Namaskar. My dear countrymen, I’m fortunate once again to be face to face with you in the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme. Just a few days ago, a historic Cricket match took place in Bengaluru. Of course you must have realized that I am referring to the test match between India and Afghanistan. It was Afghanistan’s first international match and it’s a matter of honour for us that this historic match for Afghanistan was played with India. Both teams performed par excellence. Besides, bowler Rashid Khan had performed exceedingly well in the IPL earlier this year. I remember Afghanistan President Shriman Ashraf Ghani’s words on Twitter tagging me along “The people of Afghanistan are extremely, proud of our hero Rashid Khan. I’m also thankful to our Indian friends who created a platform for our players to showcase their skills”. Rashid represents what constitutes the best of Afghanistan. He is an asset to the world of cricket. Then he quipped “No, we are not giving him to anyone!” This match will remain etched in our memories for a long time. Anyway, being the first match, it is naturally memorable, but I will cherish it for a special reason. The Indian team did something that is exemplary to the whole world. What does a winning team do while receiving the trophy? The Indian team, while receiving the trophy, warmly invited the Afghanistan team which had played its first international match to pose together for photographs. This incident exemplifies the very spirit of sportsmanship. Sports is an excellent route to unite society and to showcase the talents & skills of our youth. I felicitate both the teams of India & Afghanistan. I sincerely hope, that in future too, we’ll play with each other with the best sportsman spirit & shine together.
My dear countrymen, this 21st of June, the fourth Yoga Day presented the rarest of sights. The whole world appeared as one entity. In the European Parliament in Brussels, at the UN headquarters in New York, on Japanese naval warships, there were sights of people performing yoga. Saudi Arabia witnessed its first, historic yoga programme and I am told many aasans were demonstrated by women. On the snow capped mountain peaks of Ladakh, Indian and Chinese soldiers performed yoga in unison. Yoga breaks all barriers of borders and unites people. Zealous citizens of hundreds of lands overlooked divisions of caste, religion, region, colour and gender to transform this occasion into a massive festival. If people from the entire world ardently participated in programmes on Yoga Day, why should India not feel elated many times over?
It is a matter of great pride for a hundred & twenty five crore people to witness members of our armed forces perform yoga on land, sea & sky. A section of our brave soldiers did yoga in submarines; some of them chose the snow clad mountainous terrain of Siachen for the same. Our air warriors astounded everyone by performing yogasans in mid sky, some 15 thousand feet above the earth. Spectacular was the fact that they achieved this feat not inside an airplane but while floating mid air. Schools, colleges, offices, parks, skyscrapers, playgrounds came alive- as yoga venues. Heartwarming was an instance in Ahmedabad. Around 750 divyang brothers and sisters assembled at one place to do yoga and thus created a world record.Yogahas broken barriers of caste, creed and geography to unite the people of the entire world, which is the very essence of the real sentiment innate to Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam that we have followed in letter and spirit over centuries. Our Rishis, sages and saints have laid emphasis on certain tenets; yoga has proved them in a concrete manner. I believe that the concept of wellness today is bringing about a revolution. I hope the campaign of wellness through yoga will gain further momentum. More and more people will come forward to make it a part of their lives.
My dear countrymen, many of you have urged me on My gov and Narendra Modi app to mention Doctor’s Day, the 1st of July. You are absolutely right. We think of doctors only during times of distress. But this is a day when the nation celebrates the achievements of our doctors and expresses gratitude for their spirit of service and commitment towards society. We are a people who, by nature, revere the Mother as the equivalent of god since she is the source of our very existence, our life. On the other hand, there are times when it is the Doctor who gives us re-birth. The role of a doctor is not limited to mere treatment of ailments. Often a doctor plays the role of a family friend, a lifestyle guide. They not only cure but also heal. Today, doctors possess not just medical expertise; they have a vast experience on the co- relation between general lifestyle trends and their effect on our health. Indian doctors have carved a niche for themselves in the entire world through their capabilities and skills. Our doctors have gained recognition for their expertise in the medical field, hardworking attitude and the ability to solve complex medical problems. Through Mann Ki Baat I extend my warmest felicitations on behalf of the countrymen to all our doctors, ahead of Doctor’s Day on the 1st of July.
My dear countrymen, as a people, we are truly blessed to be born in this land, bhoomi of Bharat, India. India has had a rich historical canvas. Every single month, every single day in fact, is a marker of one historical event or the other. Every place in India is replete with signposts of heritage. Every place has been blessed with a saint, a luminary or a great, famous personality who has contributed through his sagacity.
Thank you very much for your phone call. It is correct that I am reaching Maghar on the 28th. I am sure you know about Kabirwad in Gujarat when I used to work there, I had organized a National session of people belonging to the tradition of saint Kabir. Once again I have been blessed with the opportunity to visit this Samadhi sthal, this shrine. You must be aware that in eastern Uttar Pradesh, there is a place called Maghar. It is here that Sant Kabir Das ji attained Samadhi. Do you know why Kabir Das ji chose to go to Maghar? In those days it was believed that death in Maghar was a roadblock in one’s pathway to heaven. On the contrary, breathing one’s last in Kaashi was a guarantee for entry into heaven. Maghar was considered unholy but Sant Kabirdas never subscribed to that view. He toiled relentlessly to quell many such superstitions and evil social customs of his times. That is why he went to Maghar and chose to attain Samadhi there. Sant Kabir Das ji, through his verses ‘Saakhis’ and ‘Dohas’ stressed upon the virtues of social equality, peace and brotherhood. These were his ideals. We can feel the essence of these ideals in his compositions. They are relevant & inspiring even in modern times. I quote a doha
कबीरसोईपीरहै, जोजानेपरपीर |
जोपरपीरनजानही , सोकापीरमेंपीर ||
The true saint is the one who recognizes & understands the sufferings of others. Those who do not feel the pain of others are insensitive, uncompassionate. Kabir Das ji laid great emphasis on social cohesion. He was a thinker way ahead of his times. In those days, when the whole world was undergoing strife and degradation of moral values, he spread the message of peace & harmony. He worked towards uniting the populace, bridging their differences.
There will be no enmity in the world if the inner being is at peace.
Compassion should be the universal way of life.
In another doha, Kabir has written.
Compassion leads to righteousness,
Greed leads to sin.
Anger is sure to devour you,
Forgiveness is a great virtue.
Never ask a saint his caste or creed;
Ask him about his repository of knowledge.
He appealed to the people to rise above divisions of religion & caste and make knowledge & wisdom the sole basis of recognition. His principles are relevant even after several centuries have gone by.Since we are referring to Sant Kabir Das ji, I am reminded of a doha couplet in which he says,
Such is the exalted status accorded to the guru, the teacher. And one such guru is Jagatguru, Guru Nanak Dev. He showed the righteous path of life to millions, inspiring them for centuries. Guru Nanak Dev’s teachings endeavoured to eradicate caste based discrimination prevalent in society. He perceived humankind as one & urged everyone to embrace humanity.
Guru Nanak Devji said that the service to the poor and the needy is service to God. Wherever he went, he took many initiatives for the welfare of the society. The establishment of a kitchen free of social discrimination where a person of any caste, sect, religion or community could eat or what we know as the langarsystem was initiated solely by Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The 550th Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak Dev Ji will be celebrated in 2019. I want all of us to join this great festival with enthusiasm and fervour. To celebrate this festival in the entire Indian society and around the world I also urge you to suggest new ideas, new concepts, and innovations on which we can ponder and make preparations and thus we can also celebrate the Prakash parv as Prerna Parv with great pride .
My dear countrymen! The history of India’s struggle for independence is very long, very vast and is filled with countless sacrifices. There is another chapter of history associated with Punjab. In the year 2019, 100 years of the horrific incident of Jallianwala Bagh will come to a full circle, it was an incident that embarrassed the entire humanity. Who can forget that dark day of April 13, 1919, when abusing all limits of power, crossing all the boundaries of cruelty; theguiltless, unarmed and innocent people were fired upon. How can we remember the completion of 100 years of this horrific event is something we canall give a thought to, but we must also remember the everlasting message that this incident has imparted that is – violence and cruelty can never solve any problem. It is peace and non-violence, renunciation and martyrdom that are triumphant in the end!
My dear countrymen! Mr. Raman Kumar of Rohini, Delhi, has written on ‘Narendra Modi Mobile App’ that oncoming July 6 happens to be Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s birthday and he wants me to talk about Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee in this episode of Mann Ki Baat. Thank you very much, Raman Ji. It feels great to see your interest in India’s history. You know, yesterday June 23, was the death anniversary of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was associated with many fields, but the areas which were closest to his heart were education, administration, and parliamentary affairs, very few people would know that he was the youngest vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta at merely 33 years of age.
Very few people would also be knowing that in 1937, on the invitation of Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore addressed the convocation in Kolkata University in Bangla. This was the first time under British rule that the convocation in Kolkata University had been addressed to in Bangla. From 1947 to 1950, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee was the first Industries minister of India and, in a sense, he laid a strong foundation for India’s industrial development, he had prepared a solid base, it was he who had prepared a stout platform. The first industrial policy of Independent India, which came in 1948, was stamped with his ideas and vision. Dr. Mukherjee’s dream was for India to be industrially self-reliant, competent and prosperous in every sphere.
He had wanted India to develop heavy industries and also pay full attention to MSME, handloom, textiles and cottage industry. For the proper development of cottage and small industries with finance availability and organizational setup- All India Handicrafts Board, All India Handloom Board, and Khadi & Village Industries Board were established between 1948 and 1950. There was also a special emphasis by Dr. Mukherjee on indigenization of India’s defence production, in the establishment of four most successful mega projects- Chittaranjan locomotive works factory, Hindustan aircraft factory, Sindri fertilizer factory and Damodar Valley Corporation and other river valley projects, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee contributed significantly. He was very passionate about the development of West Bengal. It was the result of his understanding, prudence, and activism that a part of Bengal could be saved and it is still a part of India.
For Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, the most important thing was the integrity and unity of India – and for this, at the young age of 52, he also sacrificed his life. Come! Let us forever remember Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee’s message of unity imbued with the spirit of goodwill and brotherhood and remain proactive with all our might for the progress of India.
My dear countrymen! During the past few weeks, I had the opportunity to interact with the beneficiaries of different schemes of government through a video call. I got an opportunity to know beyond the confines of the files the changes which are being ushered in the lives of people directly from them. People spoke about their determination, their happiness, and their achievements. I believe that this was not a mere governmental programme for me, but it was a unique learning experience and during this time the joy of seeing people’s faces lit with happiness, can be the moment of greatest satisfaction in anyone’s life? When I would listen to the stories of a common man, his guileless words narrating his experience would touch my heart.
In far-distant villages, daughters are providing services ranging from pension to issuance of passport to senior citizens through the aegis of common service centers. Asister from Chhattisgarh collects custard apple and does business by making its ice cream. Like Anjan Prakash in Jharkhand, many lakhs of young besides running the Yuva – Jan Aushidhi kendras in the country are providing affordable medicines in the nearby villages. At the same time a young man from West Bengal desperately seeking a job two to three years ago is now a successful entrepreneur ; And not only this he is providing employment to ten to fifteen people. Whereas young school students from Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Goa are working on an important topic like waste management in their school’s tinkering lab. I just do not know how many such stories were shared with me, there wasn’t a single corner of the country where people did not have a success story of theirs to share with me. I am glad that in this entire programme I witnessed the accomplishments of the common man more than the achievements of the government, of the country’s power, the power of New India’s dreams, the power of the resolve of the new India – this is what I experienced!
There are certain people in society, who find no solace till they do not express their frustrated views, their depressed views and seek ways to divide rather than unite. In such an environment, when the common man comes to you talking about emerging hope, new zeal and events that have taken place in his life, it is not to the government’s credit. An incident regarding a small girl from a remote village too can inspire the hundred and twenty-five crore people. With the help of technology, through the video bridge, even a single moment spent with the beneficiaries was very enjoyable, very motivational and provided satisfaction to work more. There is a renewed joy in dedicating your life for the upliftment, and you’re left with renewed fervour and inspiration.
I am very grateful to the countrymen. 40-50 lakh people participated in this video bridge program and imparted me with a new strength. I again want to express my gratitude to you all.
My dear countrymen! I always feel that if we look around us, somewhere or something good always happens. Many good people out there are involved in beneficial work. We can also smell the fragrance of righteousness. In the past, one thing came to my attention and it happens to be a very unique combination. On one hand, where we have professionals and engineers, on the other hand, there exist farmers tilling the fields, our brethren-sisters associated with agriculture. Now you must be wondering that these are two completely different occupations – what is the relation between these professions? But there exists a link, in Bangalore, corporate professionals and IT engineers came along and created an effortless ‘Samridhi trust’ with which they have doubled the income of the farmers by successful activation of this trust. This trust remained associated with farmers, drew plans and made successful efforts to increase the income of farmers. The training to inculcate organic farming while teaching latest agricultural techniques and how to grow more crops along with a single cash crop in the fields was imparted through the professional, engineers and technocrats associated with this trust started giving training to the farmers. The farmers who initially used to depend on the same single cash crop in their fields and that too the yield was also not good begetting lesser profits, today are not only growing vegetables but also marketing their own vegetables and getting good prices through the trust. Farmers producing grains have also become associated with this trust.
On one hand, farmers have a major role in the entire chain from cultivation till the marketing of crops, whereas on the other hand, to make certain the farmers’ participation in reaping profits is an attempt to guarantee their right. A separate seed bank has been created to make good agricultural strains available for reaping a bumper harvest. Women have also been added in this activity and they supervise the work of this seed-bank. I congratulate these young people for this innovative experiment and I am happy that these young professionals, technocrats and others associated with the world of engineering, got out of their comfort zone to make a connect with the farmer, the village, fields and barns.
Friends! Your youth-power is really inspiring for any young person. Many other young people of our country will definitely visit your website and look closely at your work and will also be inspired by how they can be of use in different areas of the social milieu in their area. I once again felicitate the youth of my country for their innovative experiments, some of which I might have got to know, some might have escaped me, some people might or may not be aware of but nonetheless I wish countless people involved in doing beneficial work ,very good luck from my side.
My dear countrymen! It’s been an year when GST was implemented. ‘One Nation, One Tax’ was the dream of the people of this country that has become a reality today. If I’ve to give credit to anyone for successful implementation of ‘One Nation One Tax reform’, then I credit the states of our nation. GST is a great example of Cooperative federalism, where all the states decided to take a unanimous decision in the interest of the nation, and then such a huge tax reform could be implemented in the country. So far, there have been 27 meetings of the GST Council and we can all feel proud that people from different political ideologies have been involved in these meetings. These meetings involve representatives of different states; states which have different priorities, but in spite of all this, all the decisions that have been taken in the GST Council so far have been taken with absolute consensus. Before the onset of GST scheme, there were 17 different types of taxes prevailing in the country, but now only one tax is applicable in the entire country. GST is not only the victory of integrity but it is also a celebration of honesty. Earlier, in the case of taxation and allied affairs in the country, there were rampant complaints of Inspector Raj.
In the GST scheme,information technology has replaced the inspector. Everything from return to refund is done through online information technology. The check post has become extinct after the arrival of the GST scheme and the movement of goods has become faster, which not only saves time but is also accruing benefits in the areaof logistics. GST is probably be the biggest tax reform in the world. The successful implementation of such a huge tax reform in India was successful only because the people of the country adopted it and through the power of the masses, fuelled the success of the GST scheme. It is generally believed that such a big tax reform, in a huge country like ours with such a large population takes 5 to 7 years for effective adoption. However within a year, the enthusiasm of the honest people of this nation, the celebration of integrity in the country and the participation of people resulted in this new tax system managing to create a space for itself, has achieved stability and according to the need, it will bring reform through its inbuilt arrangement. This is a huge success in itself which 125 crore Indians have earned for themselves.
My dear countrymen! Once again, while concluding this episode, I wait most eagerly for the next chapter of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, of meeting you and talking to you. I wish you many felicitations.
Thank you very much.