New Delhi: 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 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 , ny 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 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. Thank you.