarat, or Durga Utsav in Bengal are tremendous tourist attractions. Other festivals of our country too, provide an opportunity to attract foreign visitors. We should think about what more can be done in this direction. In this series of festivals, Eid-ul-Zuha will be celebrated in a few days from now. Heartiest felicitations and best wishes to all countrymen on the occasion of Eid-ul-Zuha.
Festivals are of course symbols of faith and belief; in the New India, we should transform them into symbols of cleanliness as well. In individual households, festivals and cleanliness are linked together. In fact, preparationsfor festivals always begin with cleaning. This is nothing new for us, but it is important to convert it into a social character. Public cleanliness must be insisted upon not just in our homes but in our villages, towns, cities, states and in our entire country – Cleanliness has to be inextricably linked to our festivals. My dear countrymen, definitions of being modern are perpetually changing.
These days, a new measure to gauge a new dimension, a new parameter, has come in to being. It determines what your upbringing has been, how modern you are, how modern your thinking is. And that measure is your level of environment consciousness. Are your activities ecofriendly, environment friendly or otherwise?It is considered to be unacceptable in society today, of you are not environment friendly.
And as a result of this I find that, the ecofriendly Ganpati, in this Ganesh Festival has turned into a huge campaign.If you go on YouTube, you will see that children in every home are making earthen Ganesh idols and are colouring them. Some are using vegetable colours, while some are pasting bits and pieces of paper. All sorts of experiments are being carried out in every family. This is probably the first of its kind, the most widespread experiment in environment consciousness.
Media houses too, are making a great effort in training people, inspiring them and guiding them towards ecofriendly Ganesh idols. What a massive transformation this has been; a pleasant one at that. And as I mentioned, our country is blessed with millions and millions of the brightest of brains. And it is nice to see all sorts of new innovations. Someone told me about a gentleman who is an engineer and who has collected and combined special varieties of clay, to give training in making Ganesh idols. The Ganesh Visarjan or immersion is done in a small bucket of water, where the idol dissolves within no time. And he didn’t stop there.
A tulsi, Holy Basil, sapling was sowed in it. The campaign for Cleanliness which was initiated three years ago will be marking its third anniversary on the 2 nd of October.
And the positive results are now being seen. Toilets have increased from 39% to almost 67% of the population? More than two lakh thirty thousand villages have declared themselves open defecation free.
Gujarat saw devastating floods recently. Many people lost their lives. When the waters receded, there was so much filth everywhere. That is when, in Dhanera in the Banaskantha District of Gujarat, volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind cleaned twenty-two affected temples and two mosques in a phased manner. They came together and toiled collectively.
The volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind set a fine, inspiring example of unity for cleanliness. If this committed effort towards cleanliness become inherent to us, our country will certainly take our nation to greater heights.
My dear countrymen, I call upon you to begin a campaign, Swachchata Hi Sewa, Cleanliness is Service, at least fifteen-twenty days prior to Gandhi Jayanti on 2 nd October – on the lines of the age-old belief, Jal SevaYahiPrabhuSeva, Service to Water is Service to God. Let’s create an environment of cleanliness in the entire country. Whenever and wherever possible, let’s look for the opportunity. But we must all come together. We could look at this as preparations for Diwali, preparations for Navaratri, preparations for Durga Puja.
Do Shramdan, Donate through labor. Come together on Sundaysand Holidays. Go to settlements in your neighborhood, go to nearby villages, but do this in the form of a movement.
I urge all NGOs, schools, colleges, social, cultural and political leaders, people in the government, collectors and sarpanches, to begin creating an environment of cleanliness at least fifteen days ahead of Gandhi Jayanti on the 2 nd of October so that it turns out to be the 2 nd October of Gandhi’s dreams. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has created a section on MyGov.in where after constructing a toilet you can register your name and the name of the beneficiary family, who you helped. My friends from the social media can run a few creative campaigns and thus become a source of inspiration in the virtual world, to see results in the real world. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has organized, the Swachch Sankalp se Swachcha Siddhi Pratiyogita, From the resolve of Cleanliness to attaining Cleanliness Competition comprising an essay competition, a short film making competition and a painting competition.
You can write essays in various languages and there is no age limit. You can make a short film even with your mobile phone. You can film a two-three-minute movie that inspires cleanliness. It can be in any language; it could be silent too. The best three participants – three at the district level, three at the state level will be given prizes. I invite one and all – Come, join the Cleanliness Campaign in this manner as well.
I would like to reiterate, let’s resolve to celebrate, 2nd October Gandhi Jayanti this year as Swachch Do Aktoobar, Clean 2 nd October. And to this end beginning 15 th September let us take the mantra, the message, Swachchata Hi Seva, Cleanliness is Service to each and every home. Take one or another step towards cleanliness. Make your effort to be a part of it. You will see how the Gandhi Jayanti of this 2 nd October shines. You can imagine the inner bliss of paying homage to our revered Bapu, with fifteen days of this cleanliness campaign, Swachchata Hi Seva, when we celebrate Gandhi Jayanti on the 2 nd of October. My dear countrymen, I want to specially express my indebtedness to you.
I want to thank you from the core of my heart, not because you have been connected with Mann Ki Baat, for such a long time – I want to express my gratitude and indebtedness as millions of people from across the country come together with Mann kiBaat. The number of listeners are in crores out of which lakhs of people write letters to me, send messages, and get their messages recorded on phone, which is a huge treasure for me.
This has become a great opportunity for me to understand the hearts and minds of one and all. Much as you wait for Mann ki Baat, I await your messages with greater eagerness. I always look forward with anticipation, because I find so much to learn from all that you share. It is an opportunity to test my endeavors on this touchstone. Even the smallest of your suggestions help me in thinking anew on a wide variety of subjects. I therefore express my heartfelt gratitude for your contributions and also my indebtedness to you. My endeavor always is to see for myself, hear, read and understand your thoughts.
All sorts of things come to me. Now take this phone call for example. You will be able to correlate with it. You too would feel that, you would’ve committed the same mistake. Sometimes certain things become a part of our habits, that we don’t even realize that we are doing something wrong. “Pradhan Mantri ji, I am Aparna from Pune. I want to tell you about a friend of mine.
She always tries to help others, but one habit of hers amazes me. I went for shopping with her at a mall.
She coolly spent two thousand rupees on a sari, and four hundred and fifty rupees on a pizza. Whereas, she haggled for a long time, over merely five rupees, with the auto driver, who took us to the mall. On the way back, we stopped to buy vegetables, and again she haggled with the vendors to save 4-5 rupees.
I feel very bad. We spend extravagantly in high places, without a single thought, but when it comes to our hardworking brethren, we quarrel with them over small amounts. We don’t trust them.
Please speak about this on Mann kiBaat.” Now after listening to this phone call, I am certain that you would have been shocked and awakened and would probably have resolved not to repeat such a mistake. Don’t you feel that whenever a vendor comes to your door to sell something, on his rounds, when we come into contact with small shopkeepers, vegetable sellers, auto rickshaw drivers - in fact any person who earns through sheer hard work – we start bargaining with him, haggling with him: “No not so much, make it two rupees less, five rupees less!” And it is us, the same people, who go to dine at a fine restaurant, we don’t even bother to check the bill, we just go ahead and pay the money, without thinking twice. Not just this, when we go to a showroom to buy a saree, we don’t bargain, but when it comes to someone poor, we just cannot resist bargaining. Have you ever wondered what a poor man goes through? It is not a matter of two or five rupees, it hurts him deeply, when he feels that you are questioning his honesty.
Two or five rupees make no difference to your life, but have you thought how much heartache this petty habit of yours can cause him. Madam I am grateful to you for calling me with this touching message. I am certain that my countrymen, if they are in the habit of behaving in this way with the poor will now stop doing so. My dear young friends, the country celebrates National Sports Day on the 29 th of August. This is the birth anniversary of the great hockey player, hockey wizard, Major Dhyan Chand ji. His contribution to hockey was unparalleled.
I am reminding you of this because I want the younger generation of our country to take part in sports. Sports should become a part of our lives. If we are a young nation, our youth should get manifested in the field sports as well. Sports means, physical fitness, mental alertness and personality enhancement.
What else does one need? Sports, in a way, is a recipe that brings people together.
The young generation of our country should come forward in the world of sports – and in today’s computer era I would like to alert you to the fact that the playing field is far more important than the play station. Play FIFA on the computer, but sometimes show your skills with the football out in the field.
You must be playing cricket on the computer but the pleasure of actually playing cricket in an open field under the sky is something else. There was a time when the children in the family went out to play, the mother would first ask, “When will you come back home?” Now the times are such that children, when they come home, they either start watching cartoons in a corner, or are glued to mobile games. And the mother has to shout, “When will you go out?” How times have changed! There was a time when the mother would demand to know when her son would be back.
And today, she demands to know when he will go out. Young friends, the Sports Ministry is launching a Sports Talent Search Portal to search for sporting talent and to groom them.
Any talented child who has an achievement in sports, can upload his biodata or video on this portal. The Ministry of Sports will impart training to selected emerging players. The Ministry is launching the portal tomorrow. The good news for our young friends is that the FIFA Under 17 World Cup is being organized in India, from the 6 th to the 28 th of October. Twenty-four teams from all over the world will be making India their home.
Come, let’s welcome the young visitors from all across the world with the festival of Sports, let’s enjoy the sport, and create a conducive sporting atmosphere in the country. I speak about sports today, and just last week, a heartwarming incident took place, which I would like to share with my countrymen. I had the opportunity to meet some young daughters, some of who, were born in the Himalayas, who had absolutely no connection with the sea. Six of these young daughters are in the Navy. Their grit and zeal, is inspiring for all of us. These six young women will embark on a voyage across the seas, in a small boat, INS Tarini. The expedition has been named, NavikaSagar Parikrama.
They will circumnavigate the globe and return home, after many months. Sometimes they will spend 40 days on the seas in one go; at times, thirty. Our six daughters riding the waves of the high seas, with courage, is the first instance of its kind in the world. Each and every Indian would be proud of these daughters. I salute their valour and I have asked them to share their experiences with the entire country.
I too am making a separate arrangement for their experiences on the NarendraModiApp to ensure that you can read it. For this is a tale of heroism, a tale of personal experiences, and I would be happy to bring you the stories of these daughters. My best wishes and blessings to these daughters. My dear countrymen, we celebrate 5 th September as Teacher’s Day.
It is the birthday of our former President, Dr. Radhakrishnan ji. He was the President, but all through his life, he saw himself as a teacher. He preferred to live a teacher’s life. He was committed to being a teacher.
He was a scholar, a diplomat, the President of India and yet, quintessentially a teacher. I salute him.
The great scientist Albert Einstein said, “It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.” The most important quality of a teacher, is to awaken in his students, a sense of creativity and the joy of learning. As we celebrate Teacher’s Day this year can we come together and take a resolve? Can we run a campaign in mission mode? Teach to Transform, Educate to Empower, Learn to Lead. Can we move ahead with this resolve?
Get someone committed to a five-year resolve. Show him the path of attainment, which he can achieve in five years - so that he can experience the joy of success in life. Such an atmosphere can be created by our schools, our colleges, our teachers, our educational institutions.
When we speak about transformation in our country, we must think of our teachers as we do of our mothers. The teacher plays a vital role in transformation.
In the life of every teacher, there are incidents of simple efforts that succeeded in bringing about a transformation in somebody’s life. We will play a big role in the transformation of the nation, if we make a collective effort. Come, let’s move forward with the mantra, Teach to Transform. “Pranam Pradhan Mantri ji, I am Dr. Ananya Awasthi. I am a resident of Mumbai and work for the India Research Centre of Harvard University. As a researcher, I have been specially interested in Financial Inclusion.
With reference to the social schemes related to Financial Inclusion, my question to you is: In the backdrop of the Jan DhanYojna launched in 2014, can you say that, do the statistics show thattoday, three years later, India is financially more secure and stronger, and whether this empowerment and benefits have percolated down to our women, farmers and workers, in villages and small towns. Thank you.” My dear countrymen, the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna, financial inclusion, had been a point of discussion amongst Financial Pundits, not just in India, but all over the world. On the 28 th of August 2014, we had launched this campaign with a dream in our hearts. Tomorrow on the 28 th of August, the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna will complete three years. Thirty crore new families have been linked to this scheme, bank accounts have been opened.
This number is larger than the population of many countries of the world. And today I feel a great sense of fulfilment, that within three years, the last man on the fringes of society has become a part of the mainstream economy of the country. His ways have changed, he has now started going to the bank. He has started saving his money. He feels financially secure. When there is cash in the hand, or in the pocket or at home, one is tempted to indulge in wasteful expenditure.
There is now an air of prudence. He is now beginning to understand that the money can be of use for his children. The money can be used productively in the days to come. Not just this, when a poor person sees a RuPay Card, in his pocket, he finds himself to be equal to the privileged – that if they have a credit card in their pockets, I too have a RuPay Card in mind. He feels a sense of dignity. In the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna, almost 65 thousand crore rupees have deposited in banks by our underprivileged brethren.
In a way, this is a saving for the poor, this is his empowerment for the future. And those who opened their accounts under the Pradhan Mantri Jan DhanYojna, have received the benefit of insurance as well. Schemes like, Pradhan Mantri Jeewan Jyoti BimaYojna, Pradhan Mantri Suraksha BimaYojna, with a small premium of one rupee or thirty rupees, are giving a new sense of confidence to the poor. For many families, in times of adversity, or on the demise of the head of the family, through the one-rupeeinsurance,they received two lakh rupees in a matter of days. Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna, Start Up Yojna, Stand Up Yojna – for Dalits, Adivasis, women, educated youth, youth who want to stand on their own feet - for millions and millions through Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna, they have been able to get loans from banks without any guarantee. They have been able to stand on their own feet and have succeeded in giving employment to one or two other people as well.
Banks have conducted surveys about how the common man has benefitted from Jan DhanYojna, from Insurance Schemes, from RuPay Card and Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojna. I recently met a few bankers, who shared inspiring stories from their survey.
There isn’t enough time today, but I would certainly like request the bankers to upload these inspiring stories, on MyGov.in, so that people can read them and be inspired by how a scheme can bring about transformation in the life of a person, how it can bring a new energy, a new confidence – hundreds of examples have come before me. I will try my best to bring these to you; and the media can also take advantage of these inspiring stories. They too, can interview such people, and inspire the young generation. My dear countrymen, once again, I wish you “michchamidukkadm.” Thank you very much. My dear countrymen, Namaskar.
We human beings have a natural inclination to be enchanted by the delights of the rainy season. Animals, birds, flora – nature in its entirety, is filled with the joys of the season. But sometimes, when the rain unleashes full force of its fury, we come to realise the extent of the destructive might of water.
Mother Nature gives us life and nurtures us, but at times natural catastrophes such as floods and earthquakes wreak havoc on a massive scale. Climate change, altered weather cycles, and transformations in the environment, are also having a big negative impact.
Recently, in certain parts of India, particularly, Assam, North-East, Gujarat, Rajasthan and some areas of Bengal, have had to bear the brunt of natural disasters, caused by excessive rains. Flood affected areas are being closely monitored. Relief efforts have been undertaken on an extensive cale. Wherever possible, my colleagues in the Council of Ministers are also personally visiting affected areas. The state governments too are making maximum possible efforts on their part to provide relief to the flood affected people. Social organisations, cultural organizations and common citizens charged with the spirit of service are also making their utmost efforts to help the affected people in this situation.
The Government of India, Army personnel, Air Force personnel, NDRF personnel, Paramilitary forces – everybody does his or her best in providing succour to the disaster stricken people. Life goes completely topsy-turvy as a result of the floods. Crops, livestock, infrastructure, roads, electricity, communication links – everything gets affected. In particular, our Farmer brethren have to bear a lot of losses because of the damage to their crops and fields.
Therefore, we have formulated a scheme for the insurance companies, especially crop insurance companies, to make them more proactive, to ensure quick settlements of claims for farmers. A 24×7 control room helpline number 1078 is functioning continuously to deal with the flood situation. People are also voicing their difficulties. Before the monsoons, the entire government machinery was brought into a state of preparedness through mock drills undertaken at most of the places. NDRF teams were deployed. Aapada Mitra, or Friends during Disaster were identified at various places and these were then trained in the Do’s and Don’ts; volunteers were enlisted, and a people’s organisation set up to work in this situation.
Weather forecasts are available these days and the concerned technology has become so advanced these days, and space science also plays a very big role, that these weather forecasts turn out to be mostly accurate now. We should also gradually make it our nature to set our work patterns according to the weather predictions, which could safeguard us against losses. Whenever I prepare myself for ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I find that the citizens of our country prepare themselves even more. This time around, there have been innumerable letters and phone calls in regard to GST. People are still expressing their happiness about GST, and are also eager to know more about it.
I would like you to hear one such phone call: – “Namaskar, Pradhan Mantri ji, this is Neetu Garg from Gurgaon. I heard your speech on the Chartered Accountants Day and was deeply impressed. In the same manner, Goods and Services Tax, GST, was launched on this very day last month. Could you please elaborate whether its results after one month are matching the expectations of the Government? I would like to hear your views on this. Thank you.” It has been one month since GST was implemented and its benefits can be seen already.
I feel very happy and satisfied when a poor person writes to say how because of GST prices of various items essential for him have come down, and commodities have become cheaper. When a person from the North-East, someone living in the remote areas, in the hills or forests, writes a letter to communicate that in the beginning, he used to be apprehensive about GST wondering what it was all about, but now that he has begun to understand it, he feels that things have become much easier than before. Doing business has become so much easier. And most important of all, the trust of customers for the traders is increasing. I have been observing how GST has impacted the transport and logistics sector; how the movement of trucks has increased. The time required to cover distances has come down drastically.
Highways have become clutter-free. Pollution levels have come down with the increased speeds of the trucks. Goods are also being transported much faster. This indeed is a convenience, but at the same time it is also bolstering the economic progress.
Earlier, because of the multiple tax structures, maximum resources of the transport and logistics sector were expended in maintaining paperwork and that also led to the need for construction of new warehouses in each state. I call GST, Good and Simple Tax.
Indeed, it has produced a big positive effect on our economy in a very short time span. The speed at which the smooth transition has taken place, along with rapid migration and new registrations, has instilled a new sense of confidence in the entire country. And some day, the Pundits of Economics, Pundits of Management and Pundits of Technology, will certainly undertake researches and write about India’s GST experiment as a model for the world.
It will become a case study for universities across the world. The implementation and furtherance of such a phenomenal change on such a monumental scale, with the involvement of so many tens of millions of people in such a vast country, is in itself a pinnacle of success. The world will definitely make a study of it.
And this implementation has had all the states participating in it and sharing the responsibility. All decisions have been taken unanimously by the states and the Centre together. And as a result, one overriding priority for every government has been to ensure that there is no burden on the plate of the poor on account of GST. And using the GST App all information is available on your mobile phone as to how much the price of an item was earlier and how much will it be now in the new situation. The lofty dream of One Nation – One Tax has finally been fulfilled. In the matter of GST I have seen how everyone, right from the Government functionaries at the Tehsil level to the officers in the top echelons of Government of India have toiled tirelessly with great dedication. The manner in which the friendly environment was created between the Government and traders, between the government and consumers, played a very significant role in enhancing mutual trust.
I extend my heartiest felicitations to each and every ministry, every department and all employees of the Central and State governments involved with this process. GST is a fine example of the collective strength of the people of India. This is a historic achievement. And this is not just a tax reform; it is a new economic order that will strengthen a new culture of honesty.
In a way, it is also a campaign for social reformation. I would like to once again express my deep gratitude to the millions of my countrymen who have contributed to the successful achievement of this great feat with such felicity. My dear countrymen, the month of August is the month of Revolution. We have been hearing this as a natural fact right from our childhood and the reason is, the Non-Cooperation Movement was launched on the 1st of August 1920; the Quit India Movement, which is also known as ‘Agast Kranti’ began on the 9th of August 1942; and on 15thAugust 1947 India became independent.
In a way, there are many events in the month of August that are closely associated with the history of our freedom movement. This year, we are going to observe the 75th Anniversary of the Quit India Movement. But very few people know the fact that the slogan, ‘Quit India’ was coined by Dr.
Yusuf Meher Ali. Our young generation must know what had happened on the 9th of August 1942. From 1857 to 1942, the people of India, with their ardent desire for freedom, came together, fought together, and suffered hardships; these pages of history are an inspiration to us for building a glorious India. The heroes of our freedom struggle with their single-minded devotion did a ‘Tapasya’, endured hardships, made great sacrifices and even laid down their lives; what greater inspiration could there be! The ‘Quit India Movement’ was an important milestone in the Indian Freedom Movement.
It was this movement that had made the entire nation determined to attain freedom from the British Rule. This was the time when the people of India, in every part of the country – be it a village or city, the educated or illiterate, the rich or poor, everyone came together shoulder to shoulder and became a part of the ‘Quit India Movement.’ People’s anger was at its peak. Millions of Indians responded to Mahatma Gandhi’s clarion call and the mantra of ‘Do or Die’; they flung themselves into the struggle. Millions of the youth of the country renounced their studies, gave up their books. They set out on the march to the sound of the bugle for freedom. Mahatma Gandhi gave a call for the ‘Quit India Movement’ on 9th August, but each and every prominent leader had been imprisoned by the British Government, and it was during this time that the second generation of leadership comprising great men like Dr. Lohia, Jaiprakash Narain played a leading and pivotal role.
In the ‘Non-Cooperation Movement’ of 1920 and the ‘Quit India Movement’ of 1942, two different personas of Mahatma Gandhi can be seen. The whole scenario of the ‘Quit India Movement’ was different and in 1942 things rose to such a point, there was such a heightened sense of intensity, that a Mahapurush like Mahatma Gandhi gave the mantra of “Do or Die.” The reason for this entire success was the people’s support, people’s resolve, and people’s struggle. The entire country had come together as one to fight for the cause. And I sometimes think that if we link the pages of history, it is seen that the First War of Independence took place in 1857. The freedom struggle which began in 1857, continued to be manifested in one or the other corner of the country till 1942. This long time period ignited the intense longing for freedom in the hearts of the people.
Each one became committed to do something. The determination did not diminish with each passing generation. New people kept coming forward each time in place of those who departed and the country kept on every moment endeavouring tirelessly to uproot the British Rule. This perseverance, this struggle from 1857 to 1942 created a situation which reached its climax in 1942; the clarion call of ‘Quit India’ was such that within five years, in 1947 the British were compelled to leave India. 1857 to 1942 – the yearning for freedom had reached the grassroots, had reached everybody.
And 1942 to 1947 – these decisive five years became integral for the masses to successfully attain through resolve, freedom for the country. These five years were indeed decisive. I would now like to connect you with its mathematical manifestation. We became free in 1947. This is 2017.
It has been almost 70 years. Governments have come and gone.
Systems have been made, changed, nurtured, and expanded. Everyone has tried to rid the country of its problems in one’s own way. There have been efforts towards increasing employment, poverty alleviation, and development. These efforts were also driven with hard work in their different ways. There have been successes.
Expectations have also risen. The way, the years from 1942 to 1947 were the decisive years for attainment through resolve. I can see that 2017 to 2022 presents itself as a new time segment of five years for attainment through resolve.
We should celebrate 15th August 2017 as the Sankalp Parva or the Day of Resolve, and in 2022 marking 75 years of Freedom, we will certainly transform that resolve into ‘Siddhi’ or attainment. If 1.25 billion Indians, commemorate Agast Kranti Day of 9th August, and each person resolves on 15th August, that he or she will do for the country, this much as an individual, as a citizen, this much as a family, this much as a society, this much as a village, this much as a city, this much as a government department, and this much as the government; let there be millions and millions of resolves; let there be strivings for the realisation of these millions and millions of resolves. Just as the five years from 1942 to 1947 were decisive for the country’s Independence, these five years from 2017 to 2022 can and must play a decisive role for the future of India.
Five years from now, we will celebrate 75 years of India’s Independence. Therefore, we must take a firm resolve today. We must make 2017 our Year of Resolve. In this month of August, we have to come together and resolve: Filth – Quit India; Poverty – Quit India; Corruption – Quit India; Terrorism – Quit India; Casteism – Quit India; Communalism – Quit India! The need for today is not ‘Do or Die’, instead it is to resolve, to come together, persevere, and work relentlessly with our utmost strength towards the making of a new India. Let us live by and strive for this resolve.
Come let’s launch a mega campaign Sankalp se Siddhi – Attainment through Resolve, from the 9th of this August. Every Indian, social organisations, Local Self-Government Institutions, schools, colleges, various organizations – all should take one resolve or the other for a New India.
A resolve that we will positively fulfil in the next five years. Youth organisations, student organisations, NGOs, etc. Can organise group discussions, to bring forth new ideas. Where do we want to reach as a nation? What can be my contribution for this as an individual? Let us come together and make this a Festival of Resolve. I would particularly like to call upon the online world, since wherever we may be, we are almost always online; so I would like to invite the online community and specially my young friends to come forward and contribute innovatively for building of the New India.
They can use technology – videos, posts, blogs, scripts, novel ideas – to put forward all these. Transform this campaign into a peoples’ movement. A Quit India Quiz is also being launched for my young friends on NarendraModiApp. This quiz is an attempt to familiarise the youth with India’s glorious history and the heroes of the freedom movement.
It is my belief that you will surely publicise and spread awareness about this quiz. My dear countrymen, on August 15, as the nation’s ‘Pradhan Sewak’, I get an opportunity to communicate with the country from the ramparts of the Red Fort. I am merely an instrument. It is not one single person who makes that address, but it is the collective voice of 1.25 billion of my countrymen that resounds from the Red Fort.
I try to give words to their dreams, and I am glad that for the past 3 years, I get suggestions from every corner of the country for August 15, as to what I should speak on the 15th August and which issues should I include in my address on the occasion. This time too, I invite you to share your thoughts either on MyGov or on NarendraModiApp. I read these myself and shall try to express them in whatever time I have with me on 15th August. For the previous three 15th August speeches, one consistent complaint has been that my speeches tend to be a little lengthy.
I have planned to keep my speech short this time – not more than 40-45-50 minutes. I have tried to draw these rules for myself, but I don’t know whether I’ll be able to stick to them. But I do intend to try this time to shorten my speech. Let’s see whether I succeed or not.
My countrymen, I would like to say one more thing to you. India’s economy has in itself an element of social economics. And we should never underestimate its value. Our festivals, our celebrations are not merely occasions of joy and merriment.
Our festivals are in themselves campaigns of social reform too. And each of our festivals are directly linked with the financial conditions of the poorest of the poor.
Rakshabandhan, Janmashtami, Ganesh Utsav, Chauth Chandra, Anant Chaturdashi, Durga Pooja, Diwali – these will be observed one after the other. And this is also the time when the poor get an opportunity to earn an income and of course this adds a spontaneous joy to the festivities. Festivals lend a sweetness to our relationships, bring a warmth of togetherness in the family and foster brotherhood in society.
They connect the individual with society. It is a natural journey from the self to the collective. And the ‘I’ gets an opportunity to transform into a ‘We’. As far as the economy is concerned, hundreds of families start making Rakhis in small household units, many months before the festival of Rakhi. A variety of Rakhis are made in a whole range of materials, from ‘khadi’ to silken threads. People prefer homemade Rakhis these days. Rakhi makers and their sellers, sweets shops vendors – the professions of hundreds, thousands flourish on the occasion of a festival.
The households of our poor brethren and their families are dependent in a way on these activities. When we light a ‘diya’, an earthen lamp on Deepawali, it is not merely a festival of lights, a festival that illuminates the entire house; it is directly connected with those poor families who make small ‘diyas’ or earthen lamps. Today as I speak about festivals and how they are linked to the economy of the poor, I want to touch upon the subject of environment as well. I have observed and sometimes think that the citizens of our country are more aware and active than me.
For the last one month, environmentally conscious citizens have constantly written letters to me. And they have requested that I talk about eco-friendly Ganesha idols, well in time for people to plan for clay Ganesha idols during the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. Firstly, I am most grateful to such conscientious citizens. They have urged me to speak on this subject well before the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. This time around, there is a special significance to the observance of community Ganesh festival as a public celebration. Lokmanya Tilak ji started this great tradition, and this year marks the 125th anniversary of community Ganesh festival. 125 years and 1.25 billion countrymen!
Lokmanya Tilak ji started the Sarvjanik Ganeshotsav with the basic aim to inculcate the spirit of unity, enhance awareness in society, and promote the culture of togetherness. So this year we should again, during the Ganesh festival, organise essay competitions, have open discussions and remember the contributions of Lokmanya Tilak. And we must think anew ways to steer Community Ganesh Festivals in consonance with the sentiments of Tilak ji.
How we must lend strength to that spirit and at the same time resolve to use eco-friendly clay Ganesha idols, to protect the environment. And this time I have spoken about it well in time.
I am sure that all of you will join me. This will surely benefit our poor artisans, and artists, and provide employment to those who make idols. The poor will be able to earn a living and feed themselves.
Come, let us link our festivities with the economic welfare of the poor, let the joys of our festivals connect with the households of the underprivileged, bringing monetary happiness to the have-nots. This should be the endeavor of all of us. I extend my best wishes to all my countrymen for the various upcoming festivals and celebrations. My dear countrymen, we are continually seeing that our daughters are bringing laurels to the country in all the fields – be it education, economic activities, social spheres or in sports – they are scaling new heights. We as a nation take great pride in our daughters. Recently our daughters performed brilliantly in the Women’s Cricket World Cup.
This week I had the opportunity to meet our daughters, the members of our Women’s Cricket team. I felt happy talking to them, but I had a feeling that they felt burdened by the fact that they could not win the World Cup. This stress, this tension was evident on their faces also. So while speaking to these daughters, I put forth a different viewpoint before them. I said, “Look, this is the age of the media. So expectations get hyped up to such an extent that if corresponding success is not achieved, these turn into despair and even resentment. We have seen during many such events where if the Indian players fail, the anger of the country is vented towards the players.
Some people cross all limits of decency and say and write things that inflict pain and hurt. But it happened for the first time that when our daughters did not succeed in winning the World Cup, the hundred and twenty-five million people took this defeat on their own shoulders, never letting the burden weigh down these daughters of ours. Not only this, they lauded them and showered them with high praise for their brilliant performance. I view this as a healthy and pleasant change and I told these daughters that only they were blessed with such good fortune, and hence they should banish any thought of not having been successful. You may not have won the final match but you have won the hearts of 1.25 billion Indians.
Truly our young generation, especially the daughters of our country are doing so much to bring glory to the nation. I once again extend my heartiest congratulations and best wishes to the young generation of our country, especially our daughters. My dear countrymen, I remind you once again of ‘Agast Kranti’, of 9th August, I remind you once again of 15th August. And I am reminding you once again of 2022, 75 years of India’s Independence. Every countryman should make a resolve, every countryman should prepare a 5-year roadmap to realise that resolve. All of us have to take our nation to newer heights.
We must strive tirelessly to do so. Come, let’s march together as we do our bit. The destiny, the future of the country shall be brighter, let us move ahead with this belief.
Lots and lots of good wishes to you all. My Dear Countrymen. The weather is changing.
It has been extremely hot this year. But it is good that the monsoon is moving ahead on schedule on its natural course. The weather has become pleasant in several parts of the country with abundant showers. As a result of the rains, the cool breeze has brought about some respite from the oppressive heat of past few days. One has seen that no matter how hectic the life is, no matter how tense we are, whether its one’s personal or public life, the arrival of the rains does lift one’s spirits. The Car festival of Lord Jagannath, the Rath Yatra, is being celebrated in several parts of the country with great piety and fervour.
This festival is now also celebrated in some parts of the world. The underprivileged of the country are deeply connected to Lord Jagannath. Those who have studied the life and works of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, would have observed that he had wholeheartedly praised the Lord Jagannath temple and its traditions, since, social justice and social equality were inherent to these. Lord Jagannath is the God of the poor.
But few would know that in English, there is a word, ‘juggernaut’ which means, a magnificent chariot, that is unstoppable. In the dictionary, the etymology of the word ‘juggernaut’ traces its roots to the chariot of Lord Jagannath. And therefore, we can observe that the world has in its own way accepted the significance of the Car Festival of Lord Jagannath, The Rath Yatra.
On the occasion of Lord Jagannath’s Car Festival, I extend my heartiest greetings to all my fellow countrymen, and offer my obeisance to Lord Jagannath. India’s diversity is its unique characteristic, and India’s diversity is also its strength.
The holy month of Ramzan is observed all across, in prayer with piety. And now the festival of Eid is here. On the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr, my heartiest greetings to one and all. Ramzan is a month of charity, and sharing joy. The more you share joy, the more it multiplies. Let us come together and take inspiration from these holy festivals and share their joyous treasures, and take the nation forward.
In this holy month of Ramzan, I came across a very inspiring incident at Mubarakpur village of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh. About three and a half thousand families of our Muslim brethren reside in that little village and in a way, form a majority of its population.
During this Ramzan the villagers decided to get together and construct toilets. Now, to construct these household toilets, the government gives financial assistance, under which, they were provided a sum of 17 lakh rupees. You will be pleasantly surprised and happy to know that, during this holy month of Ramzan, these Muslim brothers and sisters, returned this money to the government, saying, they would construct these toilets with their own labour and their own money; and that this sum of 17 lakh rupees be used for providing other facilities in the village. I felicitate the residents of Mubarakpur, for transforming the pious occasion of Ramzan into an opportunity for the welfare of society on.
Each and everything about them is inspiring. And the most important of it all is that they have freed Mubarakpur of the scourge of open defecation.
We know that in our country there are three states that have already been declared Open Defecation Free states, that is, Sikkim, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala. Uttarakhand and Haryana have also been declared ODF, this week.
I express my gratitude to the administration, government and especially the people of these five states, for achieving this objective. We know very well, that tremendous hard work is required to achieve anything worthwhile, whether it is in one’s own life or for the society. If we have bad handwriting, and we want to improve it, we have to consciously practice for a long time. Only then will the habit of the body and mind will change. Cleanliness is also similar to this.
These bad habits have become a part of our nature. We have become accustomed to them. To free ourselves of these habits we will have to constantly strive and persevere. Everyone’s attention will have to be drawn.
We will have to repeatedly remind ourselves of good inspirational incidents. And I’m happy to see that cleanliness is no longer confined to being a government programme. It is getting transformed into a movement by the society and the people.
And when government functionaries take this initiative forward with the participation of the masses, it becomes even stronger. Recently I came across a wonderful incident, which I would like to share with you. This happened in the Vizianagaram District of Andhra Pradesh. The district administration there undertook a huge task with people’s participation. On the 10 th of March, till 10 am of the 14 th of March. A hundred-hour non-stop campaign. And what was the objective?
To construct 10,000 household toilets in 71 gram panchayats in those hundred hours. And my Dear Countrymen, you will be happy to learn that the administration and the people together did construct 10,000 toilets in hundred hours successfully. 71 villages became ODF. I congratulate the people in the government, government officials and the citizens of Vizianagaram district on this great accomplishment of achieving this feat through immense hard work and setting a very inspiring example in the process. These days, people have been regularly sending their suggestions for ‘Mann Ki Baat’, on the NarendraModiApp, on MyGov.in, through letters and Akashvani.
Shri Prakash Tripathi reminiscing about the Emergency, has written, presenting 25 thof June as a Dark period in the history of Democracy. Prakash Tripathi ji’s commitment to democracy is praiseworthy. Not only is Democracy a system, but also a ‘sanskar’- a part of our ethos. Eternal Vigilance is the Price of Liberty. One needs to be constantly alert about our Democracy, that is why we must also keep remembering the events that inflicted harm upon our democracy; and at the same time move ahead, carrying forward the virtues of democracy. 1975 – 25 th June – it was a dark night that no devotee of democracy can ever forget.
No Indian can ever forget. The country had virtually become a prison. The voice of the opposition had been smothered. Several prominent leaders including Jai Prakash Narayan had been jailed.
The judicial system too could not escape the sinister shadows of the Emergency. The press was completely muffled. The present-day students of journalism and the champions of democracy have been endeavouring towards raising awareness about that dark period, by constant reminders, and should continue to do so. Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji was also in jail at that time. After one year of Emergency, Atal ji wrote a poem, in which he describes the state of mind during those turbulent times. The scorching summer month, The sad winter moonlight, The sobbing monsoon, An emptiness pervading within An entire year has gone. The world confined behind bars, But the soul like a restless bird The freedom song resonates From the earth to the sky, An entire year has gone.
The eyes are in anticipation Counting days and moments The beloved who went away, Shall return one day, An entire year has gone. The believers of democracy fought a prolonged war, and the great nation that India is, where the spirit of democracy pervades the very being of all its people, the strength of that spirit was demonstrated when the opportunity of elections came. We have to further fortify that legacy. My dear countrymen, every Indian today, is proud and holds his head high. 21 st June 2017 – Yoga has permeated the entire world. From the seashores to the mountains, people welcomed the first rays of the sun, with Yoga.
Which Indian wouldn’t be proud of this! It isn’t as if Yoga didn’t exist before, but now the threads of Yoga have bound everyone together, and have become the means to unite the world. Almost all the countries in the world made Yoga Day their own. In China, Yoga was practiced on the Great Wall of China, and on the World Heritage site of Machu Picchu in Peru, at 2400 metres above sea level. In France, yoga was performed in the vicinity of the Eiffel Tower. In Abu Dhabi in UAE, more than 4000 persons participated in mass yoga. In Herat, in Afghanistan, on the India Afghan Friendship Dam, Salma Dam, Yoga added a new aspect to India’s friendship.
In a small country like Singapore, programs were organised in 70 places, with a week long campaign. On the occasion of International Day of Yoga, the UN released ten stamps. A ‘Yoga Session with Yoga Masters’ was organised at the UN headquarters. The staff of the UN and diplomats from across the world participated. Yoga has created a world record again this time also. In Ahmedabad in Gujarat, around 55 thousand people performed Yoga together and created a new world record. I too had the opportunity to participate in the Yoga event held in Lucknow.
But I also had the good fortune to practice Yoga in the rain for the first time. Our soldiers practiced yoga in Siachen where temperatures reach minus 20, 25, 40 degrees. Whether it is our armed forces, or the BSF, ITBP, CRPF and CISF, each one of them, apart from their duties has made Yoga a part of their lives. On this Yoga Day, since this was the third International Day of Yoga, I had asked you to share photos of three generations of the family doing yoga together. Some TV channels also took this idea forward. I received a lot of photographs out of which, selected photographs are compiled and uploaded on the NarendraModiApp. One significant outcome of the way the yoga is being talked about all around the world is the portent that today’s health conscious society is now taking steps from fitness to wellness, and they have realised that fitness is, of course, important, but for true wellness, yoga is the best way.
“Respected Prime Minister Sir, I am Dr. Anil Sonara speaking from Ahmedabad, Gujarat.
Sir, I have a question. Recently in Kerala, we heard you speak about replacing bouquets that we give as gifts, with good books as mementos. You had started this practice while you were in office in Gujarat, Sir, but in the recent days we have not been seeing much of this. So, can we do something about it?
Is there nothing we can do to have this implemented throughout the country, Sir?” Recently, I had the opportunity to go to one of my favorite events. A very good programme is being run in Kerala for the past few years, by the P.N. Panicker Foundation, which encourages people to cultivate the habit of reading books and to enhance their awareness towards this, by organising celebrations such as ‘Reading Day’, and ‘Reading Month’. I had the opportunity to go for the inaugural function, where I was told that instead of bouquets, they gift books. Thus I was also reminded of what had slipped my mind. Because when I was in Gujarat, I had set this tradition of welcoming, by not giving bouquets, but books or handkerchiefs instead.
And that too, a ‘Khadi’ handkerchief, so that it promotes ‘Khadi’. Till the time I was in Gujarat, this habit had been ingrained in us, but after coming here, I had lost that habit. When I went to Kerala, it was rekindled. I have already begun to issue instructions in the government. Here too we can gradually nurture this habit. And the life span of a bouquet is very short.
You receive it in your hand for a moment and then abandon it. But when you present a book, it becomes a part of the household, a part of the family. One can also use a ‘Khadi’ handkerchief to welcome people, and be a support to the innumerable underprivileged. The expenses are reduced as well, and the gift is well utilized too. I say this, thinking of the historical value of such gifts. During my past UK visit, in London, the Queen of Britain, Queen Elizabeth had invited me to dine with her.
The atmosphere was imbued with maternal warmth, and I was served with great affection. Afterwards when she showed me a small thread-spun khadi handkerchief, her eyes lit up. With great respect and in an emotion filled voice, she said, that Mahatma Gandhi had sent this handkerchief to her as a wedding gift. So many years have passed and yet, Queen Elizabeth has treasured the handkerchief gifted by Mahatma Gandhi. And she was happy to show it to me, when I went there. As I gazed at it, the Queen encouraged me to touch it.
A small gift by Mahatma Gandhi, has become a part of her life and a part of history. I know that these habits do not change overnight, and when we talk about it, we invite criticism. Despite that, one should keep talking about it, and keep making the effort. Now, I cannot say that if I go somewhere and somebody brings a bouquet I will refuse it.
No, I won’t do that, but we will talk about it even though there is criticism, and then gradually, the change will happen. My dear countrymen, as Prime Minister, there are numerous tasks to be handled. I have to remain deeply absorbed in files, but for my own self, I have developed a habit of reading daily, at least a few of the letters I receive and because of that I get a chance to connect with the common man. I get a variety of letters, written by all sorts of people. Recently, I had the opportunity to read a letter, which I feel, I should share with you. From the far south, in Madurai, Tamil Nadu, Arulmozhi Sarvanan, a housewife, sent me a letter.
And what was in that letter? She wrote, that she thought about engaging in some economic activity keeping in mind her responsibilities such as children’s education, to lend some financial assistance to her family.
She got some money from the bank, under the ‘Mudra’ Scheme and commenced working towards procuring some items from the market for sale. Then she came to know of the ‘Government E-Marketplace’ system initiated by the government.
She tried to find out the details, and asked people about it. And then she registered herself for the scheme. Here I want to tell my countrymen, that if you get the opportunity, you should also visit, the E-G-E-M, E-GEM website on the Internet. This is a great new system.
Whoever wants to supply any item to the government, small things such as electric bulbs, dustbins, brooms, chairs and tables, they can register themselves. They can mention the quality of the goods, the rate at which they sell, and it is compulsory for the government departments to visit the site and see whether the supplier can supply the goods at reasonable prices without compromising on the quality. And then the orders can be placed. That is how the middlemen can be removed from the system. The entire process becomes transparent. There is no interface. Everything is done through technology.
So, when people register in E-GEM, all the government departments become aware of them. As there are no middlemen, the goods are available at very reasonable rates. Now whatever goods Arulmozhi Madam could supply, she got all those registered on this government website. And the best part is, what she has written in this letter is very interesting. She has written that she got the money from the ‘Mudra’ Scheme and started her business, then she registered the inventory of all her products on the E-GEM website, and then she got an order from the Prime Minister’s Office.
It was news to me also, I wondered what the PMO would have ordered. She wrote that the PMO had ordered two thermoses, and she was paid Rupees 1600/. This is empowerment.
This is an opportunity for encouraging entrepreneurship. Had Arulmozhi not written to me I wouldn’t have realised that because of E-GEM, a housewife living far away and running a small business can have the items on her inventory purchased directly by the Prime Minister’s Office. This is the nation’s strength. This has transparency, this has empowerment, this has entrepreneurship too.
Government E-Marketplace - GEM. I would certainly like that whoever wishes to sell their products or business items to the government, should increasingly get connected with this website.
I believe that this is an excellent example of Minimum Government and Maximum Governance, and it’s objective is Minimum Price and Maximum Ease, Efficiency and Transparency. My dear countrymen, on the one hand, we take pride in Yoga, on the other we can also take pride in our achievements in space science. And this is the unique attribute of India, that whereas we have our feet firmly on the ground with Yoga, we have our dreams to soar beyond horizons to far away skies. Recently, India has had many achievements in sports, as well as science.
Today, India’s flag is flying high not only on earth but also in space. Just two days ago, ISRO launched 30 Nano satellites with the ‘Cartosat-2 Series Satellite.’ And besides India, these satellites are of France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Britain and America, nearly 14 such countries. And with India’s Nano Satellite Mission, we will get a lot of help in the field of agriculture, farming, and dealing with natural disasters. We are all aware that a few days ago, ISRO has successfully launched the GSAT-19. And of all the satellites launched by India, this was the heaviest satellite.
The newspapers of our country have compared it with elephantine weights. You can well imagine the magnitude of the achievement of our scientists in space. On the 19 th of June, our Mars Mission completed one thousand days.
You may be aware that when we had successfully created a place for the Mars Mission in orbit, this entire mission was planned for a duration of 6 months. It had a life expectancy of 6 months. But I’m happy that the strength of the endeavours of our scientists has been such that not only has this crossed six months; even after a thousand days, our Mangalyaan Mission is at work, sending images, providing information, collating scientific data, way beyond its expected duration and life expectancy. The completion of one thousand days, is an important milestone in our scientific journey, our space odyssey. These days we see that our youth are getting increasingly inclined to the field of sports. It is becoming evident that along with studies, our new generations can see a future in sports as well. And our sportspersons, through their prowess, skills and accomplishments win laurels for the country as well.
Recently India’s Badminton player, Kidambi Shrikant has brought glory to the nation by winning Indonesia Open. I extend my heartiest congratulations to him and his coach for this victory.
I had the opportunity, a few days ago to be associated with the inaugural function of the Synthetic Track of the renowned athlete, P.T. Usha’s Usha School of Athletics. The more we promote sports, the more we see the spirit of sportsmanship.
Sports play an important role in personality development also. There is a great significance of sports in overall personality development. There is no dearth of talent in our country. If the children in our family are interested in sports, they should be given opportunities.
They should not be forced off the playing fields to be locked in rooms with books. They should study as well, if they can do well in studies, they should certainly do so, but if they have the potential and the inclination to do well in sports, that should be encouraged and supported by the school, college, family and all the people around them.
Each one should nurture dreams for the next Olympics. My dear countrymen, let me mention once again, that this Season of Rains, with its abundance of festivals and festivities, brings with it a unique new feeling of the times. I extend my heartiest greetings to you all, until the next episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, when I shall share my thoughts with you once again. My dear countrymen, Namaskar. It will perhaps be difficult for us to forget the year’s summer.
But, we are now awaiting the rains. As I am talking to you today, the holy month of Ramzan has already commenced. I convey my hearty greetings to all fellow Indians and everyone across the world, especially the Muslim brethren at the advent of this auspicious month of Ramazan. Prayer, spirituality and charity are accorded the highest priority during Ramzan.
We, Indians, are very lucky that our ancestors have created such a tradition that today India and its 1.25 billion people can take pride in the fact that people from all communities and faith are available here. This is a country where both theists and atheists; idolaters and those loathing idol-worship co-exist. We have adapted ourselves to myriad kinds of ideologies, different ways of worshipping and all types of traditions and imbibed the art of co-existential living. In the ultimate, any religion, faith, ideology or tradition- give us the message of peace, unity and goodwill.
This holy month of Ramzan will definitely be helpful in further strengthening these values of peace, unity and goodwill. I, once again convey my best wishes to all. Last time around while sharing my thoughts in Mann ki Baat I had mentioned) a new word and had specially exhorted our youth to do something new, to come out of the comfort zone, experience new things; as this is the age when one can experiment and take risks and accept new challenges of life. I am glad that many people have given me feedback.
All of them showed enthusiasm by personally speaking out their minds to me. I could not read them all nor could listen to all the messages because there were such a large number of messages.But whatever I could see from a cursory look that while some made efforts to learn music, some tried hands on a new musical instrument, some of them are trying to learn new things by using YouTube, some are trying to learn a new language. Some are learning cooking, some others are learning dance and drama; Some have written that they have now started to write poems.
They are making efforts to know about nature and are learning the art of living and trying to understand the world. I am extremely happy and want to share one of the phone-calls with you.
“I am Diksha Katiyal speaking. I had almost left the habit of reading. Therefore I decided to pick up the habit during vacations. When I started reading about the freedom struggle, it was then I realized that how much struggle was involved in getting India freed, how much sacrifices were given and how so many freedom fighters spent years in prison. I am particularly inspired by Bhagat Singh, who achieved so much at such a young age. Therefore I request you that you tell something to the younger generation today on this topic.” I am delighted that younger generation is taking interest in knowing about our history, about our freedom fighters and about those who made sacrifices for the country. Countless great men spent their youth in jails.
Several youngsters went to the gallows. They suffered despicable miseries and that is how we can now breathe in a free India. We see all those great men who spent their time in jails did a great job of writing and reading. Their writings provided a great strength and inspiration to our Freedom Movement. Many years ago, I visited Andaman & Nicobar Islands. I went to see the Cellular Jail there. Today is the birth anniversary of Veer Savarkarji.
Veer Savarkarji had written a book “Majhi Jannmathep” while in incarceration. He used to write poems on the walls of his prison cell. He was confined to a very small cell. These seekers freedom must have gone through immense torture.
I was inspired to visit the Cellular Jail only after reading Savarkarji’s book “Maazi Janmthep”. A light and sound show is also shown there which is very inspiring. There was hardly any state in India youths from which were not exiled to the dark waters of Andamans and were forced to spend their youth in this Cellular Jail during the freedom movement. Included people of every language, every state and every generation had faced tortures during this struggle Today is the birth anniversary of Veer Savarkarjee.
I would definitely want to tell our younger generation that to even perceive what kind of torture and trouble these freedom fighters had suffered to achieve freedom for us one must visit this Cellular Jail. Once we go there We come to know as to why this was called Kaalaa Paani or the dark waters If you get a chance, please pay a visit to this place which is actually a pilgrimage of our freedom struggle. My dear countrymen, 5th of June is the first Monday of the month. Everything is otherwise normal. Yet, 5th of June is a special day as this is observed as “World Environment Day”.
This year the United Nations have chosen the theme ‘Connecting People to Nature’. In other words, we may say “back to basics”.
And What’s the meaning of connecting with nature?? In my view, it means getting connected with one’s own self. Connecting with nature means nurturing a better planet. And, who can explain this in a better way than Mahatma Gandhi?
Mahatma Gandhi often used to say, “One must care about a world one will not see”. This means that it is our duty to be concerned about the world which we shall not see and to care for that. Nature possesses a special power. You might have also observed that whenever we feel tired and exhausted, splashing a glass of water on our face has a wonderful rejuvenating effect.
If you return after a tiring day’s work, just open the windows and doors of the room and take a deep breath of fresh air – this will fill you with fresh energy. Our body is made up of five basic elements and whenever we come in contact with these elements we get fresh energy.
All of us have experienced this but we do not register this, we do not connect this in a single thread of sequence. Now on, kindly make it a point to notice that whenever you come in contact with a natural condition, a new spirit emerges from within you. So, the global campaign of connecting with nature on 5th June should become our individual campaign as well. And we are reaping the benefits of the efforts made by our ancestors to save the environment.
And if we shall protect the environment, our future generations will reap the benefits. Vedas, describe the Earth and the Environment as the basic sources of energy.
And, Atharva Veda, written thousands of years ago, is the most authentic guiding scripture about nature and environment. In India, it has been said – “Earth is the mother and I am her son”. According to Vedas, the purity within us is because of the Earth.
The Earth is our mother and we all are her children. If we recall Lord Buddha, a fact comes to light that his birth, his enlightenment and his Mahaparinirvana, all three happened under a tree. We have many festivals and religious rituals which are based on worshiping nature and affection towards nature is a part of our everyday life. This is true in case of all sections of society whether lettered or unlettered, rural or urban and even tribal communities. But we need to present this in modern language and integrate with modern arguments. These days, I keep receiving news from our states. Almost in every state, a big plantation campaign gets underway with the onset of monsoon.
Millions of trees are planted. School children, social organizations and NGOs also get connected with the campaign. Even State Governments take an initiative. Let us also make our contribution in enhancing this campaign.
My dear countrymen, 21st June has become a well known day world over. The whole world observes this as World Yoga Day.
In a very short time, 21st June has got worldwide recognition as World Yoga day and is connecting people. At a time when separatist forces are raising their ugly heads this has been India’s great contribution to the world. We have successfully connected the whole world through Yoga.
Like Yoga connects body, mind, heart and soul: similarly it is connecting the world now. Because of life style, because of the mad race to achieve success and because of increasing responsibilities, leading a stress- free life has become very difficult. It is seen, this situation is coming up even at a comparatively younger age.
At a time when People are gobbling up medicines indiscriminately and passing their days, Yoga plays a very vital role in helping people to lead a stress-free life. Yoga is a guarantee of wellness and fitness both. Yoga is not merely an exercise.
How to mount on the journey of life with the inter-play of body, mind, thoughts and behavior can be better realized and understood through Yoga. Just two days back, I have written letters to all governments and all leaders of the world about the Yoga Day. Last year, I made announcements of some Yoga competitions and some awards as well. We shall gradually advance in that direction.
I have received one suggestion and I compliment the gentleman who has made this creative suggestion. It is a very interesting suggestion. He has said since this is the Third International Yoga Day I should make an appeal that on this third international Yoga Day, three generations of the family should do yoga together.
Grand parents, parents and children should together perform Yoga and also upload their photos. It will be such pleasant blend of Yesterday, today and tomorrow that it will lend a new dimension to Yoga. I express my gratitude for this suggestion and I feel that as our ‘Selfie with Daughter’ campaign had proved to be a very inspiring experience. So will this campaign of posting pictures of three generations together performing yoga will evoke curiosity across the nation as well as across the world. You should certainly send the pictures of three generations doing yoga together to me on Narendra ModiApp or on Mygov.
This will be the picture of “yesterday, today and tomorrow” and will be a guarantee of a brighter tomorrow. I invite all of you.
We are still left with about three weeks for the International Yoga Day. Start practicing from today itself. From 1st June, I will post something or the other about Yoga on twitter and continue to do so till 21st June. I will share with you. You too kindly spread the message of Yoga and connect people with it.
This, in a way, is a movement on preventive health care. I invite you all to get connected to it. Ever since you entrusted me with the responsibility of being the Pradhan Sewak- the Chief Servant of the people and when for the first time when I got a chance to address from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August, I had talked of cleanliness. From then onwards, I get a chance to stay in different parts of the country. And, I have seen that people closely follow as to what Modi does, where does Modi go, what all has Modi done. I received a very interesting phone call and I had also not visualized from this angle. But, I am thankful to him for having seen the campaign in this way.
This phone call will also attract your attention. “Pranam Modi ji, I’m Naina from Mumbai. Modi ji I watch whether on TV or Social Media, wherever you go, one can see people in that city pay special attention to cleanliness. Mumbai or Surat, your clarion call has led people to adopt cleanliness as a mission. Not only the elders but children also have become aware about cleanliness. Many a time we see them telling elders not to litter on the roads.
The cleanliness drive that you had begun from the Ghats or Banks of the Ganges in Kashi has now taken the shape of a movement inspired by you.” You are right, that wherever I go, the government machinery does the cleaning but nowadays cleanliness also turns into a social event. Five, seven or ten days before my visit a large number of cleanliness drives are held. Media also prominently highlights such programmes, A few days ago, I went to Kutch in Gujarat. A big cleanliness drive was conducted there. I also did not see a connect is in this. But, after receiving this phone call, I also started thinking that the point made there was pertinent. You can very well imagine how much pleasure I derive by knowing this fact and also by noticing that the country is also closely monitoring the programme.
There cannot be any bigger pleasure for me than to know that my visit has been connected with the cleanliness campaign. Besides usual arrangements to welcome the Prime Minister, cleanliness will also be high on the agenda.
This is very pleasing and inspiring for any cleanliness loving person. I congratulate everyone connected with this Cleanliness programme providing strength to it. Someone gave me a suggestion. This is in a way a humorous suggestion. I do not know whether I would be able to do it or not. Modi ji, when someone asks for your visit, your stay, you should ask as to what would be the standard of cleanliness, if they wish to invite you.
How many tonnes of waste would you present to me so that I may accordingly decide the duration of stay. The idea is very good but I will have to think.
But, one thing is right that this movement should be encouraged and it would definitely be better if cleaning tonnes of waste are cleaned and and given as presents in place of other gifts. How many people shall we be able to save from ill health. This will be a big service to humanity. One thing I would certainly like to say is that we should always consider these waste as resources and wealth.
Do not see it as just garbage. Once we start looking at garbage and waste as a wealth, we shall also find newer, techniques of waste management. Young persons connected with Start-ups will also come forward with newer schemes and also come forward with new equipments.
The Central Government has along with State Governments and with the cooperation of municipal representatives of cities decided to launch a massive and important campaign of waste management. On the occasion of World Environment Day on 5th June, there are going to be litter bins made available to collect solid waste and liquid waste in 4000 towns of the country. Two types of waste bins will be available, one would be of green colour and the other blue. There are two types of waste generated, is the liquid waste and the other is dry waste. If we follow discipline, then the waste bins that are going to be placed in these 4 thousand towns will collect dry garbage in blue waste bins and liquid garbage in green waste bins. The waste from our kitchens, be it vegetable peels, leftover food, egg shells or leaves are all part of liquid waste and are to be placed in green litter bins. This waste can be utilized in fields, and if you will remember that fields are green then you will remember what to place in the green litter bins.
The second type of waste is like old newspapers, cardboard, iron, glass, cloth, plastic, leather, polythene, broken boxes, rubber, metals and other kind of waste are all dry waste or litter which can be recycled by machines but cannot be directly used and has to be placed in the blue waste bin. I’ve a firm belief that we will develop a culture and the new steps that we take towards achieving cleanliness will continue, only then will we achieve the dream of Gandhiji, achieve the kind of cleanliness that he dreamt of, today. I must admit with pride that if a single individual decides it in his heart then a huge Public campaign can be launched. Cleanliness is also one such drive. A few days ago, you must have heard that the Versova beach in Mumbai, which was infamous for its filth has now transformed into a a clean and beautiful beach.
People toiled for about 80-90 weeks, unceasingly and turned Versova beach around by extracting thousand of tonnes of waste materials and today Versova beach is clean and beautiful. This campaign was owned by Versova Residence volunteer or VRV.
A gentleman called Afroz Shah started this mission from October, 2015 whole heartedly with all his might, slowly people started joining his bandwagon and turned into a people’s movement. For this outstanding work, United Nations Environment Programme or UNEP awarded ‘Champion of the Earth’ Award to Sh.
Afroz Shah, and thus he has become the first Indian to achieve this distinction. I congratulate Sh. Afroz Shah, and felicitate this people’s movement. The manner in which Sh.
Afroz Shah gathered the people of the area into a people’s collective and gave it the shape of a People’s movement in itself an inspiring example. Brothers and Sisters, it is with great happiness that I wish to tell you, that I am given to understand that under the aegis of ‘Swachch Bharat Campaign’, the Riyasi Block in Jammu and Kashmir has become completely free of open defecation. I wish to congratulate the people of Riyasi Block and also the public servants of Riyasi Block. Jammu & Kashmir has presented an excellent example. I congratulate one and all in the state.
I have been told that this movement found maximum leadership amidst women. The women of that area took out torch rallies to spread awareness, went from house to house, street to street and inspired the people towards this goal. I felicitate the mothers and sisters of Riyasi from the bottom of my heart.
I also congratulate the administrators there for making an excellent beginning by turning one block in the state of Jammu and Kashmir open defecation free. My dear countrymen, an audit and assessment of the performance of the present government in the last three years is happening all over on newspapers, social media or TV for the last 15 days. Three years ago you vested the responsibility of ‘Pradhan Sewak’- the Chief Servant of the People upon me. There have been many surveys and several opinion polls. I see this entire process as a very healthy sign. The works done during these years were tested on every touch stone.
It was analyzed by every segment of society. And this is a great process in democracy. I firmly believe that governments must be accountable in democracy and the public at large must be provided with report card of works done. I wish to congratulate those who took out time for an in depth analysis of our work, there were some praises some support and sometimes shortcomings were also pointed out, I understand the importance of all these things.
I thank those people, who provided critical and important feedback. The mistakes and the shortcomings once highlighted can be rectified. Whether something is good, little less effective or bad, whatever it is, one has to learn from it and move ahead in life putting the learning from it into practice. Constructive criticism strengthens democracy; for an aware nation, an awakened nation, this churning is very important. My dear countrymen, I too am an ordinary citizen like you and like any ordinary citizen I too am influenced by good or bad things. Some people take ‘Mann Ki Baat’ as a monologue and some criticize it from a political angle but after a long experience, I now feel, that when I had first started ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ I had not given thought to the fact that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ would make me a member of every family in India.
Now I feel as if I’m conversing with my family while sitting at home. And there are many families who have written to me these very feelings. And as I said, as an ordinary citizen, I too get affected emotionally. Two days ago there was a launch of an analytical book on ‘Mann Ki Baat’ at Rashtrapati Bhavan, it was attended by the Hon’ble President, Hon’ble Vice President, Madam Speaker of the Lok sabha and as an ordinary citizen and as an individual this was very inspirational event for me. I’m grateful to the Hon’ble President, Hon’ble Vice President and Madam Speaker that inspite of their such high stature they took out time and they accorded importance to ‘Mann Ki Baat’. In fact it in itself has given a new dimension to ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Some of our friends, while working on this book had discussed it with me also.
And some time ago, I was pleasantly surprised when this book was in the news again because Akbar Sahab an artist living in Abu Dhabi, proposed that he wishes to sketch the topics on which various episodes of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ were based, and without taking a single rupee Akbar sahab transformed ‘Mann Ki Baat’ into art as a gesture of his love. I am grateful to Akbar Sahab. My dear countrymen, when we shall meet next time by then monsoon rains would be lashing every corner of the country, the weather would have changed, examination results would have arrived, the journey of education will begin anew and the rains would bring a hope, pleasant fragrance, a new aroma! Come let us move ahead while loving nature in such a pleasant atmosphere. My many felicitations and best wishes to you.
My dearest countrymen namaskar. Before each episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat, ’suggestions pour in Aakashvani, on NarendraModiApp, come through on MyGov, by the phone and come by the means of recorded messages from every corner of the country and people of every age group, And sometimes when I take the time to view them, for me it becomes an extremely pleasant experience. One comes across such a wide spectrum of information, one finds that every corner of the country is filled with talented people. Like a selfless seeker, these countless people are consumed by desire to contribute something to the society, on the other hand there are mounds of problems that perhaps even the government does not notice! Maybe the system has also become accustomed in dealing with these problems, and so do have the people become accustomed to them. I have come across the inquisitiveness of children, the ambitions of the youth, and the gist of the experience of elders! Myriad kind of facts emerges.
Every time the inputs that come in response to every episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, are analyzed in detail by the government. What are the kinds of suggestions, what are the kinds of complaints and what are the experiences of the people? It is an inherent human nature to advise others. While travelling in the train or the bus if someone coughs, the next person immediately advises a cure. To offer advice or suggest a solution, are part of our nature. In the beginning, when suggestions came in response to a certain episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, one could discern words of advice, and you could read them too, so our team always felt that many people might have had this particular habit of proffering advice. But when we analyzed the suggestions minutely, I really became quite emotional.
Most of those who give suggestions or try to reach to me are those who are really doing something in their lives. They are making efforts and are engrossed as per their intellect, capacity, ability and circumstances so that something good must happen. And when these things came to my notice I felt that these suggestions are extraordinary. These are suggestions that have emerged out of a certain squeeze of life’s experiences. Some people also give suggestions thinking that if an idea has the potential to work then more people would listen to it if it is heard on a wider platform and hence many people can benefit. And therefore it is their natural desire that it gets a mention in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ According to me all of these things are extremely positive steps.
First of all, I express my gratitude to the Karma yogis and those people who have offered some or the other service to the society and recommend maximum suggestions. And not only this, when I mention something positive, such memories come to recall, it is very much a pleasant experience. In the previous ‘Mann Ki Baat’, some people had suggested to me that food was being wasted; not only had I expressed my concern but mentioned it too.
And upon my mention, there were mentions of many innovative ideas to save food from being wasted that are being put into practice employed in many corners of the country on NarendraModiApp and also on MyGov. I had never even imagined that in our country especially the young generation has been doing this kind of work from a long time. Some social institutions have been involved in this activity for many years was common knowledge, but the youth of my country are engaged in this task, I only came to know later. Many have sent me the videos of their work in this field. There are many places where ‘Roti Banks’ are operating. In the Roti Banks, the leftover rotis are deposited by people, they also deposit the leftover vegetables and the needy can obtain food from these banks. The person who donates rotis feels a sense of satisfaction also, the recipient also does not feel humiliated.
These are examples of how work can be achieved with the help of society. Today is the last day of month of April.
1st May is the foundation day of the states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. On this occasion, many felicitations to the citizens of these two states on my behalf. Both states have made constant strides to scale newer heights of development and have contributed toward the advancement of the country. And both the states had a steady stream of great men whose lives and sterling contributions in every sphere of society is a source of inspiration for us.
In remembrance of these great men, on the foundation day of these two states, we should take the pledge of taking our state, our country, our society, our city, and our family to glorious heights in 2022, when we celebrate 75 years of independence. Plans should be drawn to achieve that pledge and taken forward with the cooperation of all citizens.
I wish the very best to these two states. There used to be a time when climate change was a subject confined to the domain of the academic world, it used to be the topic for seminars, but today, we experience it in our everyday life and it also astounds us. Nature has also changed the rules of the game.
The heat that we used to experience in months of May-June in our country is being felt in March-April this year. So, when I was taking suggestions for ‘Mann Ki Baat’, most of the suggestions offered related to what should be done to beat the heat during summer time.
Most of the suggestions or practices to beat summer are not new but are prevalent for a long time, however it is very useful to remember them from time to time. Shri Prashant Kumar Mishra, Shri T.
Kartik and many such friends have expressed their concern about birds during the summer. They’ve mentioned that water should be kept in trays and utensils on the balcony and on the terrace. I have seen that small children of the family do this very enthusiastically. Once they understand why they should fill the pots with water they would go and inspect 10 times in a day to ensure there is water in the tray. And also watch if the birds came or not.
We think as if it is a game going on, but in actuality, this is a novel way of instilling empathy in the child's mind. You can also experience for yourself that a little attachment to an animal or a bird makes you feel very happy. Some time back, Shri Mr. Jagat Bhai from Gujarat, had sent his book, 'Save the Sparrows' in which he not only expressed concern about the continuously declining number of sparrows, but also what steps he has taken in a mission mode for the conservation of the sparrow which is very nicely described in that book. In our country, we are traditionally imbued with a sense of symbiotic co-existence with animals, birds and nature yet it is necessary that collective efforts in this regard should be emphasized. When I was Chief Minister of Gujarat, Syedna Sahib the religious leader of Dawoodi Bohra Community had completed his hundred years.
He lived till 103 years. As part of the celebration of his 100 th year the Bohra community society had launched a huge campaign to save the sparrow under the aegis of Burhani Foundation. I had the opportunity to inaugurate it. Nearly 52 thousand bird feeders were distributed in every nook and corner of the world.
This effort also found a mention in the Guinness book of World Records. Sometimes we are so busy, that we even forget to offer water to the newspaper boy, the milkman, the vegetable seller, the postman or anybody else who come to our house in peak summer days. Young friends, I want to have a chat with you too. I am sometimes worried that much of our younger generation prefer leading life in their comfort zones. Parents also raise their children in a very protective manner.
True there are other extremes also but most are brought up in this comfort zone syndrome. Now the examinations have ended and you must be done with your plans to enjoy the vacation. Summer vacations feel good inspite of scorching heat. But as a friend, I want to suggest you certain tips about of how to utilize your vacation. I believe some people will put them to use and they will tell me about that too.
Would you like to use this time of vacation gainfully, I offer three suggestions, it will be good if you follow all of the three but then try to do atleast one of the three. See that you gain a new experience. Try to take the opportunity of acquiring a new skill. Try to experience something that you have neither heard before, nor seen, nor thought of and yet there is a curiosity in your mind. You must try new places, new experiences and new skills. There is huge difference between to sometime to see something on television or reading about it in the book or listening about it from acquaintances and to experiencing the same thing yourself.
I will urge you to try to experience and satiate your curiosity on any subject during this vacation. Try a new experiment. The experiment must be positive and a little out of your comfort zone. We all belong to the middle class and happy comfortable families. Friends have you ever thought of travelling in a Second Class railway Compartment without a reservation, and going for atleast a 24 hours ride? What great experience it will be? How are the lives of your co- passengers, what do they do at the station when they alight from the train?
What you cannot learn in a year, you will learn in that crowded train travelling without any reservation for 24 hours! You might not get to sleep and have to travel standing. Try it, just experience it once, I am not asking you to try it again and again, do it once. In the evening, take your football or your volleyball or any other sports item and go to a colony of poor and lesser privileged people. Play with those poor kids, you will experience a new kind of joy, the kind you would have never experienced in your life before-that’s the kind of joy you’ll experience!
Have you ever thought what changes would come in the lives of those kids who live in abject poverty when get the opportunity to play with you. And I believe that if you go there once, your heart will tell you to go back again and again. This experience will teach you a lot. Many volunteer organizations are engaged in this kind of work.
You are connected to Google Guru, try searching on it and get associated with any such organization for 15 days or 20 days. Go, explore, go to the jungles. Sometimes there are summer camps, for development of different facets of your personality. You can participate in these camps. But at the same time, don’t you feel that after you’ve attended such summer camps, you have participated in the courses for development of personality and you reach out to those people who have no such opportunity and teach them what you have learned without taking any money. It is possible that you can teach them.
I am also worried that technology evolved to reduce the distance, technology came in to being to end the boundaries. But the end result of this is that six people in the same house are sitting in the same room but they are separated by unimaginable distances! Everyone has become so busy with technology in his or her own way.
Collectivity is also a way of life, collectivity is power in itself. Secondly I had mentioned about skill acquisition, don’t you feel that you should learn something new!
Today is the era of competition. You get so submerged in the preparation for the examinations, get so consumed to obtain the best grades, there are coaching classes going on even in vacations and you’re worrying about the next exam! Sometimes you feel scared that our youth have become robot like, living life like a machine. Friends, dreams of making it big in life is a good thing, it is good to have some purpose in life, and you must achieve your goals. But also self-evaluate whether the human element within yourself is getting frustrated, are we not moving away from our human qualities. Can’t a little emphasis be given on this aspect in Skill development?
Get away from technology, and try to spend some time with yourself. Learn a musical instrument or learn a few sentences of a new language, Tamil, Telugu, Assamese, Bengali, Malayalam, Gujarati, Marathi or Punjabi. This is a country full of diversity and if you look, then there can be someone who can teach us something new is just around the corner. If you don’t know how to swim, then learn swimming, try doing some drawing, even if you do not end up making the best drawing, try to practice putting hand to the paper! The empathy within you will begin to appear. Sometimes if our heart desires to learn the trade of so called ‘small people’ then let us learn it, why not?
You want to learn to drive a car but then do you ever want to learn how to drive an auto-rickshaw? You’re able to ride a bicycle but have you ever tried to operate the three-wheeler cycle or rickshaw which transports people? You see, all these new experiments, these skills are such that they will bring you joy and will remove you from the limitations of life to which you’re tied down!
Do something out of the box, my Friends. This is the only time to make something of your life. And if you think that after appearing in all exams, at a new threshold of your career you will learn some new skill, then you won’t get a chance. At that time you will be tangled into other things and therefore I tell you if you have a passion to learn magic then learn the card tricks! Keep showing the tricks to your friends.
Try to know about things about which you have no prior knowledge, it will definitely benefit you. Your inner human potential will awaken and this will provide a great opportunity for development. I can tell you from my experience of going around the world, that the amount we can learn by seeing the world is something we cannot even imagine. New places, new cities, new towns, new villages, new areas. But before leaving for a particular place, preparing for the journey and upon reaching your destination gathering information about it like a seeker of knowledge, understanding about the place and having discussions with the local people, if you make an effort in this manner then the pleasure of visiting the particular place would be something else!
Do try to do it; of course do not travel too much in one go. Go to a destination and spend three to four days there. Then go to the next and spend a like duration there. You will get to learn a lot that way. I wish you share your travel photographs with me, it will be nice. What new did you see! Where did you travel to!
Make good use of the hash tag Incredible India and share your experiences. Friends, this time around, the government of India has provided you with a great opportunity. The new generation is more or less freeing itself from the shackles of cash. It does not need cash.
It has begun adopting digital currency. I know you do it, but have you ever wondered that you can earn using this very scheme? It is a scheme of the Government of India. You must be downloading the BHIM App and using it. But do refer it to others; make others join you in that. If the new member does three transactions, performs financial business thrice, you stand to earn ten rupees for that. Ten rupees will be credited to your account from the government.
If you involve twenty persons in a day, by evening, you would’ve earned two hundred rupees. The traders can earn, so can students. And this scheme is valid till the 14 th of October. It will be your contribution towards making of a digital India. You’ll become a sentinel of New India.
The joy of a vacation coupled with income! Refer and earn. Generally speaking, in our country there exists an atmosphere of disdain towards the VIP culture. But that it runs so very deep, I just experienced, when the government recently decided that no person in India, whatsoever his status might be, will not move with a red beacon atop his vehicle. In a way it had become a symbol of the VIP culture.
Experience tells us that whereas the red beacon used to be fixed atop the vehicle, atop the car, slowly & steadily it permeated into the psyche and got firmly entrenched in the mindset. The red beacon now has gone for good but nobody can say with certainty that the same in the mindset has also disappeared. I have received a very interesting phone call. Though the caller has expressed the same apprehension. One can discern from this phone call that common men detest these tendencies.
They feel distanced. “Namaskar Pradhan Mantri ji, I am Shivaa Choubey calling from Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh. I wish to say something on the government’s ban on red beacons. I read a line in a newspaper, ‘Every Indian is a VIP on the road’. It made me feel very proud. I am glad that today, even my time is equally important.
I don’t have to be caught in a traffic jam and I don’t have to stop for anyone as well. I want to thank you from the core of my heart for this decision. And the Swachch Bharat Campaign that you have launched will not only clean our country, it will get rid of the VIP hegemony from our roads. Many thanks for that.” The exit of the red beacon through a government decision is part of a system. But we have to make efforts to cleanse it out of our minds. If we collectively strive to do it with eternal vigilance, it surely can be flushed out. Our concept of New India precisely is that in place of VIP, more priority should be accorded to EPI.
And when I’m saying EPI in place of VIP, the essence of my sentiment is clear – every person is important. Every person has his or her own importance, every person possesses a sagacious aura, Mahaatmya, in a unique manner.
Let us warmly accept the importance of a hundred & twenty five crore countrymen, let us respectfully embrace the Mahaatmya, the divine greatness of a hundred & twenty five crore Indians and we’ll garner strength of immense magnitude. We have to do this together. My dear countrymen, I maintain time & again that we should keep re - visiting the annals of our history, traditions and culture. That lends us energy and inspiration. This year, we the hundred & twenty five crore countrymen are celebrating the thousandth birth anniversary of Saint Ramanujacharya.
For one reason or the other, we confine ourselves to celebrating and observing centenaries of events mostly. For other countries of the world, a century may be of immense significance. But India is such an ancient Nation that we are the proud inheritors of thousands and thousands of years of heritage, knowledge and civilized existence and have an opportunity to observe and celebrate a memorial heritage of over thousand years.
Just try and imagine it. Even today breaking the shackles Social orthodoxy is so difficult. How would society be a thousand years ago? What kind of a mindset would be prevalent then? Not many would know that Ramanujacharya relentlessly struggled against rampant social evils such as the class divide, the chasm between touchable and untouchables and the caste system. Through his own conduct, he embraced those who were ostracized by society.
A thousand years ago, he launched an agitation allowing their entry into temples and succeeded in facilitating the same. We are indeed fortunate that in every era, for eradicating social evils, noble souls, great men were born in this society itself. Now that we are celebrating the 1000 th birth anniversary of Ramanujacharya, we should gain inspiration from him in our endeavour to foster social unity, to bolster the adage ‘unity is strength’. In memory of Saint Ramanujacharya, the government of India is releasing a stamp tomorrow, the 1 st of May. I respectfully salute Saint Ramanujacharya and pay tributes to him.
My dear countrymen, tomorrow, that is the 1 st of May, carries one more significance. In many parts of the world, it is observed as ‘Labour Day’. And when ‘Labour Day’ is referred to, labour is discussed, labourers are discussed, it is but natural for me to remember Babasaheb Ambedkar.
You would be aware that for the facilities and respect that workers have earned, we are grateful to Babasaheb. One can never forget the contribution of Babasaheb towards the welfare of the working class. Today when I refer to Babasaheb, when I talk about Ramanujacharya, I’m also reminded of the great 12 th century saint & social reformer from Karnataka Jagat Guru Basaveshwar. Yesterday I got the opportunity to be part of a function. It was the occasion of dedication to the nation of his collection of Vachana Amrit, the elixir of his spoken words. In the 12 th century, he had laid down his profound thoughts on labour & workers. He had mentioned in Kannada “Kaay Kave Kailas” it means, it is just through your perseverance that you can obtain Kailash, the abode of Shiva.
This means, it is only endeavour or Karma that leads you to attain Swarga, or heaven. In other words, labour, hard work is Shiva. I repeatedly mention ‘Shrameva Jayate’, and Dignity of Labour. I distinctly remember the words of Shriman Dattopant Thengdi, the founder of Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, the thinker, who deliberated a lot on the working class. He used to remark, on the one hand, inspired by Maoism, ‘Workers of the world unite’, on the other he would say, workers, come, unite the world. Today when I refer to workers, it is but natural to remember Dattopant Thengdi.
My dear countrymen, a few days from now, we shall celebrate Budha Purnima. Followers of Lord Budha across the world celebrate the festival. The world today is undergoing a plethora of problems such as violence, war, annihilation, the arms race et al. Amidst this atmosphere, the philosophy of Buddha comes across as extremely relevant. And in India, Ashok’s life perfectly epitomizes the transformation from war to enlightenment.
I feel fortunate that the occasion of the great festival of Budha Purnima is celebrated as Vesak day by the United Nations. This year it will take place in Sri Lanka. On this holy event I shall get an opportunity to pay tributes to Lord Budha in Sri Lanka. It will be an opportune moment to re-visit his ideals. My dear countrymen, India has always advanced on the path of progress in the spirit of Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas inclusive development for all.
And when we say Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, it is not limited to the confines of India. It applies to the global context too. And very specially to our neighbouring countries. May our neighbouring countries be with us in our journey, may they develop equally.
There are many projects under way. On the 5 th of May, India will launch the South Asia Satellite.
The capacities of this satellite and the facilities it provides will go a long way in addressing South Asia’s economic and developmental priorities. Natural resources mapping, tele medicine, the field of education, deeper IT connectivity or fostering people to people contact - this satellite will prove to be a boon in the progress of the entire region.
It is an important step by India to enhance co-operation with the entire South Asia it is an invaluable gift. This is an appropriate example of our commitment towards South Asia. I welcome all the South Asian countries who have joined us on the South Asia Satellite in this momentous endeavour. My best wishes to them. My dear countrymen, the weather is too hot and inhospitable, take care of your loved ones and take care of yourselves. Wish you all the best.
My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Parents in most parts of the country must be busy with their children’s examinations. There would be a sense of relief where the examinations are over, but where the examinations are still on, there certainly would still be some amount of pressure. However, at a time like this I would only say that students may listen again to what I had said in my ‘Mann Ki Baat’ last time. I am sure that my suggestions there will be of substantial help while they sit for their examinations. Today is the 26th of March. 26th March is the Independence Day of Bangladesh.
It was a historic war against injustice, which was fought under the leadership of “Banga-Bandhu” and led to the unprecedented victory of the people of Bangladesh. I extend my heartfelt greetings to the brothers and sisters of Bangladesh, on this significant day. And I hope that Bangladesh marches ahead on the path of progress. I also assure the citizens of Bangladesh that India is a strong partner, and a good friend, and we will continue to work together shoulder to shoulder to contribute towards the peace, security and development of this entire region.
It is a matter of great pride for all of us that Rabindranath Tagore and his memories are a shared heritage. The National Anthem of Bangladesh too, has been composed by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore.
There is a very interesting fact about Gurudev that in 1913 he was not only the first Asian to receive the Nobel Prize, but Knighthood was also conferred upon him by the British. After the Jallianwallah Massacre by the British in 1919, Rabindranath Tagore was one of the legendary figures, who raised their voices in protest. And it was at the same time, that this event left a very deep impact on a twelve-year-old boy. The inhuman massacre at Jallianwalla Bagh, provided a new inspiration and mission in life to that young teenager, who until then had spent his days playing merrily in his fields.
And Bhagat, that 12-year old boy in 1919, evolved to be the martyr Bhagat Singh, our dear hero and inspiration. On the 23rd of March, Bhagat Singh Ji and his comrades, Sukhdev and Rajguru, were hanged to death by the British, and we are all aware of that. There was a sense of fulfillment on the faces of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru for having served Mother India - - there was no fear of death. They had sublimated all their dreams for the freedom of Mother India. These three heroes inspire us to this day. It would be impossible to express in words the story of the supreme sacrifice of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru.
And the entire British Empire feared these three young men. They were in jail, certain to be hanged, but still the British remained anxious about how to deal with them. That is why, though the scheduled date was the 24th, they were hanged on the 23rd of March. This was done clandestinely, which is not the usual practice. And later, their remains were brought to present day Punjab, and were secretly cremated. Many years ago, when I first got the chance to go there, I could feel a certain vibration in that place.
And I would certainly urge the youth of our country to go to Punjab, whenever they get the chance, and visit the ‘samadhi’ of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru, Bhagat Singh’s mother and Batukeshwar Dutt. That was the period when the desire for freedom, its intensity, and spread were on the rise. On the one hand, brave hearts like Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru, were inspiring the youth towards an armed revolution. And on the other hand, exactly one hundred years ago on the 10th of April, 1917, Mahatma Gandhi had launched the Champaran Satyagraha. This year marks the centenary of the Champaran Satyagraha. In India’s struggle for freedom, Gandhian thought and Gandhian practice became manifest for the first time in Champaran. This was a turning point in the entire journey of India’s freedom struggle, especially in the context of the methodology of the struggle.
This was the period when, in the Champaran Satyagraha, Kheda Satyagraha, and the mill-workers’ strike in Ahmedabad, the deep impact of Mahatma Gandhi’s thoughts and practices was amply and clearly visible. Gandhi returned to India in 1915, and in 1917, he went to a small village in Bihar and gave the country a new inspiration. We cannot evaluate the Champaran Satyagraha on the basis of the image of Mahatma Gandhi that we cherish in our hearts today. Just imagine that one man, who came to India in 1915, and had been in the country for barely two years. The country didn’t know of him, he bore no influence then; it was just the beginning. We can only imagine the hardships that he must have endured, how hard he must have had to toil. And it was the Champaran Satyagraha that brought to the fore, Mahatma Gandhi’s organisational skills, and his strong ability to gauge the pulse of Indian society.
Mahatma Gandhi, through his demeanour and deeds, could inspire the poorest of the poor, the most illiterate, to unite and come together out into the open for the struggle against the British Rule; this was a manifestation of an incredible inner strength, through which we can experience the vastness of Mahatma Gandhi’s great persona. But if we reflect upon the Gandhi of a hundred years ago, the Gandhi of the Champaran Satyagraha, that would be a subject of deep study for anyone about to enter public life. We can all learn from Gandhi Ji what it means to begin a life of public service, how hard one has to work, as Gandhi did. And that was the period when all the stalwarts, that we hear about today: Rajendra Babu, Acharya Kripalani Ji, and others were all sent to the villages by Gandhi Ji. Ways and means to connect with the people and lending hues of freedom to their day to day work were taught.
And the British were simply unable to comprehend Gandhi Ji’s unique style of working, which encompassed both struggle and creation together. In a way, Gandhi created two sides of the same coin; one being struggle and the other, creativity. To get themselves arrested voluntarily to fill jails, on the one hand, and on the other to immerse themselves in creative work. Gandhi’s style of working had an incredible balance. What the word, ‘Satyagraha’ means, what disagreement can mean, what Non-Cooperation in the face of such a vast Empire could be –Gandhi Ji established a completely new vision of resistance, not through mere words, but through a successful experiment.
Today, as the nation observes the centenary of the Champaran Satyagraha, the immense power of the common man, so visible in the struggle for freedom, manifests again in the journey from Swaraj to Suraaj, the resolve, the perseverance of the 125 crore countrymen, following the tenet of ‘Sarvyajan Hitaay, Sarvajan Sukhaay’ i.e. For the benefit of all, for the happiness of all, and the ceaseless enterprise to achieve something for the country, the society, would bring about the realisation of the dreams of the great souls who laid down their lives for the sake of Freedom. Today, as we live in the 21st century, which Indian wouldn’t want to see India change, which Indian wouldn’t want to be a partner in the transformation of the country! This desire of 125 crore countrymen for change, the effort to change, is what will lay a strong foundation of a ‘New India’. ‘New India’ is neither a government programme, nor is it the manifesto of a political party, nor is it a project.
‘New India’ is the clarion call of 125 crore countrymen. It is the essence of the emotions of the 125 crore Indians wanting to come together and create a magnificent India. 125 crore Indians nurture a hope, a zeal, a resolve, a desire. My dear countrymen, if we, for a moment, pause to look with empathy at the happenings in society around us, and if we try to understand these, we would be amazed to see that there are lakhs of people, who besides their own personal responsibilities are working selflessly, for society - the exploited, victimised, deprived; for the poor and the oppressed. That too silently, and with devotion, as if they are performing ‘tapasya’ or ‘sadhana’. There are many who regularly go to hospitals to serve patients.
There are many who rush to donate blood, when required. There are many who try to provide food to the hungry.
Our country is a many splendoured land. The belief that Service to humanity is service to God, is innate to us. If we look at it in its collectiveness, in an organised manner, it comes across as a major force. When there is a talk of ‘New India’, its criticism, its analysis, it counter views, are but natural, and that is a fundamental of democracy. But it is true that if 125 crore countrymen resolve, and decide to walk step by step on a path to realise that resolve, the dream of ‘New India’ can be fulfilled in our lifetime. And all these things are not necessarily achieved through the Budget, government projects, or government money.
If every citizen resolves to obey traffic rules, if every citizen resolves that he will discharge his duties honestly, if every citizen resolves that he will not use petrol or diesel one day in a week - - these are not very big things. But these will contribute to the realisation of the dream of this country, this ‘New India’, that is being nurtured by 125 crore countrymen, and this realisation will be achieved before their eyes.
In essence, every citizen must discharge his civic duties and responsibilities. This in itself would be a good beginning to the New India. As India gets ready to celebrate 75 years of Independence in 2022, come let us remember Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev, Rajguru. Let us remember the Champaran Satyagraha.
Why don’t we too, be a part of this journey from ‘Swaraj to Suraaj’ by making our lives disciplined, and filled with resolve. Come, I invite you. My dear countrymen, today I want to express my gratitude to all of you. Over the last few months the country has witnessed a certain atmosphere in which people in large numbers have participated in the digital payment, ‘Digidhan’ movement. There has also been an increase in curiosity about cashless transactions. The poorest of the poor are making an attempt to learn, and people are gradually moving towards doing businesses without cash. There has been a surge in various modes of digital payment after demonetisation.
The BHIM-App was launched just about two to two and a half months ago, but approximately one and half crore people have downloaded it. My dear countrymen, we must take our fight against black money and corruption to the next level. Can 125 crore countrymen resolve to undertake 2500 crores digital transactions during this year?
We have made an announcement in the Budget. Our 125 crore countrymen, if they wish to do so, they need not wait for a year; they can do it in six months. 2500 crore digital transactions - - - if we pay school fees, we shall do so not by cash but digitally, if we travel by train, travel by air, we shall pay digitally, if buy medicines, we shall pay digitally, if we run fair price shops, we will use the digital mode. We can do this in our day to day lives. You can’t imagine how you can serve the country in this way and become a brave soldier in the fight against black money and corruption. Recently, several Digidhan-mela programmes were organised to educate the people and to increase public awareness.
The resolve was to organise 100 such programmes all over the country. About 80-85 programmes have already been conducted. There was also a reward scheme. Close to 12 and half lakh people have won prizes. Seventy thousand traders also won the prizes instituted for them.
Each and every one of them also resolved to carry this mission forward. The birth anniversary of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar is on the 14th of April. And as was decided much earlier, the Digimela will be brought to a culmination on the 14th of April, the birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
On the completion of a hundred days, a grand closing ceremony will be held. There is a provision of a bumper draw also in that. I believe that in whatever time that is left before Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, we should popularise and promote the BHIM-App.
We should contribute towards ensuring reducing the use of cash, of currency notes. My dear countrymen, I am glad that every time, I request people for suggestions in Mann Ki Baat, numerous suggestions pour in. But I have seen that there is always an emphasis on the topic of cleanliness. Gayatri, a young girl from Dehradun, who is a student of class 11, has phoned in with a message: - “Esteemed Principal, Prime Minister Sir, my respectful greetings to you. To begin with, heartiest congratulations on your victory in the elections, with a huge margin. I wish to share the issue close to my heart with you.
I want to say that people will have to be made aware about the importance of cleanliness. Every day I pass by a river, in which people dump a lot of garbage and pollute rivers. The river flows under the Rispana Bridge before passing by my home. For the sake of this river we went to settlements on its banks, spoke to people and took out rallies too, but to no avail. I want to request you to kindly highlight this issue by sending a team there, or through the newspapers. Thank you.” Brothers and sisters, look at the agony of this young daughter, the 11th class student. How enraged she is by seeing the river strewn with trash.
I consider this to be a good omen. This is exactly what I want - - that 125 crore countrymen be angered by filth. Once there is anger, dissatisfaction, rage, we will be compelled to act against this scourge. The good thing is that Gayatri is expressing her own anger, and giving suggestions to me, but she also goes on to say, that she has made several efforts but could not succeed. There has been an awareness ever since the launch of the Cleanliness Movement. Each person has become associated with it in a positive manner.
This has now truly taken the form of a movement. There has been an increase in the disgust towards squalor. When there is awareness and active participation in the movement, it has its own significance. But cleanliness is more about a habit than a movement.
This movement is geared towards bringing about a change in the habit, a movement to inculcate the HABIT of cleanliness. This movement can be accomplished collectively. It is a difficult task, but we have to do it.
I am sure that this resolve that has arisen in the younger generation, in children, in students, in the youth, augurs well for achieving good results. I would urge my fellow countrymen, who have heard Gayatri’s message in my ‘Mann Ki Baat’ today, that it should be a message to all of us. My dear Countrymen, right from the beginning since I have started the programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I have been receiving a lot of suggestions on one issue, and in most of those, people have expressed concern about food wastage.
We know that at home and at feasts and social gatherings, we tend to serve ourselves more food than we need. We put each and everything on offer, on our plates, but we fail to finish what we have taken. We can’t even finish half of what is on our plates and then leave it uneaten.
Have you ever thought about how much food we waste? Have you ever thought how many poor people can be fed if we don’t thus waste our food? This is not something that needs to be taught.
As it is, in our families, mothers always tell their children to take only as much food they can eat. There is always some effort made in this direction, but still the apathy on this issue is a crime against society. It is an injustice to the poor. On the other hand, if we are able to avoid wastage, the family too benefits economically. So while it is good to care about society, this is beneficial to the family as well. I am not urging too much on this issue, but I would like this awareness to spread. I do know some young persons, who are active in such campaigns.
They have created Mobile Apps. And when people call them about there being leftover food anywhere, they collect it and put it to good use. They work hard, and these are our own young people. You will find such people somewhere in each and every state of India.
The lives of these people can inspire us not to waste food. We should take only as much as we can eat. See, these are the pathways leading towards change. And those who are health conscious always say that, there should always be some space left both in the stomach and on the plate. Now that we are talking about health, 7th April is World Health Day.
United Nations has resolved to provide universal health coverage for all by 2030. This year on the occasion of World Health Day on the 7th of April, United Nations has focused on Depression, which is the theme this year. We are familiar with this word, depression.
According to one estimate, more than 35 crore people in the world suffer from depression. The problem is that we are unable to fully comprehend it even amongst those around us, and perhaps we also hesitate to talk about it openly, with our family and friends. The person suffering from depression too doesn’t speak out himself as he feels a sense of shame about it. I want to tell my countrymen, that depression is not incurable. There is a need to create a psychologically conducive environment to begin with.
The first mantra is the expression of depression instead of its suppression. Share openly what you are going through, with your colleagues, friends, parents, brothers, and teachers. Sometimes one is overcome by a sense of loneliness - - - students living in hostels are particularly vulnerable to it. We are fortunate that we have been raised in joint families, large families, where there is communication, which eliminates the chances of getting into depression. But I would still like to tell parents that if you notice your son or daughter or any other member of your family - - - earlier the entire family used to dine together.
But if someone in the family says, “No, I will eat later.” He doesn’t come to the dining table. When the entire family is going on an outing, he just says, “No, I don’t want to come today.” He professes a desire to be alone. Have you ever wondered why he does so? You can be sure that this the first step towards depression.
If he prefers to stay away from a group, and tends to be all by himself, do make an effort to ensure that this does not happen. He should be given an opportunity to be amongst people with whom he speaks openly.
Try to encourage him to express himself, to reveal and bring out his insecurities and complexes while engaging him in light-hearted happy conversation. This is a very good way of dealing with it. Depression can be the root cause of many mental and physical ailments. Just as diabetes can be the root cause of all sorts of diseases, depression too, destroys all our abilities to sustain, to fight, to display courage and to take a decision. Your friends, your family, your surroundings, and environment, all these can prevent you from going into depression and if you unfortunately has gone into it, they can also pull you out of it. There is another way.
If you are unable to express yourself to your family and friends, then do one thing, go out in society with a sense of service. Devote yourself with all your heart into helping others and sharing their joys and sorrows. You will find that along with it your own inner sufferings will go on disappearing. If you try to sympathise with the sufferings of others with a sense of service, a new self-confidence will be born within you. By connecting with others, serving them and serving them selflessly, you will easily be able to shed the weight oppressing your own heart and mind. Yoga too is a good means for mental wellbeing. Yoga helps in relieving tension and stress, and leads one towards a happy state of mind.
21st June is the International Day of Yoga. This will be the third year of its observance.
You all should start preparing for it right away. Collective Yoga festivals should be celebrated with the participation of millions.
If you have any ideas for the Third International Yoga Day, please do send me your suggestions and guidance through my mobile Application. You could compose as many songs and poems on Yoga, as possible, as these can be easily understood by the masses.
Today I would like to say something especially to mothers and sisters also, since health and wellbeing have been a major part of our conversation today. Recently, the Government of India has taken a very important decision. The working-class women in our country - their numbers are increasing day by day, their participation is increasing and this is a welcome trend. But women also shoulder certain special responsibilities. They look after the family.
They also have to share the financial responsibilities of running the household, and because of that sometimes, the newborn has to bear some injustice of neglect. The Government of India has taken a very important decision.
These working women will now be given maternity leave of 26 weeks, instead of the earlier 12 weeks, for their pregnancy and delivery. There are now only two or three countries in the world that are ahead of us in this matter. India has taken a very important decision for these working women sisters of ours. The basic aim is to ensure proper care of the newborn, the future citizen of India, from the time of birth. The newborn should get the complete love and attention of the mother. That is how these children will become true assets of the country when they grow up. Mothers too will remain healthy.
And that is why, this is such a landmark decision, and this will benefit 18 lakh women working in the formal sector. My dear countrymen, we will celebrate the auspicious day of Ram Navami on the 5th of April, Mahavir Jayanti is on the 9th of April, and on the 14th of April is the birth Anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar.
May the lives of all these great luminaries inspire us, and give us the strength to resolve ourselves to the cause of New India. My heartiest new year greetings for Chaitra Shukla Pratipada, Varsh Pratipada, and Nav Samvatsar, which are two days from now.
After Vasant Ritu or the season of Spring, it is now the time for the ripening of the crops, and the time for the farmers to reap the benefits of their hard work. The new year is celebrated in different ways in different parts of our country. New year is Gudi Padva in Maharashtra, Ugadi in Andhra and Karnataka, for the Sindhi it is Cheti Chand, Navreh in Kashmir, Samvatsar Pooja in the Awadh Region, Jud-Sheetal in the Mithila region of Bihar and the festival of Satuvani in the Magadh region. India is a country blessed with rich diversity. My heartiest greetings and best wishes to you all on this New Year. My dear countrymen, Namaskar.
Winter is on its way out. Vasant, the season of spring has just started to step into our lives.
After the departure of PATJHAD, when old and withered leaves fall, new leaves begin to sprout on the trees. Flowers bloom. Gardens and orchards sport a verdant green. The melodious chirping of birds warms the cockles of our hearts. Not just flowers, fruits too appear to be shining bathed in the sun rays on tree branches. The flower heads of the summer fruit mango manifest themselves in the spring season itself.
At the same time bright yellow flowers of mustard swaying in their fields kindle hope in the hearts of the farmers. Blossoming of bright red Jungle Flame flowers, better known as Tesu or Palash heralds the advent of Holi.
Amir Khusro has portrayed these moments of change of season in a very interesting manner. Amir Khusro has written: Phool rahi sarson sakal ban Ambwa phoote, Tesu phoole Koyal bole, daar daar, that is, Behold the mustard blooming everywhere, all around Here the inflorescence on the mango tree, there the Jungle Flame blossoms The nightingale can’t help but sing merrily on the branches. When nature is at her joyous best, when the season is enchanting, we human beings too enjoy this to the fullest. The festivals of Vasant Panchami, Mahashivratri and Holi, impart hues of happiness to a person’s life.
In an ambience of love, brotherhood and humanity, we are about to bid adieu to the last month of Phalgun and are eagerly awaiting to welcome the arrival of the new month of Chaitra. The Ritu of Vasant, that is, the season of spring is indeed the confluence of these two months. At the outset, I express my gratitude to lakhs of citizens of our country for sending in a multitude of suggestions when I ask for them before ‘Mann Ki Baat’. On the NarendraModiApp, on Twitter, on Facebook, by post - I thank all of you for that. Shobha Jalan has written to me on the NarendraModiApp that many in the public are not aware of the achievements of ISRO.
And therefore she wants me to provide some information on the recent launch of 104 satellites and the Interceptor Missile. Shobha Ji, thank you very much for paying attention to this shining example of India’s pride. Whether it is eradicating poverty, preventing diseases, connecting with the world, or disseminating knowledge and information, technology and science have made a mark for themselves.
15th February, 2017 is a day of immense pride for India. Our scientists have brought laurels to the nation, witnessed by the whole world. And we know that over the last few years, ISRO has accomplished various unprecedented missions with flying colours. After the successful mission of sending Mangalyaan to planet Mars, recently ISRO scripted a world record in the arena of space. In a mega mission, ISRO has successfully launched 104 satellites simultaneously into space. These satellites belonged to various countries such as America, Israel, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Switzerland, UAE and, of course, India.
India has created history by becoming the first country to launch successfully 104 satellites into space at one go. And what is further heartening is the fact that this was PSLV’s 38th successive successful launch. This is a historic achievement for not just ISRO but for all of India. This cost effective, efficient space programme of ISRO has become a marvel for the entire world; the world has admired this success of Indian scientists of India whole-heartedly. Brother & sisters, one out of these 104 satellites is extremely important.
It is Cartosat 2D, which is India’s satellite and the pictures clicked through it will be of great help in mapping of resources and infrastructure, evaluating development and planning for urban development. Particularly for my farmer brothers and sisters, our new Satellite Cartosat 2D will be immensely helpful on a whole lot of subjects such as knowing how much water is there in our existing water sources, how this should be best put to use, what things to keep in mind in this regard. Almost immediately after its launch, our satellite has sent back some pictures.
It has commenced functioning. It is also a matter of exultation for us that this entire campaign was led and steered by our young scientists, our women scientists. This tremendous participation of youth and women is a major glorious dimension in ISRO’s success. On behalf of our countrymen, I heartily congratulate the scientists at ISRO. Adhering consistently to the objective of bringing Space Science to the common man, for the service of the nation, they are creating one record after another. One runs short of words in complimenting and congratulating our scientists, their entire team.
Shobha Ji has asked one more question and that pertains to the security of India. It is about India having acquired a great capability. This important matter has not been discussed much, but it has drawn Shobha Ji’s attention.
In the field of defence also, India has successfully test fired the Ballistic Interceptor Missile. During its trial, this missile, based on interceptor technology, destroyed an enemy missile at an altitude of about 100 km above the surface of the earth and thus marked its success. This is a significant, cutting edge competency in the arena of security. And you will be happy to know that hardly four or five countries in the world possess this capability.
India’s scientists have demonstrated this prowess. Its core strength lies in the fact that if, even from a distance of 2000 km, a missile is launched to attack India, our missile can pre-emptively destroy it in the space itself. When we witness new technology, or a new scientific feat, we are left overwhelmed with joy. Inquisitiveness has played a significant role in the journey of progression of human life and development. And those gifted with extra-ordinary intelligence do not let inquisitiveness to remain just that; they begin further questioning it, look around for newer queries, and try to create new realms in the spirit of enquiry.
This incessant spirit of enquiry leads to new inventions. They do not rest till they obtain an answer. If we try to take a bird’s eye view of thousands of years of the onward march of human life and progress, we can easily say that this great journey has no point of culmination. A full-stop is impossible. Attempting to know the universe, the laws of Nature, the inner recesses of the human mind is an unending process. This is what begets new Science, new technology.
And every technology, every new form of Science gives birth to a new era. My dear young friends, while we refer to Science and the sheer perseverance of scientists, I have many a time said in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, that the attraction of Science for our young generation should increase. The country needs more and more scientists.
Today’s scientist becomes a potent catalyst for enduring change in the lives of our future generations. Mahatma Gandhi used to say, “No Science has dropped from the skies in a perfect form. All Sciences develop and are built up through experience”. Revered Bapu had also remarked, “I have nothing but praise for the zeal, industry and sacrifice that have animated the modern scientists in the pursuit after truth”. When Science is harnessed keeping in minds the needs of common folk, when ways and means to naturally use those principles for people’s requirements are devised, when appropriate mediums and technologies are deliberated upon, it paves the way for it to be considered the most valuable contribution for general humanity.
Recently, during the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, Niti Aayog and India’s Foreign Ministry had organized a unique competition. Socially useful innovations had been invited. These innovations were identified and showcased, and people were being informed about them, along with touching upon such issues as harnessing them for the use by the common people and their mass production and commercial utilization.
I saw the volume of remarkable work done in that area. To give you an example, I came across an innovation for our poor fishermen brethren.
It is a simple mobile App. But it is so powerful that when a fisherman goes to sea for fishing, this App is able to provide guidance for direction to locate the most productive fishing zones and also provide multifarious types of information such as the direction and speed of the wind, the height of waves and so on. This whole array of information is available on this mobile App which can be utilised by our fishermen brethren for moving to those areas with maximum fish presence in a very short time and thus earning their livelihood. There are times when a problem portrays the importance of Science for finding its solution. In 2005, there was a very heavy downpour in Mumbai, which resulted in flooding, and even high tides in the sea, leading to terrible hardships. Whenever a natural calamity strikes, it is the underprivileged, who are the first in bearing its brunt. In that situation, two persons worked in right earnest and developed a dwelling structure that saves the house and its occupants, mitigates the water-logging and can prevent water borne diseases also.
There were a large number of such innovations. What I’m trying to infer is that in society, in the country, there are many who take on such roles. And our society is also increasingly turning out to be technology driven.
Systems are getting technology driven. In a way, technology is becoming an inseparable part of our lives. In the recent days, one can see a lot of emphasis being laid on Digi-Dhan. Gradually, people are shedding their hard currency mindset and moving towards digital currency. Digital transactions in India are witnessing a very rapid surge.
The young generation, in particular, is getting habituated to digital payments through its mobile handsets. I believe this to be a good portent.
In recent times, Lucky Graahak Yojana and Digi-Dhan Vyapari Yojana have received overwhelming support. For about two months now, everyday fifteen thousand people have been winning a prize of a thousand rupees each. And through these two schemes, the process to make digital payment a mass movement has been initiated; it has received a rousing welcome in the entire country. It is a delight to learn that till now, under the Digi-Dhan Yojana, ten lakh people have been rewarded, over fifty thousand traders have won prizes and an amount of almost over a hundred & fifty crores rupees has been earned as prize money by people who have promoted and carried forward this great campaign. Under this scheme, there are more than a hundred customers who have received prizes of one lakh rupees each. There are more than four thousand traders who have got prizes of fifty thousand rupees each.
Be they farmers, traders, small entrepreneurs, professionals, housewives, students – all are enthusiastically participating and also getting benefits from it. When I wanted to know the analysis, as to whether it’s only the young people who come forward or there are elders persons too, I was heartened to learn that among the recipients, there were 15 year old young persons, as well as elderly people aged 65-70. Shriman Santosh Ji from Mysore, expressing joy, has written on the NarendraModiApp that under the Lucky Grahak Yojana, he received a reward of a thousand rupees. But I feel I must share with you what he has written most prominently.
He says that when he received this reward, it struck him that a poor old woman had lost all her belongings because of a fire that broke out in her house. He felt she had more a rightful claim on the reward he had got and gave away the thousand rupees to her. And he derived a lot of Santosh, that is, satisfaction through his deed. Santosh Ji, your name and your deed – both are sources of SANTOSH, satisfaction for all of us. You have done something that is exemplary and inspiring. A 22-year old cab driver brother Sabir from Delhi adopted the digital mode in his transactions after demonetisation and went on to win a prize of one lakh rupees under the ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana’ of the Government.
Though he continues to be a driver, in a way, he has now become an ambassador for this scheme. He keeps imparting knowledge about digital usage to his passengers all the time. He is extremely enthusiastic and motivates others also to go digital. One young post-graduate student Pooja Nemade from Maharashtra keeps sharing her experience with friends about how her family members are using RuPay Card and e-wallet facilities and deriving enjoyment out of it and also as to how important the prize of rupees one lakh is for her. She has taken up this in a mission mode and is bringing others into its fold.
I urge my countrymen, especially the youth of our country and those who have won prizes under ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana’ or ‘Digi-Dhan Vyapar Yojana’ to become ambassadors of these schemes on their own. Lead this movement. Take it further as it has a very major and prominent role in the fight against corruption and black money. To me, each and every individual involved in this mission constitute a new anti-corruption cadre in the country.
In a way you are a soldier in the cause of cleanliness and purity. You know that this scheme will complete its 100 days on 14th April, the birth anniversary of Dr.
Babasaheb Ambedkar, a truly memorable day. There is going to be a very big draw of prizes worth crores of rupees on 14th April. There are still about 40-45 days left for that.
Can you do one thing in the memory of Babasaheb Ambedkar? We have recently celebrated 125th birth anniversary of Baba Saheb Ambedkar. Remembering him, you teach at least 125 persons about downloading the BHIM App. Also teach them about the procedure of making transactions through this App; teach this specially to small traders in your neighbourhood. Give special importance to Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s birth anniversary this time and the BHIM App. For this, I would like to say that we have to strengthen the foundation laid by Dr.
We have to go from door to door associating everybody in order to place the BHIM App in 125 crore hands. Since its beginning about two-three months ago, this movement has had a clear impact and has been a very big success in many townships, villages and cities. My dear countrymen, agriculture makes a very major contribution to the fundamentals of our country’s economy. Economic prowess of villages imparts momentum to the nation’s economic progress. I wish to share a very happy news with you today. Our farmer brothers and sisters have toiled hard to fill our granaries. The hard work of the farmers has resulted in a record production of food grains.
All signals indicate that our farmers have broken all previous records. There has been such bountiful crop this time in the fields of our farmers that every day has appeared to be a celebration of Pongal and Baisakhi. More than two thousand seven hundred lakh tonnes of food grains have been produced in the country this year.
This is 8 percent more than the last record set up by our farmers. Thus, it is an unprecedented achievement in itself.
I want to specially thank the farmers of the country. I also want to thank our farmers for keeping the poor in mind and adopting cultivation of various pulse crops also besides the traditional crops because pulses are the biggest source of protein for poor people. I am happy that the farmers of my country heeded the needs of our poor people and cultivated various pulse crops on about 290 lakh hectare land. This is not merely the production of pulses but a yeoman service rendered by the farmers to the poor of my country. My farmer brothers and sisters deserve special gratitude for the way they whole-heartedly accepted my request, my prayer and put in their hard labour to get a record production of pulses.
My dear countrymen, the government, society, institutions, organizations, in fact everyone, is making some or the other effort towards greater cleanliness. In a way, everyone is seen working towards the cause of cleanliness in a conscious manner. The government is continuously making efforts in this regard.
Recently, an event was organised in Telengana under the leadership of the Secretary of our Ministry of Water and Sanitation of the Government of India, in which senior officers from 23 state governments participated. And, this was not confined to having just a closed door seminar, but the importance of cleanliness was practically demonstrated at Warangal in Telangana. Toilet pit emptying exercise was carried out in Hyderabad on 17th and 18th February. Toilet pits in six houses were emptied and cleaned and the officers personally demonstrated that the used up pits of twin pit toilet can be emptied and then re-used. They also displayed as to how convenient these new technique toilets are and there is absolutely no inconvenience or hesitation in emptying or cleaning these toilets and even the psychological barrier does not come in the way at all.
And, we can ourselves clean these toilet pits just as we do other general cleaning. And, this exercise showed results, media in the country gave it wide publicity and highlighted its importance. And it is quite natural also because when people see an IAS officer cleaning a toilet pit himself, the fact is naturally noticed by the country. And we consider the waste taken out from a toilet pit as sheer useless garbage but if considered from the angle of its use as a fertiliser, this, in a way, is black gold. We can clearly see the conversion of waste to wealth. This has been proved too.
For a family of six members, the model of one standard Twin Pit Toilet gets filled in about five years. After that the waste can easily be redirected to the other pit. This waste deposited in the pit gets completely decomposed in six to twelve months time. This decomposed waste can be safely handled quite conveniently and can be used as ‘NPK’ which is a very useful fertilizer. Our farmers know ‘NPK’ very well. It contains nutritious elements Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Potassium in abundance and is considered a fertiliser of very good quality in the agriculture sector. Others must also have experimented with initiatives similar to those undertaken by the Government.
Now Doordarshan is broadcasting a special programme of ‘Swachchhta Samachar’, that is ‘Cleanliness News’. Highlighting such things in this programme will be very beneficial.
Various government departments regularly observe Cleanliness Fortnight. During the first fortnight of March, Women and Child Development Ministry along with the Ministry of Tribal Affairs will be laying stress on the Cleanliness Campaign. And two other ministries, the Ministry of Shipping and the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation will take the Cleanliness Campaign forward during the last two weeks of March. We know that whenever an Indian achieves something notable, the whole country feels a new energy and the self-confidence gets a boost. We all hailed the commendable performance by our Divyang Players at Rio Paralympics. India defeated Pakistan in the final of the Blind T-20 World Cup held earlier this month to become World Champions for the second consecutive time and thus raised our national prestige to a new height. I once again congratulate all players of our team.
The country is really proud of these Divyang friends for their achievement. I always believe that Divyang brothers and sisters are capable, strongly determined, courageous and possess tremendous resolve. We get to learn something each moment from them. Be it the field of sports or space science, the women of our country lag behind none. They are moving ahead shoulder to shoulder and are bringing glory to the nation with their commendable achievements. Our women players won a silver medal at the Asian Rugby Sevens Trophy recently.
My heartiest congratulations to all these players. The whole world celebrates 8th March as Women’s Day. In India also more importance needs to be given to our daughters along with increased awareness and sensitivity towards them. ‘Beti Bachao - Beti Padhao’ movement is moving forward with rapid strides. This is no longer just a government programme. It has now become a campaign of societal empathy and public education. During the last two years this programme involved the common man; it has forced people from all corners of the country to think and ponder over this burning issue; and brought about a change in people’s thinking about our traditional beliefs and customs which have been prevalent for many years.
It gives us great joy and happiness when we hear the news of festive celebration on the birth of a daughter. In a way, a positive mindset towards our daughters is leading towards societal acceptance. I have heard that in Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu, child marriage has been banned under a special campaign.
About 175 child marriages have been prevented so far. The district administration has opened bank accounts of over 55-60 thousand daughters under ‘Sukanya Samridhi Yojana’. In Kathua district in Jammu & Kashmir, all departments have been connected with ‘Beti Bachao – Beti Padhao Yojana’ under the Convergence Model and in addition to the convening of Gram-Sabhas, all efforts are being made by the district administrations for adoption of orphan baby girls and to ensure their education. In Madhya Pradesh, under the “Har Ghar Dastak” programme a campaign is being run to go to every village and every house to encourage education of daughters.
In Rajasthan ‘Apna Bachcha, Apna Vidyalaya’ campaign is being run to readmit those girls into schools, who had dropped out, in order to encourage and motivate them to start studying again. I mean to say that ‘Beti Bachao - Beti Padhao’ movement has also developed in many shapes and forms. This entire movement has become a people’s movement. New imagination and new concepts have been linked and connected with it. This movement has been moulded as per local requirements.
This, I believe, is a healthy sign. As we get ready to celebrate ‘Women’s Day’ this 8th March, there is only one sentiment: - With Strength, with Vitality, the Indian woman comes to the fore Rightfully deserves equality - neither less, nor more. My dear countrymen, all of you get an opportunity to express your views from time to time in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. You also connect actively with this programme. I get to know so many things from you.
I get to know as to what all is happening on the ground, in our villages and in the hearts and minds of the poor. I am very grateful to you for your contribution. Thank you very much. My fellow citizens, my namaskar to all of you!
26th January, our Republic Day was celebrated with joy and enthusiasm in every nook and corner of the nation by all of us. The Constitution of India, the duties of citizens, the rights of citizens and our commitment to democracy - these in a way make Republic Day also a festival of ‘sanskaars’, which makes our future generations cognizant of democracy and their democratic responsibilities, and also imparts to them the culture, moral values and norms inherent in our democracy. But still in our country, the duties and rights of citizens are not being debated and discussed as intensively and extensively as it should be done. I hope that the amount of emphasis that is given to the rights at every level during most of the time, is also given to discussing duties of citizens in an emphatic manner.
The rights and duties of the citizens constitute the railway track, on which the train of democracy in India can move ahead at a fast pace. Tomorrow is 30th January, the death anniversary of our revered Bapu. All of us pay tributes to the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the motherland, by observing silence for 2 minutes at 11 am on 30th January. As a society, as a nation, the 2 minute tribute of silence on 30th January at 11 am, should become our instinctive nature. This 2 minutes silence is an expression of our collective resolve and reverence for the martyrs. In our country there is an innate respect for the military and the security forces.
I congratulate and felicitate the young heroes and their families who were honoured with various gallantry awards on the eve of this Republic Day. There are various categories of these gallantry awards like Kirti Chakra, Shaurya Chakra, Vishisht Seva Medal and Param Vishisht Seva Medal. I want to urge the youth especially that since you are very active on social media, you can do one thing. Surf the Net to do some research on the valiant bravehearts, who have been bestowed with these honours, compose a few good lines about them and share these with your friends and companions. When we get to know the in depth details of their courage, bravery, valour in detail, we are filled with astonishment and pride and we also get inspired! While we were all delighted with the tidings of enthusiasm and celebration of 26th January, at the same time, some of our army Jawans posted in Kashmir for the defense of the country, achieved martyrdom due to the avalanche. I respectfully pay my homage to all these brave soldiers, I bow to them.
My young friends, you know very well that I regularly do my ‘Mann Ki Baat’. January, February, March, April – all these are for every family, months of most severe test! Normally it is one or two children in a home due to appear at their exams, but the entire family feels the burden of it. This led me to believe that this is the right time for me to talk to my student friends, their guardians and their teachers, because for many years now, wherever I have gone, whomsoever I have met, examination appeared to be a great source of anxiety. Troubled families, harassed students, tense teachers – one sees a very strange psychological atmosphere prevailing in each home! And I have always felt that we should come out of this situation and, therefore, today I want to talk in some detail with my young friends. When I’d declared that I would talk on this topic, many teachers, guardians and students sent me their messages, questions, suggestions and also expressed their anguish and narrated their problems.
And after going through all these outpourings, some ideas came to my mind, which I want to share with you today. I received a telephonic message from Srishti. You too listen to what Srishti has to say: - “Sir, I want to tell you that during exam time, very often in our homes, in the neighbourhood and in our society, a very terrifying and scary atmosphere pervades. This leads to a situation, where the students instead of feeling inspired feel tremendously down. So I just want to ask you this, can’t this be transformed into a pleasant atmosphere?” Well, the question has been posed by Srishti, but it is a question that must be there in the minds of all of you. Exams in themselves, should be a joyous occasion.
After a year of hard work, one has the opportunity to display one’s capabilities, so this should be a festival of joy and enthusiasm. But there are very few people for whom there is pleasure in the exam; for most people exam means pressure! Now, it is up to you to decide whether you consider the exams pleasure or pressure.
Those who will consider it a pleasure, will have achievements, while those who will consider exams a pressure, will have to repent. And therefore my opinion is that exams are like a festival and, hence, must be celebrated. And when there is a festive mood of celebration, the best within us comes out. The true realisation of the strength of a society also takes place during festivals. The best of everything finds a manifestation. Usually, we think of ourselves as a highly undisciplined lot, but if we just look at the arrangements made during the Kumbh Melas, which are celebrated for about 40-45 days, these despite being essentially make-shift arrangements, display the great discipline practised by people. This is the inherent strength of a festival.
Hence, during examinations too, an atmosphere of festivity should be created in the whole family, amongst friends and around the neighbourhood. And you will see for yourself, that the pressure will be converted into pleasure.
The festive atmosphere will lead to a burden-free environment. And I especially urge the parents to create a festive atmosphere during these 3-4 months. All the family members have to work as a team and play with zeal their respective roles to make this festival of examination a success. You will witness for yourself the ensuing change. Actually from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and from Kutch to Kamrup and from Amreli to Arunachal Pradesh, these 3-4 months have examinations galore. It is the responsibility of each one of us that in our own ways, observing our respective traditions and in tune with our respective family surroundings, we should strive to transform every year these 3-4 months into a festival. And therefore I shall say to you 'Smile More Score More'!
The more time these days you will spend being happy, the more will be the number of marks you will earn! Just try and see for yourselves! And you must have noticed that when you are happy, you are smiling, you become relaxed automatically, and when you relax instinctively, you’re able to recollect very old things also quite effortlessly! A year ago, what the teacher had taught in the classroom, the whole scenario reappears in front of you. And you must know that the power of memory to recall is greatest when we are relaxed. If you are tense, then all the doors seem to be closed, nothing can enter from outside and nothing can come out from inside. The thought process comes to a standstill and that in itself becomes a burden.
You must have seen for yourself that during the examinations also, you’re able to recall everything else - the book, the chapter, the page number, whether what you want is there on the top of the page or at its bottom, you can recall everything but not the particular word you want to. But as soon as you finish the examination and exit from the examination hall, suddenly you recollect that very word. And you say to yourself – Yes, Man, that was the word I wanted! Why you could not remember the word inside the hall, was due to the pressure. And how you could recall it outside? It was the same you, nobody had now told you the answer!
What happened was that whatever was inside, came out immediately and the reason was that you were now relaxed. And therefore the most effective medicine that exists for memory recall is relaxation. And it is by my own personal experience that I’m telling you that if you’re under pressure then you forget even your own things but if you are relaxed, then you can’t even imagine the kind of things you are able to remember, and these become extremely useful. It is not that you do not have the knowledge, it is not that you do not have the information, and it is not that you have not worked hard! But when there is tension, your knowledge, your wisdom, your information – all these buckle under and the tension rides over you. And therefore it is necessary to remember that 'a happy mind is the secret for a good mark sheet’!
Sometimes it also appears that we are not able to perceive examinations in a proper perspective. It seems to become a question of life and death. See, the exam you are going to appear at is the exam of what you have studied during this whole year. But it is not a test of your life. It is not a test of what kind of life have you lived, how is the life you are living now and what is the life you aspire to live. There must have been many occasions in your life, when, besides the examinations that you appeared at inside the classrooms with notebooks, you had to encounter and endure many tests and trials. And thus success and failure in life is not determined at all by how one has done at the examination; this is a burden from which you must free yourself.
We all have before us the extremely inspiring example of our former President Dr. He appeared at the test for recruitment into the Air Force, and failed in that. Now suppose that this failure had caused him to become dejected, to concede defeat in his life, then would India have found such a great scientist and such a glorious President? One Richa Anand Ji has sent me this question: - “Today what I see as the biggest challenge facing the education is that it has come to focus solely on examinations. Marks have become all important. As a result, the competition has multiplied leading to a very high increase of stress in the students also. So I would like to know your views concerning the current direction of education and its future course.” Although she herself has given the answer to her query, but Richa Ji wishes that I too must put forth my views on the matter.
Marks and mark-sheet serve a limited purpose. Life is not confined to these only. Life truly means what is the knowledge that you have acquired! Life truly goes on in terms of whether whatever you have learned, you have tried to live that also! Life moves ahead depending upon the condition that whatever the sense of mission you have achieved and whatever is the sense of ambition that you nurture, whether there is any ongoing co-ordination between your sense of mission and your sense of ambition!
If you will have faith in these things, then marks will automatically follow you and you will never have to chase marks! It is the knowledge that is going to be of use to you in life, so are skill, self-confidence and determination. You tell me, you must be having a family doctor to whom all the members of your family must be going whenever needed. There would not be a single person in your family who might have asked that family doctor as to how many marks did he score while passing his exam.
None could have raised this question. All of you would have thought that as a doctor he was good, you were finding relief in his treatment and thus you started taking his services regularly. When you have to fight a big law suit and you go to a lawyer to engage his services, do you look at the mark-sheet of that lawyer? You only look at his experience, his knowledge, and the graph of his success.
And therefore this burden of hankering for marks hinders us sometimes from going in the right direction. But that does not mean that I’m implying that you don’t have to study at all. Studies are definitely useful for testing our own mettle; to know where I stood yesterday and where I stand today. But this also happens sometimes and if you analyse minutely the journey of your own life, you will realise that if you start running after marks, you will look for the shortest ways, and will identify a few selected things and focus on those only. But if something comes from outside those few things you had touched upon; a question comes which is outside the bunch of selected questions that you had prepared; you will be find yourself slipping to the rock bottom. If you have pursuit of knowledge as your focal point, then by itself you try to acquire and attain a lot more. However if you concentrate and focus only on getting marks, then you gradually go on limiting yourself and confine yourself to certain areas for earning more marks.
Thus, you may find that despite becoming brilliant in passing the exams, you have sometimes failed in life. Richa Ji had also mentioned about ‘PRATISPARDHA’, meaning 'competition with others'. It is a huge psychological battle. In reality, it is not the competition with others that takes us ahead in life but it is competing with ourselves or ‘ANUSPARDHA’, which takes our life forward. How can tomorrow be made better than yesterday! How can a future occasion be used to improve upon the past results. To make myself instantly clear, I shall cite an example from the field of sports.
It is a feature in the life of most of the successful players that they compete with themselves. Let us take the example of Mr. Sachin Tendulkar.
He kept on breaking his own records consecutively and consistently for about twenty years, everytime surpassing and outdoing himself and thus continuously forging ahead. What a wonderful journey of life he has had, only because he followed the route of competing with himself rather than competing with others!
Friends, in every field of life and when taking exams, if you were able to study peacefully for two hours earlier, then are you now able to do so for three hours? If you couldn’t wake up at the decided time in the morning and were thus delayed, now can you get up early on time? You couldn’t sleep earlier due to exam tension, are you able to sleep now? Put yourself to test, and you’ll find that a defeat in competition with others results in frustration, disappointment, despair and jealousy, but ‘Anuspardha’ or ‘competition with self’ leads to self-analysis and introspection and makes our determination stronger and more resolute. And when we prevail over ourselves, then the motivation to do better becomes innate, you don’t need any external sources of energy.
That energy is generated from within on its own. If I have to put it in a simple language, then I would say that when you compete with someone else, there are three broad possibilities that arise - first, that you are much better than him; second, that you are much worse than him; and the third that you are equal to him. If you are better than your competitor, then you will become complacent,as you will be filled with over-confidence. If you perform poorly against him, you will become distressed and disappointed, will be filled with envy, that will devour and consume you. And if you are equal to your competitor, then you will never feel the need to improve, life will just go on at its own pace. Therefore I urge you to engage in ‘Anuspardha’, or ‘competition with self’.
You must focus on how to improve upon your past performance and how to perform even better. And you’ll witness for yourself the positive change that it will bring about in you. Sunder Ji has expressed his feelings on the role of parents. He says that during exams, parents have a vital role to play. He further writes, “My mother was not educated. Yet, she would sit by me and ask me to solve problems in Mathematics.
She would then compare answers and thus be of great help to me. She would help me rectify errors. My mother did not clear the Class 10 exam, yet without her aid, it would have been impossible for me to pass the CBSE exam.” Sunder Ji, what you say is absolutely correct.
And you must have observed today also that women are a majority amongst those who ask me questions or send in suggestions. Mothers who are consciously aware of and actively alert to their children’s future, play a big role in assuaging the atmosphere at home.
I shall urge parents to lay emphasis on just three points - acceptance, mentoring and sharing time. Accept things as they are.
Whatever capabilities you posses, use these to mentor your children, and, howsoever occupied you might be, spare time for them, be with them. Once you learn to accept, maximum number of problems will be solved there and then. Every parent must be experiencing this. Expectation on the part of parents and teachers is the root cause of the problem.
Acceptance brings about new avenues in finding solutions to problems. Expectations make the path difficult. Accepting a certain state provides us with the opportunity of opening up newer vistas. Just accept things as they are. You will feel much lighter.
We keep deliberating on the heavy weight of our tiny tots‘ school bags, but there are times when I feel that expectations and aspirations on the part of parents are far too heavier compared to those school bags. Once, many years ago, one of our acquaintances was admitted to a hospital, following a heart attack. Purushottam Mavlankar, son of India’s first Lok Sabha Speaker Ganesh Dada Mavlankar, had come to the hospital to see him. I was present there and I saw that he did not ask a single question on the state of his health; he just sat down with no reference to the ailment or to the situation. He started cracking jokes and lightened the atmosphere in a matter of just a few minutes. In a way, we terrify a patient with constant references to his ailment. I would like to convey to parents that we do exactly the same with our children.
Have you ever thought of creating an atmosphere of joy and laughter for children during exams? See it for yourself, the whole ambience will be transformed. I have received an incredible phone call.
The gentleman does not wish to reveal his name. When you listen to the call, you will come to know why he does not want to identify himself! “Namaskar, Pradhan Mantriji, I cannot divulge my name because of something that I did in my childhood. Once, when I was young, I had made an attempt to cheat in my exams. And I started preparing most thoroughly for that. I tried to explore and find out various methods of copying and wasted a lot of time because of that. I could have very well secured the same marks by devoting that time to studying, which I wasted while pondering how to copy.
Moreover, when I tried to use unfair means to pass the exam, I got caught and a lot of my friends around me also had to undergo distress because of me.” What you say is right. These shortcut ways become the reason for using unfair means. There are times when not having enough confidence in oneself makes one crave to peep into a fellow student’s answer sheet, may be just to confirm if one has written the correct answer.
Sometimes it happens that our own answer is correct and the other’s answer is wrong. But we somehow believe that the other’s actually wrong answer is the right one, which leads to our own undoing as well.
Thus unfair means lead us nowhere. ‘To cheat is to be cheap, so please do not cheat’.
Cheating makes you bad, so stay away from it. Time and again you must have heard advisories on staying away from unfair means. I am reiterating the same, once again. Look at the scourge of cheating, copying and such unfair means from any angle and in any form; it is surely going to drag you into the abyss of failure in life.
Over and above that, if the invigilator catches you cheating during the exam, you will be utterly ruined. And suppose, you are not caught, even then your own conscience will be burdened for lifetime. When the time will come to counsel your own children, you will not be able to look them clearly in the eye, burdened as you will be with your own sense of guilt.
And once you are habituated to using unfair means, you will never feel the desire to actually learn anything in life. Where will you reach then? It is as if you are yourself digging holes in your pathways. And, I have seen that there are people who squander so much of their talent, invest their entire creativity in finding ingenious ways and means in designing unfair methods. If one devotes the same time and the same creativity in addressing issues pertaining to exams, one would never require any unfair means in the first place. Results that you achieve through your own hard work and diligence will invest you with a phenomenal and extra-ordinary self-confidence. Now listen to this phone call, which I have received: - “Namaskar, Pradhan Mantri Ji, my name is Monica and since I am a class 12th student, I wanted to ask you a couple of questions regarding the Board Exams.
My first question is, what can we do to reduce the stress that builds up during our exams and my second question is, why are exams all about work and no play. Thank you.” During exam days, if I talk about sports and games, your teachers, your parents will be angry with me.
“What kind of a Prime Minister is this, who is asking children to come out and play during exams,” they might say! People generally nurse the notion that if students indulge in sporting activities, they become careless about their studies.
This notion is basically unfounded. It is the root cause of this problem. If one has to achieve holistic development, the fact is that there exists a huge world, a life beyond books; and this precisely is the time to learn living that life also.
If someone says, “Let me finish with all exams first, I will play and do other things later”; well, that is impossible. This is THE time for moulding one’s life. This is what upbringing is all about. As a matter of fact, in my opinion, three things are crucial – proper rest, the other is the requisite amount of sleep, the third is the body, which is a major component, way beyond mental activity.
Other parts of the body too require physical activity. With so much to do, have you ever thought of spending a couple of moments gazing at the sky, looking with wonder at the flora around you, lightening your spirits a bit! You will notice that you will return to your study room and be amongst your books with a renewed freshness.
Whatever you are doing, take a break, have a stroll outside, enter the kitchen, look for something that you relish to eat, munch on your favourite biscuit if possible, tell or listen jokes and laugh for a while. If only for five minutes, give yourself a break. You will feel the onset of a certain ease in your work. I do not know if everyone likes this or not, but I am saying it out of personal experience. Deep breathing during these times is very beneficial.
It relaxes you. And for deep breathing you do not need to confine yourself to your room.
Just be under the open sky, go to the roof top, do deep breathing for five minutes and return to your studies. You will experience relaxation in your body.
A relaxed body equally relaxes your mental organs. Some of you feel like studying more and more, keeping awake for late hours in the night.
Ensure adequate sleep for the body that is required. It will help you avoid wastage of study time; it will enhance your ability to study well. Your concentration will increase. You will feel a certain freshness. Your overall efficiency will rise by leaps and bounds. When I address election rallies, sometimes I suffer from a sore throat or a hoarse voice. Once a folk singer came to meet me.
He asked me, “How many hours do you sleep?” I asked him if he was a doctor. He said, “No, but it is linked with your voice problem brought on by delivering so many election speeches.
Only when you get adequate sleep, your vocal chords will be able to rest fully.” Well, I had never given a thought to a possible connection between my sleep, my speeches and my voice. It was as if he had given me a herbal panacea. Actually, we should understand the importance of these things, it will surely benefit you. But this does not mean that you keep sleeping all the time.
Some might remark that since the Prime Minister has said so, just keep sleeping, there is no need to wake up and study. Please, do not do that, else your family members will be displeased with me. And when your mark sheet arrives, if they are not happy with that, they will not see you but only me. So, avoid doing that. And hence I will say, “P for prepare and P for play’, one who plays blossoms, the person who plays, shines. This is a wonderful remedy for maintaining the vigour of the mind, brain and body.
Anyway, young friends, you are engrossed in preparing for your exams and here I am, engaging you in matters close to my heart. Of course, it is quite possible that my words this morning will act as a relaxant for you. In the same breath, I will add that do not let these remarks of mine be a burden on you. Do it only if you can. If you cannot do it, please do not do it, else this too will weigh heavily on you.
Just as I advise your parents not to be burdensome to you, the same applies to me too. Keeping your resolve in mind, with confidence in yourself, set out for your exams. My best wishes to your. In order to clear a test, treat the test as a festive occasion. You will never feel a test, a test again.
Make headway with this Mantra. My dear countrymen, on 1st February 2017, Indian Coast Guard is completing 40 years. On this occasion I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the officers and jawans of Coast Guard for their service to the Nation.
It is a matter of pride and honour that with its indigenously built 126 ships and 62 aircrafts, it has carved a coveted place for itself amongst the 4 biggest Coast Guards of the world. The motto of Coast Guard is ‘Vayam Rakshaamaha.’ We protect. True in letter and spirit to the motto, securing the country’s maritime borders and maritime environment, the jawans of Coast Guard are relentlessly at work night and day, braving the most adverse conditions. Last year, personnel of Coast Guard undertook a campaign of cleaning up of our coastal areas also, over and above their routine duties.
Thousands participated in this campaign. Along with coastal security, they displayed concern towards coastal cleanliness and deserve accolades for their act. Not many people would be aware that in our Coast Guard, not just men, but women too are discharging their duties and responsibilities shoulder to shoulder, and most successfully. Our Coast Guard women officers are pilots, work as Observers, and not just that, they command Hovercrafts as well. In the backdrop of the fact that maritime security today has become an issue of global concern and the excellence displayed by Coast Guard in securing India’s coast line, I extend my heartiest felicitations to them on their 40th birthday. 1st February is the festival of Vasant Panchami.
Vasant, that is Spring, is acknowledged as the best of seasons. Vasant is RITURAJ, the king of seasons. In our country, Saraswati Pooja is done on Vasant Panchami; Vasant Panchmi is a major festival. It is considered an occasion to worship Vidya, knowledge. And not just that, it is a celebration of inspiration for brave hearts. ‘Mera Rang de Basanti Chola’ is a perfect example of that. I extend my best wishes to my countrymen on the pious occasion of Vasant Panchami.
My dear countrymen, in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, All India Radio too infuses myriad novel hues of creativity and imagination. Last month onwards, they have started broadcasting versions in regional languages, immediately after the broadcast of my ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
This has gained wide acceptance. People are writing in from far and wide. I felicitate All India Radio for this self-inspired initiative from the core of my heart. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ gives me a great opportunity to be connected with you. Best wishes to you.
My fellow countrymen, Namaskar, many felicitations and season’s greetings to you on the occasion of Christmas. Today is the day to give importance in our lives to service, sacrifice and compassion. Jesus had said - “The poor do not need our favours but our acceptance with affection.” In the Gospel According to Saint Luke, it is written that – “Jesus not only served the poor but also praised the service done by the poor,” and this is what real empowerment is. A tale associated with this incident is also very popular. It has been mentioned in that story that Jesus was standing near the treasury of a temple; many rich people came and donated bountifully; then a poor widow came and parted with only two copper coins. Now just two copper coins really do not amount to much.
Thus it was natural that there was a lot of curiosity in the minds of the disciples gathered there. Then, Jesus declared that the widow was the greatest of those donors because while the others had donated substantially, that widow had given away all she possessed.
Today, 25th December, is also the birth anniversary of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviyaji, who kindled resolve and self confidence in the psyche of the Indian people and gave a new direction to modern education. My most sincere and heartfelt tributes to Malviyaji on his birth anniversary. About two days ago, I had the opportunity to launch many a developmental work in Banaras, the sacred workplace of Malviyaji. I also laid the foundation stone of Mahamana Madan Mohan Malviya Cancer Centre in BHU at Varanasi.
This Cancer Centre is going to be a boon for the people of not only eastern Uttar Pradesh but for the people of Jharkhand and Bihar also. Today is also the birthday of Bharat Ratna and former Prime Minister Venerable Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji. This country can never forget Atalji’s contributions. Under his leadership, the country proudly grew in stature in the field of nuclear power also.
Whether in the role of a party leader, Member of Parliament, a minister or the Prime Minister, Atalji always established an ideal. I salute Atalji on his birthday and pray to God for his good health. As a party worker I had the privilege of working with Atalji. Many memories emerge before my eyes. This morning when I tweeted, I shared a video, in which you can see for yourself how as a small party worker one had the fortune of having affection showered upon him by Atalji. Today, on Christmas Day, as a gift the countrymen are going to get the benefit of two schemes. In a way it is the beginning of two new schemes.
Throughout the entire country, be it villages or towns, the educated or the illiterate, there is an atmosphere of curiosity as to what is cashless, how cashless business can take place, how can one make purchases without using cash! Everybody wants to understand and learn from each other. To encourage this trend, to strengthen mobile banking and to inculcate the habit of making e-payments, the Government of India is launching from today encouragement schemes for consumers as well as traders. To encourage customers, the scheme is ‘Lucky Grahak Yojana’ and to encourage traders the scheme is ‘Digi Dhan Vyapaar Yojana’. Today, on 25th December, as a Christmas gift, fifteen thousand people will get rewards through a draw system, whereby each of the fifteen thousand winners will have one thousand rupees into their accounts and this will be not for today only; starting today this scheme will continue for the next 100 days.
Everyday fifteen thousand people are going to receive rewards of one thousand rupees each. In the next 100 days, lakhs of families are going to receive crores of rupees as gift, but you will be entitled to this gift only if you make use of mobile banking, e-banking, RuPay Card, UPI, USSD - such means and methods of digital payment. The draw for rewards will be done based on your use of such digital payment methods. In addition, there would be a grand draw once every week for such customers in which the prize money will be in lakhs of rupees and three months later on April 14th, on the occasion of the birth anniversary of Dr. Baba Saheb Ambedkar, there would be a mega bumper draw where rewards would be in crores of rupees. ‘Digi Dhan Vyapar Yojana’ is mainly for traders and businessmen. Traders should adopt this scheme themselves and should encourage their customers too in order to make their business cashless.
Such traders will also be rewarded separately and there would be thousands of these rewards. The traders will run their business activities smoothly and will also have an opportunity to win rewards. This scheme has been designed keeping all sections of society in mind, with a special focus on the poor and the lower middle class segments. Therefore only those will get its benefits who make a purchase worth more than 50 rupees but less than three thousand rupees. Those who make purchases of more than three thousand rupees will not be entitled to rewards under this scheme.
Even the poor people can use USSD on simple feature or ordinary mobile phones to buy and sell goods as well as make payments and thus all of them can also become prospective beneficiaries of this reward scheme. In rural areas too, people can buy or sell through AEPS and they can also win rewards. Many will be surprised to know that now there are about 30 Crore, i.e. 300 million RuPay Cards in India, out of which 200 million RuPay Cards belong to poor families which have ‘Jan Dhan’ accounts. These 300 million people can immediately become part of this rewards scheme. I have confidence that the countrymen will evince interest in this system and if you enquire from the young people around you, they would surely be aware of these things and on your asking will tell you about these.
Come on, if there is a child studying in 10th or 12th standard in your family, he or she will also be able to teach you well about this. It is as simple as sending WhatsApp messages on the mobile. My dear countrymen, I feel delighted to learn that the awareness about how to use technology, making e-payments, making online payments is spreading very fast. During the past few days, the cashless transactions, or cashless trading has increased by 200 to 300%. To give cashless trading a big impetus, Government of India has taken a very major decision. The business community, our traders can well comprehend how momentous this decision is. Those businessmen who adopt digital transactions, who develop online payment process instead of cash transactions in their trade activities will get Income Tax rebate.
I congratulate all the states and union territories, who have promoted this campaign in their own way. The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Mr.
Chandrababu Naidu is the head of a committee which is considering various schemes under this. However, I have seen that the governments also have initiated and implemented many schemes. I’ve been told that Assam Government has decided to grant a 10% discount on property tax and business license fee if payments are made through digital transaction.
The branches of Grameen, that is, Rural Banks there getting 75% of their customers to make at least two digital transactions between January and March will get 50 thousands rupees rewards from the government. They have announced that under the ‘Uttam Panchayat for Digi-Transaction’, rewards of 5 lakh rupees will be given to villages doing 100% digital transaction till 31st March, 2017. Assam Government has decided to reward 5 thousand rupees to the first 10 farmers as ‘Digital Krishak Shiromani’, who will buy seeds and fertilizers entirely through digital payments. I congratulate Assam Government and also all those state governments who have taken such initiatives. A number of organisations have also successfully carried out many experiments to promote digital transactions amongst the rural folk and poor farmers.
I have been told that GNFC or Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Limited, which primarily manufactures fertilizers, has installed a thousand PoS machines for sale of fertilizers for the convenience of farmers and in just a few days 35 thousand farmers were sold 5 lakh sacs of fertilizers on digital payment and this was accomplished in only two weeks! And the interesting fact is that compared to last year the fertilizer sales of GNFC have gone up by 27 percent. Brothers and sisters, the informal sector occupies a major segment in our economy and in our pattern of life and mostly these people are paid wages for their labour and hard work in cash. They are paid their salaries in cash and we know that due to this, they are exploited also. If they are to receive 100 rupees, they get only 80 rupees, if they are to be paid 80 rupees, they are given only 50 rupees. They are deprived of facilities like insurance and those associated with health sector.
But now the practice of cashless payment is being adopted; the money is being directly deposited into banks. In a way, the informal sector is getting converted into the formal sector, exploitation is coming to an end, the cut, which had to be paid earlier, has stopped now and it has become possible for the worker, the artisan, such poor persons to get their full amount of money. In addition, they are also becoming entitled to the other benefits due to them. Our country is blessed with the maximum number of young people. Thus, we are favourably placed for using technology. A country like India should be ahead of everybody else in this field.
Our youth have benefitted quite a lot from ‘Start-Ups’. This digital movement is a golden opportunity for our youth.
They should impart to this as much strength as they can with their new ideas, technology and processes. But we must also connect with the drive to rid the country of black money and corruption with all our might. My dear countrymen, I request every month before ‘Mann Ki Baat’ that you please give your suggestions, share your thoughts; and of the thousands of such suggestions received this time on MyGov, on NarendraModiApp, I can definitely say that 80 to 90% suggestions were pertaining to the war against corruption and black money, there was mention of demonetization. After I examined all the suggestions, I can say that these can macroscopically be roughly divided into three categories. Some have written in detail about people facing difficulties and encountering inconveniences.
The other group of correspondents have stressed that this is such a good work being carried out for the welfare of the country, such a sacred task but they have also noted that in spite of this there are many scams being committed and new avenues of dishonesty are being explored. The third group is the one which has, while wholeheartedly supporting the action being taken, clearly stressed that this fight must be carried forward; corruption and black money must be completely destroyed and if this requires even more tough steps to be taken, those must be taken. We have many people writing this most emphatically.
I am thankful to the countrymen for helping me by writing these innumerable letters to me. Shriman Gurumani Kewal has written on MyGov - “This step of reigning in black money is praiseworthy. We citizens are facing some difficulties, but we are all fighting against corruption and we are happy that we are making a contribution in this fight.
We are battling corruption, black money etc on the lines of Military Forces.” The sentiment behind Gurumani Kewalji’s text is being echoed in every nook and corner of the country. All of us are experiencing it. When the people face problems, undergo hardships, rare will be a fellow human being who will not empathise. I feel as much pain as you do. But when a task is taken up with a noble objective, to realise a lofty intent, with a clear conscience, the countrymen stay firm courageously amidst all these trials and tribulations. These people are the real Agents of Change, pioneers of transformation.
I thank people for one more reason. They have not only braved hardships, but have also powerfully given a retort to those limited few who have been trying to mislead them. So many rumours were spread, even the fight against corruption and black money was sought to be tainted with shades of communalism.
Somebody spread a rumour that the spelling on the currency note was faulty, someone said salt prices had spiraled, someone proclaimed that the 2000 rupee note would also be withdrawn, even 500 and 100 rupee denominations notes were rumoured to be on their way out. But I have seen that despite rampant rumour mongering, citizens have stood firm with their faith intact. And not just that, many people came to the fore and through their creativity and intelligence, exposed the rumour mongers, brought out the falsity of the rumours and established the truth. I salute this great ability of the people also from the core of my heart. My dear countrymen, I am experiencing one thing every moment. When a hundred and twenty five crore countrymen are standing by you, nothing is impossible. The people represent the will of the Almighty and their blessings become His blessings.
I thank the people of this country and salute them for participating in this Mahayagya against black money and corruption with utmost zeal. It was my earnest wish that the ongoing campaign against corruption and black money, including the realm of political parties and political funding, be discussed extensively in the Parliament. Had the House functioned properly, there would have been comprehensive deliberation.
Some people are spreading rumours that political parties enjoy all kinds of concessions. These people are absolutely in the wrong. The law applies equally to all. Whether it is an individual, an organisation or a political party, everyone has to abide by law and one will have to.
People, who cannot endorse corruption and black money openly, resort to searching for faults of the government relentlessly. Another issue which comes up is this.
Why are rules changed time and again? This government is for the sake of the people.
The government continuously endeavours to take a feedback from them. What are the areas of difficulty for the people? What are the rules that are creating hindrances? And what are the possible solutions? The government, being a sensitive government, amends rules as required, keeping the convenience of the people as its foremost consideration, so that citizens are not subjected to hardships. On the other hand, as I’d said earlier, on the 8th to be precise, this drive, this war is an extraordinary one.
For the past 70 years, what kind of forces are involved in this murky enterprise of perfidy and corruption? How mighty are they? When I have resolved to wage battle against them, they too come up with new tactics everyday to thwart the government’s efforts.
To counter these new offensives, we too have to devise appropriate new responses and antidotes. When the opponents keep on trying out new tactics, we have to counteract decisively, since we have resolved to eradicate the corrupt, shady businesses and black money.
On the other hand, many people have mentioned in their letters all kinds of wrongdoing which are going on; how newer wily ways and means are being devised. In this context, I offer my heartiest salutations to my dear countrymen for one very remarkable thing. These days you must be seeing on T.V. And newspapers, everyday many new people are being taken into custody, currency notes are being seized, raids are being carried out. Influential persons are being caught. How has all this been made possible?
Should I let out the secret? The secret is that my sources of such information are people themselves. Information being received from common citizens is many times higher than that being obtained through government machinery.
And we are by and large being successful in our operations on account of the awareness and alertness that the people have displayed. Can anyone imagine the level of risk, which the aware citizen of my country is taking to expose such elements! The information received has largely proved to be fruitful. For those of you wanting to share such information, you can send it on an e-mail address set up by the government for this purpose. You can also provide it on MyGov.
The government is committed to fight all such wrongdoings and maladies. And when we have your active support, this fight becomes much easier.
Thirdly, there is another group of letter writers, also existing in large numbers. They say - Modiji, do not feel exhausted, do not stop and take the most stringent measures that you can. Now that you have chosen this path, the journey should culminate at its intended and logical destination.
I specially thank writers of such letters, since their writing exudes a certain confidence, fortified with blessings. I sincerely assure you that this is in no way going to be a full stop. This is just the beginning. We have to win this battle and the question of feeling exhausted or stopping simply does not arise.
Armed with the good wishes of a hundred and twenty five crore countrymen, there is no question of a retreat. You are possibly aware of a Law about Benami Property in our country which came into being in 1988, but neither were its rules ever framed, nor was it notified.
It just lay dormant gathering dust. We have retrieved it and turned it into an incisive law against ‘Benami Property’. In the coming days, this law will also become operational. For the benefit of the Nation, for the benefit of the people, whatever needs to be done will be accorded our top priority. My dear countrymen, I had mentioned in last month’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’ that even amidst these hardships our farmers toiled tirelessly and broke last year’s record in sowing. It is a sign of good times for the agricultural sector.
The diligent hard work by this country’s workers, and farmers, and youth has scripted a new chapter of success with flying colours. Recently India proudly inscribed her name in various sectors of the global economic scenario.
It is solely on account of the tireless exertions of our countrymen that on myriad indicators, India has charted an upward trajectory in global rankings. India’s ranking has gone up in the Doing Business Report of the World Bank. We are trying our best to raise the level of the business practices in India to match the best practices in the world on equal footing.
And we are succeeding in that. In the World Investment Report released by UNCTAD, India’s position has risen to third in the Top Prospective Host Economies for 2016-18. In the Global Competitive Report of the World Economic Forum, India has made a big leap upwards by 32 ranks. In the Global Innovation Index 2016, we have moved up 16 rungs and in the Logistics Performance Index 2016 of the World Bank, we have risen by 19 ranks. There are many reports whose evaluation indicate that India is taking rapid strides ahead. My dear countrymen, this time the session of Parliament became the object of ire of our countrymen. Indignation was expressed everywhere about the activities in the Parliament.
The President and Vice President also explicitly expressed their displeasure. But even in such a situation, sometimes good things also take place which create a sense of satisfaction in the mind. Amid the din in Parliament, an excellent task was accomplished, which has not attracted due attention of the country.
Brothers and sisters, today with pride and joy I would like to mention that a bill in connection with my government’s mission on Divyangjan, that is, differently or specially abled people was passed in Parliament. For this, I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all the members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. On behalf of millions of Divyangjan of the country I express my thanks. Our government is committed to the welfare of Divyaangs. Personally too, I have strived to lend momentum to this campaign.
My intention was to ensure that the Divyangjan secure their due rights and also the honour and dignity that they are entitled to. Our efforts and our trust were fortified by our Divyaang brothers and sisters when they returned with 4 medals from the Paralympics. With their triumph, not only did they do the Nation proud, they pleasantly surprised many people through their capabilities and prowess.
Our Divyaang brothers and sisters are an invaluable heritage, a precious endowment, just as every citizen of the country is. Today I am immensely delighted that the passing of this Law for the welfare of the Divyaangjan will open up additional avenues of employment for them. In government jobs, the extent of reservation for them has been enhanced to 4%. Special provisions have been provided for in this Law for their education, facilities and also for grievances. The extent of sensitivity of the government towards the Divyaangs can be assessed by the fact that during the last two years, the central government set up 4350 camps for Divyaangs, spent 352 crore rupees for distributing implements to 5,80,000 Divyaang brothers and sisters. The government has passed the new law in consonance with the spirit expressed by the United Nations. Earlier there were seven Divyaang categories; now adding fourteen new categories this has been expanded to twenty-one categories.
Many such new categories of Divyaangs have been included thereby providing them for the first time justice and opportunities. For example, categories like Thalassemia, Parkinson’s, or for that matter Dwarfism have been included. My young friends, during the last few weeks, news items coming in from the world of sports have made all of us proud. Being Indians, it is but natural for us to feel elated. In the cricket series against England, India has triumphed 4-0. In this, the performance of some of the younger players deserves a special word of praise. The young Karun Nair scored a triple century and K.
Rahul played a brilliant 199 run innings. Test captain Virat Kohli batted extremely well and also provided inspiring leadership. Indian Cricket team’s off-spin bowler R.
Ashwin has been declared ‘Cricketer of the Year’ as well as ‘Best Test Cricketer’ by the ICC for the year 2016. My heartiest congratulations and many good wishes go to all of them. After a gap of 15 years, there was good news, in fact grand news from the hockey arena too.
The Junior Hockey Team lifted the World Cup. This festive occasion came to us after fifteen years as the Junior Hockey team won the World Cup. Heartiest congratulations to these young players for this grand feat. This achievement is a very good omen for the future of our Hockey team. Last month our Women players too won laurels. Indian Women’s Hockey Team won the Asian Champions Trophy and just a few days ago in the under-18 Asia Cup, Indian Women’s Hockey Team secured the Bronze Medal.
I congratulate all our Cricket and Hockey team players from the core of my heart. My dear countrymen, may 2017 be a year full of joy and enthusiasm; may all your resolves be crowned with success; let us scale newer heights of progress; may the poorest of the poor get an opportunity to lead a better and fuller life of happiness and contentment; may 2017 be like this for all of us. For the year 2017, my best and brightest wishes to all my countrymen. Many, many thanks. My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Last month, all of us were celebrating Diwali.
Like every year, this Diwali too, I had gone to the border, to the China border, to celebrate the occasion with our soldiers, our jawans. I celebrated Diwali with ITBP men and army jawans on the lofty heights of the Himalayas.
I do it every time, but this Diwali was an entirely different experience. The heartening effect of the novel way in which our 1.25 billion countrymen dedicated this Diwali to soldiers of our army, to our defence forces, was clearly evident on their faces. They appeared charged with emotions, and not just that, the act of our countrymen of sending greeting messages, including the defence forces of the nation in their rejoicing had elicited a wonderful response. And it is not that people merely sent messages. There was an earnest heartfelt connect. Some wrote poems, some drew pictures, a few created cartoons, others made videos; it was as if every home had been transformed into an army post.
And when I saw those letters, I used to be amazed at the magnitude of creativity and emotions behind this endeavour. And this gave rise to a thought in MyGov that out of these, selected items could be compiled to make a coffee table book. Work is under way on that. Your collective contribution, the sentiments of soldiers, your emotional universe dedicated to our security forces as expressed in your creativity will form the content of this volume. A soldier wrote to me – Mr.
Prime Minister, we soldiers have all the festivals like Holi and Diwali on the borders. We are devoted to defending the country every moment. Bu we do miss our near and dear ones back home during festivals. But, to tell you the truth, this time we did not feel so. Never did it appear to us even once that we are not at home for the festivities. It felt as if we were celebrating Diwali together with a hundred and twenty five crore Indians.
My dear countrymen, this warmth of emotion, this fervour that has been kindled in the hearts of our defence forces, our soldiers this Diwali, should this be confined to only a few occasions? I appeal to you that we should make it our nature, our characteristic as a society, as a Nation that whether it be a celebration of a festival or any joyous occasion, we should keep the soldiers, the jawans of the military of our nation in our hearts and minds. When the entire nation stands by the armed forces, their might mutiplies a hundred and twenty five crore times. A few days ago, all Pradhans from the villages of Jammu & Kashmir had come to see me.
They were from the Jammu & Kashmir Panchayat Conference. They had come from different villages of the Kashmir valley, there were around 40-50 Pradhans. I got an opportunity to speak to them at length. They had come to discuss a few points on the development of their villages; they had some demands.
But when the deliberations began, issues such as conditions in the valley, the law and order situation, the future of children came up in a natural manner. These village Pradhans spoke about these topics with such affection and openness that everything touched my heart. In the course of the conversation, there was also a mention of schools in Kashmir that had been set afire. And I felt these Pradhans were as saddened as our other countrymen were, at that. They too felt that it was not just schools, it was the future of the children, that had been set ablaze. I had urged them to focus on these children’s future, on their return home.
I am feeling happy today that these Pradhans, who had come from the Kashmir valley, kept their word in letter and spirit. They returned to their villages and made people from far and wide aware on this issue. Recently, just a few days ago, when the Board examinations were held, 95% of the sons and daughters of Kashmir, the young students appeared in the examinations. The sheer volume of students, who appeared in the Board Examinations, is a clear indication that our children from Jammu & Kashmir are committed to attain newer heights of progress, to build a bright future through the medium of education. For their resolute zeal I congratulate these students and I also felicitate their parents, their kith and kin, their teachers and all the Gram Pradhans as well from the depths of my heart. My dear brothers and sisters, this time when I asked people for suggestions for ‘Mann ki Baat’, I can say that almost all the suggestions that were received echoed one theme. Everyone wanted me to speak in more detail about the 500 & 1000 rupee notes.
On the 8 th of November at 8 in the evening, in my Address to the Nation, I had talked about launching a mega campaign to bring about reforms in the country. When I had taken this decision and presented it before you, then also I had said openly that it was not an ordinary decision, it was one fraught with difficulties.
It was a very important decision but implementation of that decision is equally important. And I had also foreseen that this would result in all of us having to face various new difficulties in our day-to-day lives. And I had stated then also that this decision was so enormous that it would take us at least 50 days to come out of its after effects and only then would we be able to move towards normalcy.
These maladies have been afflicting us for the past 70 years and the campaign for getting rid of these can never be an easy task. I can very well understand the problems you are going through! But when I see your support, when I look at your co-operation; although numerous efforts are on to misguide you, despite that, and despite witnessing some disturbing incidents, you have whole heartedly comprehended the path of righteousness and truth, you have favourably accepted this step taken in the best national interest. 500 and 1000 rupee notes and such a vast country, wide proliferation of currencies, billions and trillions of bank notes and amidst that, this decision – the whole world is minutely observing, every economist is analysing it, evaluating it. The whole world is watching – will hundred and twenty-five crore Indians finally attain success after facing numerous hardships? This question may be there in the world community.
However, India has nothing but faith and faith only and supreme confidence in her hundred and twenty five crore countrymen that they will certainly fulfill their resolve. And our country will emerge shining like gold does after a test by fire. And the reason for that is you, the citizens of this country. The route to this success also has been paved only because of you. Across the country, central government, state governments, all units of the local self government institutions, one lakh thirty thousand bank branches, lakhs of bank employees, over one and a half lakh post offices, over a lakh Bank-Mitras are relentlessly at work, day and night, with complete dedication. In the midst of immense and varied stress, all these individuals are working hard, maintaining a calm and composed demeanour, taking it as a Yagya of Service to the Nation, an attempt towards a great transformation. They begin work early in the morning, not knowing when they will wind up at night.
Everyone is busy working. And as a precise consequence of this diligence, there are clear indications that India will succeed handsomely in this endeavour. And I have seen that in the midst of such difficulties, all personnel of banks and post offices are working very hard. And when it comes to the practice of humanity, they appear two steps ahead. Someone told me that in Khandwa, an old gentleman met with an accident.
Money was needed urgently. This came to the knowledge of local bank personnel, and I was happy to learn that they personally carried and handed over cash at his home, for help in treatment. Innumerable such incidents come to light everyday through television, media, newspapers and mutual conversations. I profusely thank all such compatriots who have striven hard to perform this MAHAYAGYA, and lived up to the lofty virtue of PURUSHARTH. The greatest validation of SHAKTI, strength, comes when the same is put to test.
I distinctly remember, when the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana was launched, bank personnel earnestly and zealously shouldered their responsibilities and showed that they could achieve what had not been accomplished during the last 70 years. Their capabilities were manifested.
Today, once again, they have accepted the challenge and I do believe that the steely resolve of one hundred and twenty five crore countrymen, their collective demonstration of PURUSHARTH will go a long way in investing our nation with a new power and strength on its path of progress. But vices are so widespread and deep-rooted that even today there are people whose vicious habits refuse to die. Even now, some people think that they can re-introduce into the system, money from corruption, black money, unaccounted wealth and Benami money (money in unknown person’s name), using some route or the other. They seek illegal means to save their ill-gotten wealth. The saddest part is that, for this too, they have chosen to misuse the poor, the underprivileged people. By misguiding the poor, enticing them through the vices of avarice and temptation, wrongfully pumping money into their bank accounts, or getting them to undertake some wrong activities, some people are trying to save their black money.
I want to tell such people today - whether you reform or not is up to you, whether you respect and follow the law or do otherwise is again up to you; of course, the law will take its own course to decide on the requisite action; but, for God’s sake, please do not play with the lives of poor people. Do not do anything that may bring the names of the poor on record for wrong reasons and land my dear poor people into trouble during the investigation later on account of your foul deeds. And the law regarding Benami property that has been enacted and is being implemented is very stringent and it is going to be extremely tough on wrong doers. The government does not wish that our countrymen should face undue hardships. Aashish has called me up and appreciated the fight against corruption and black money through the action on 500 and 1000 Rupee notes: - “Sir, Namaste.
My name is Aashish Paare. I am an ordinary citizen of Village Tiraali of Tehsil Tiraali in District Harda of Madhya Pradesh. War Of The Worlds 30th Anniversary Edition 2cd Home.
Your move to demonetize 1000 and 500 rupee notes is a commendable step. I wish that in Mann Ki Baat, you quote instances of people, who, despite facing hardships, have welcomed this step for the nation’s progress. This will further enhance people’s zeal. A cashless economy is necessary for nation building.
And I am with the whole country on this. I am truly happy that you have done away with 1000 and 500 rupee notes.” I have received a similar call from Mr. Yellappa Velankar Ji from Karnataka: - “Modi Ji, Namaste.
I am calling from a village in Koppal district of Karnataka. My name is Yellappa Velankar. I want to thank you wholeheartedly because you had said that good days will come, but nobody had ever thought that you would take such a big step. You have taught a lesson to black money mongers and the corrupt through the demonetization of 1000 and 500 rupee notes. For each and every citizen of India there could be no better days than these. For this I thank you from the core of my heart.” We get to know certain things through media, through the people and through government sources which add to our enthusiasm for work.
It gives us such a great happiness and a sense of pride to know that the common man in my country has such a wonderful capability. A restaurant on the National Highway-6 in Akola in Maharashtra has displayed a board saying that if you have only old currency notes in the pocket and want to have food, please, do not worry about money and do not leave hungry from this place. Please, do have your food and pay later whenever you happen to pass through this place.
So people go and eat there and make payments on their next visit after 2, 4 or 6 days. This is the strength of my country which encompasses the spirit of service, of sacrifice and also of genuineness and honesty. During elections, I used to have ‘चाय पर चर्चा’, that is discussions over tea and this got publicised around the whole world. People in many countries of the world even learnt to utter the phrase – ‘Chai Par Charcha’. But, I did not know ‘Chai Par Charcha’ could be linked to a marriage also.
I learnt that on 17 th November, a marriage was solemnised with ‘Chai Par Charcha’ in Surat. One daughter at Surat in Gujarat served only tea to all the guests who had come to her wedding. There was no big function, no feast or banquet because there was a shortage of cash due to demonetisation. Guests from the bridegroom’s side also gracefully accepted it as their ceremonial welcome. Bharat Maaroo and Dakshaa Parmar from Surat, through their marriage, have made a valuable contribution in the ongoing fight against corruption and black money and set up a very inspiring example. I convey my blessings to the newlyweds Bharat and Dakshaa and profusely compliment them also for having transformed their wedding occasion into an offering for the great task and thereby converting it into a new opportunity. Whenever confronted by such difficult times, people do succeed in exploring and finding good avenues and solutions.
I once saw in the news on TV, when I had returned late in the night, a report about a small village called Dhekiajulli (धेकियाजुली) in Assam, where tea workers reside. These tea workers get their wages on weekly basis. Now, what they did when they received a 2000 rupee note as wages?
Four women from the neighborhood got together and jointly made purchases and made the payment with the 2000 Rupee note; they did not need small currency as they had jointly made their purchases and had decided that they would settle accounts later when they were to meet next week. People are themselves finding ways. And just look at this change. The government received a message that people of tea gardens in Assam are demanding setting up of ATMs in their areas. See, how the village life is also getting transformed.
Some people are getting instant benefits from this campaign. The nation will reap these benefits in the days to come but some people have got benefits instantly. On asking how things were going on, I got to know about the impact in small towns. On the basis of reports received from about 45-50 cities, I gathered that demonetisation had encouraged people there to pay their arrears accumulated due to non-payment of dues earlier; many people were in the habit of not making tax payments such as water tax, electricity bills, etc., they just did not pay. Now all of us know very well that the poor people always like to clear their dues 2-3 days in advance.
It is the well-off people, who do not pay their taxes and bills as they have higher connections and know that nobody is going to ask or do anything against them. Thus there are big arrears of payments, which remain pending. All municipalities receive hardly 50% of their tax revenues. But, this time after the decision taken on the 8 th instant, people rushed to deposit their old currency notes. 47 urban institutions had received about 3 to 3.5 thousand crore rupees in taxes last year. You will be surprised and also happy to know that during this one week, these institutions received 13 thousand crore rupees.
Imagine the difference - from 3 to 3.5 thousand crores to 13 thousand crores. And, that too with the self initiative of those making payments. Now that these municipalities have received 4 times the money, it is quite natural that poor localities and slums will get better drainage facilities, better water supply and better Aanganbari system.
Many such examples are coming to light where direct benefits of this demonetisation can clearly be seen. Brothers and sisters, our villages and our farmers are strong pillars of our economy. Every citizen is making requisite adjustments amidst the difficulties as a result of the new changes. But, I especially wish to compliment the farmers of our country.
I was just gathering data of the sowing of this crop season. I am glad that be it wheat, be it pulses, be it oilseeds, the data received till 20 th November indicates that sowing has increased substantially as compared to sowing during the last year. Our farmers have discovered new avenues amidst the present difficulties. The government has also taken many important decisions, wherein priority has been accorded to our farmers and villages. Despite these measures, some difficulties persist but I am confident that our farmer who bravely faces every difficulty, including natural calamities, is standing firm in the face of present odds also. Small traders and businessmen of our country provide employment opportunities besides adding to the economic activities. In the last budget we had taken an important decision that just like the big malls, small shopkeepers in the villages will also be allowed to operate round the clock and no rule will stop them from doing so because I felt that when the big malls can function 24 hours, why the poor village-shopkeepers should not get the same facility?
A number of initiatives were taken to grant them loans under Mudra Yojana. These small traders were provided loans worth lakhs and crores of rupees under Mudra Yojana because there are crores of such small traders and they impart momentum to the business activities worth billions of rupees. But naturally they too had to face difficulties due to this decision. However, I have seen that these small businessmen too have kept providing services to their customers in their own ways through the use of technology such as Mobile App, Mobile Bank and Credit Card and on the basis of mutual trust also. And, I want to tell our small trader brothers and sisters that this is a ripe opportunity for them too to make their entry into the digital world. You too download Apps of Banks on your mobile phones. You too keep a POS machine for transactions in Credit Cards.
You too learn to do cashless business. You can see how the big malls are expanding their business with the help of latest technology. A small trader can also expand the business with the help of this user friendly technology. There is no possibility of things going wrong, but there certainly is an opportunity to grow. I invite you all. You can make a very big contribution in creating a cashless society. You can create a full-fledged banking facility on your mobile phone and there are many ways now to run our business without using paper currency.
There are technological methods which are safe, secure and instantaneous. I want that you not only extend your cooperation in making this campaign successful but also lead the process of transformation and I have full confidence that you can be the leader for this change. I am sure you can handle the entire business in your village using this technology. I want to tell my worker brothers and sisters too that you have faced heavy exploitation. Wages shown on paper are much higher than the wages actually paid to you.
If sometimes full wages are paid, someone stands outside to forcibly take his cut and the worker is compelled to accept this as his fate. We want that under this new system you should have a bank account; your wages should be deposited directly into your bank so that payment of minimum wages is ensured. You get your due wages in full, without anybody extracting a cut. No one should exploit you. And, once the money is credited into your bank account, you can use your mobile phone as an e-wallet and you do not need any hi-fi smart phone for this, because even with the help of your ordinary mobile phone itself you can make purchases from the neighbourhood shops and make payments as well. That is why, I specially urge our worker brothers and sisters to participate in this scheme because after all I took such a momentous decision for the benefit of the poor people, the farmers, the workers, the deprived and the suffering people of the country and, hence, these benefits must reach them. I specially want to talk to our young friends today.
We keep telling with great fanfare the whole world that India is a country where 65% of the population is below the age of 35 years. I know, dear young men and women of my country, that you have liked my decision. I also know that you support my decision. I even know that you are making a big contribution in positively taking this mission forward. But dear friends, you are my true soldiers, my true partners. We have got a wonderful chance to serve our mother India and to take our country to new economic heights. Dear youngsters, can you please help me?
You will be with me but that alone is not enough. The older generation does not have the exposure and experience of the new world which you possess. Possibly your elder brother and even your parents and uncles and aunts also may not know. You know what an ‘App’ is, what ‘online banking’ is and how ‘online ticket booking’ is done. For you these are routine things and you also make use of them. But, the great task that the country wants to accomplish today is the realisation of our dream of a ‘Cashless Society’.
It is true that a hundred percent cashless society is not possible. But why should India not make a beginning in creating a ‘less-cash society’? Once we embark on our journey to create a ‘less-cash society’, the goa.