My dear countrymen, Namaskar, Welcome to Mann Ki Baat. But, we can never forget this day, the 26th of November. It was on this very day that the country had come under the most dastardly terror attack. Terrorists had made Mumbai shudder… along with the entire country. But it is India’s fortitude that made us surmount the ordeal; we are now quelling terror with full ardor. I pay homage to all of them who lost their lives in the Mumbai attack. Today, the country is in remembrance of those brave hearts who made the supreme sacrifice during the attack.
My family members, this day, the 26th of November is extremely significant on one more account. It was on this very day in 1949 that the Constituent Assembly had passed and adopted the Constitution of India. I remember… in the year 2015, when we were celebrating the 125th birth anniversary of BabasahebAmbedkar, a thought had struck the mind to observe the 26th of November as Constitution Day. And since then, every year, we have been celebrating this day as Constitution Day. I extend my best wishes to all countrymen on the occasion of Constitution Day. And together we shall certainly attain the resolve of a developed India, according priority to citizens’ duties.
Friends, all of us know that the Constitution took 2 years 11 months and 18 days for coming into being. The oldest member in the Constituent Assembly was Shri Sachidananda Sinha Ji. The Draft of our Constitution came up after close study of the Constitution of over 60 countries; after long deliberations. After readying the Draft, before the final structure shaped up, over 2000 Amendments were re incorporated in it. Even after the Constitution came into force in 1950, till this day, a total of 106 Amendments have been carried out in the Constitution. In consonance with the times, circumstances and requirements of the country, various Governments carried out Amendments at different times. But this too has been a misfortune that the Constitution’s first Amendment pertained to curtailing the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression. Whereas, through the 44th Amendment, the wrongs committed during the Emergency had been duly rectified.
Friends, it’s again inspiring that out of the same members of the Constituent Assembly who were nominated, 15 were Women. One such Member was Hansa Mehta Ji, who raised her voice for the sake of rights and justice to women. During that period, India was one of the countries whose Constitution enabled Voting Rights to women. In the process of nation building, collective development is possible only with support from everyone. It’s a matter of inner satisfaction for me that in adherence to the farsightedness of the framers of the Constitution, the Parliament of India has now passed the Nari Shakti Vandan Act. The Nari Shakti VandanAdhiniyam is an example of the Sankalp Shakti, the strength of the resolve of the Democracy. This will provide a fillip to the pace of accomplishing our resolve of a developed India.
My family members, when the people at large take charge of nation building, no power in the world can stop that country from moving forward. Today, it is clearly visible in India that many transformations are being led by the 140 crore people of the country. We have seen a direct example of this during this festive season. Last month in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ I had laid emphasis on ‘Vocal for Local’ i.e. buying local products. Within the last few days, business worth more than Rs. 4 lakh crore has been done in the country on Diwali, BhaiyaDooj and Chhath. And during this period, tremendous enthusiasm was seen among the people in buying products Made in India. Now even our children, while buying something at the shop, have started checking whether Made in India is mentioned on them or not. Not only that, nowadays, people do not forget to check the Country of Origin while purchasing goods online.
Friends, just as the very success of 'Swachh Bharat Abhiyan' is becoming its inspiration; the success of ‘Vocal For Local’ is opening the doors to a ‘Developed India - Prosperous India’. This campaign of ‘Vocal For Local’ strengthens the economy of the entire country. The Vocal For Local campaign is a guarantee of employment. This is a guarantee of development; this is the guarantee of balanced development of the country. This provides equal opportunities to both urban and rural people. This also paves the way for Value Addition in local products, and if ever, there are ups and downs in the global economy, the mantra of Vocal For Local also protects our economy.
Friends, this sentiment towards Indian products should not be limited to festivals only. The wedding season as wellhas commenced now. Some trade organizations estimate that there could be a business of around Rs 5 lakh croreduring this wedding season. While shopping for weddings, all of you should give importance to products made in India only. And yes, since the topic of marriage has come up, one thing has been troubling me off and onfor a long time… and if I don't open up my heart's pain to my family members, who else do I do it with? Just ponder… these days a new milieu is being created by some families to go abroad and conduct weddings. Is this at all necessary? If we celebrate the festivities of marriages on Indian soil, amid the people of India, the country's money will remain in the country. The people of the country will get an opportunity to render some service or the other at your wedding… even poor people will tell their children about that occasion. Can you extrapolate on this mission of ‘Vocal for Local’? Why don't we hold such wedding ceremonies in our own country? It is possible that the kind of system you want may not be there today, but if we organize such events, systems will also develop. This is a topic related to very big families. I hope this pain of mine will definitely reach those big families.
My family members, another big trend has been seen during this festive season. This is the second consecutive year when the trend of buying some goods through cash payments on the occasion of Deepawali is gradually on the decline. That means, people are making more and more digital payments now. This is also very encouraging. You can do one more thing. Decide for yourself that for one month you will make payments only through UPI or any digital medium and not through cash. The success of the digital revolution in India has made this absolutely possible. And when one month is over, please share your experiences and your photos with me. I wish you all the best in advance from now itself.
My family members, our young friends have given another significant good news to the country, which is going to swell all of us with pride. ‘Intelligence, Idea and Innovation’is the hallmark of Indian youth today. A continuous rise in their intellectual properties through the combination of technology - this in itself is an important facet of progress in enhancing the capability of the country. You will be pleased to know that there has been an increase of more than 31 percent in patent applications by Indians in 2022. The World Intellectual Property Organization has released a very interesting report. This report shows that this has never happened earlier even in the top 10 countries that are at the forefront in filing patents. I congratulate my young colleagues for this wonderful achievement. I want to assure my young friends that the country is with you at every step. After the administrative and legal reforms made by the government, today our youth are engaged in innovation on a large scale with renewed energy. If compared with the figures of 10 years ago… today, our patents are getting 10 times more approvals. We all know that patents not only increase the Intellectual Property of the country; they also open doors to newer opportunities. Not only that, it also enhances the strength and potential of our start-ups. Today the spirit of innovation is being promoted among our school children as well. Atal Tinkering Lab, Atal Innovation Mission, Incubation Centres in colleges, Start-Up India campaign… the results of such relentless efforts are in front of the countrymen. This too, is a direct example of India's youth power; India's innovative power. Moving ahead with this fervour, we shall achieve the vision of a developed India and that is why I say again and again, 'Jai Jawan-Jai Kisan', 'Jai Vigyan-Jai Anusandhan'.
My dear countrymen, you might remember that some time ago in 'Mann Ki Baat' I had discussed about the large number of fairs being organized in India. Then the idea of a competition also came to mind in which people would share photos related to fairs. The Ministry of Culture had organized a Mela Moments Contest in connection with the same. You wouldbe pleased to know that thousands of people participated in it and many people also won prizes. Rajesh Dharji, resident of Kolkata, won the award for his amazing photo of a balloon and toy seller at CharakMela. This fair is very popular in rural Bengal. Anupam Singh ji received the Mela Portraits Award for showcasing Holi at Varanasi. Arun Kumar Nalimelaji was awarded for showing an attractive aspect related to 'KulasaiDussehra'. Similarly, a photo showing the devotion of Pandharpur was included in the most liked photo, which was sent by a gentleman from Maharashtra, Shriman Rahul ji. In this competition, there were many pictures of local dishes visible during the fairs. In this, the picture by AlokAvinash ji, resident of Purulia, won an award. He had showcased the food of rural areas of Bengal during a fair. A picture by PranabBasaakji, in which women are enjoying Qulfi during the Bhagoriya festival, was also awarded. Rumelaji had sent a photo of women tasting Bhajiya in a village fair in Jagdalpur, Chhattisgarh - that was also awarded.
Friends, through ‘Mann Ki Baat’, today I request every village, every school, everypanchayat to organize such competitions regularly. Nowadays, the power of social media is immense… technology and the mobile have reached every home. Be it your local festivals or products, you can make them global through them as well.
Friends, just like the fairs held in every village, various dances here also possess their own heritage. There is a very famous dance in the tribal areas of Jharkhand, Odisha and Bengal which is called 'Chhau'. 'Chhau' festival was organized in Srinagar from 15 to 17 November with the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. Everyone enjoyed the 'Chhau' dance in this program. A workshop was also organized to impart training in 'Chhau' dance to the youth of Srinagar. Similarly, 'BasohliUtsav' was organized in Kathua district a few weeks ago. This place is a 150 kilometers away from Jammu. Local art, folk dance and traditional Ramlila were organized in this festival.
Friends, the beauty of Indian culture was felt in Saudi Arabia also. This month, an event named 'Sanskrit Utsav' was held in Saudi Arabia. This was unique in itself, since the entire program was in Sanskrit. Dialogues, music, dance, everything in Sanskrit, in which the participation of the local people was also seen.
My family members, 'Swachh Bharat' has now become a favorite topic of the entire country. It of course is my favorite topic as well and as soon as I receive any news related to it, my mind veers towards it… and it is naturalfor it to certainly find a mention in 'Mann Ki Baat'. The Swachh Bharat Abhiyan has changed people's mindset regarding cleanliness and public hygiene. Today this initiative has become a symbol of the national spirit, which has improved the lives of crores of countrymen. This campaign has also inspired people from different walks of life, especially the youth, for collective participation. One such commendable effort has been observed in Surat. A team of youth has started ‘Project Surat’ there. Its aim is to make Surat a model city which becomes an excellent example of cleanliness and sustainable development. Under this effort, which commenced as 'Safai Sunday', the youth of Suratearlier used to clean public places and the Dumas Beach. Later, these people also got involved wholeheartedly in cleaning the banks of the Tapiriver. And you will be happy to know that within no time the number of people associated with this has risen to more than 50 thousand. The confidence of the team increased with the support received from the people, after which they also embarked upon the task of collecting garbage. You will be surprised to know that this team has cleared lakhs of kilos of garbage. Such efforts made at the grassroots level can bring huge changes.
Friends, another piece of information has come in from Gujarat itself. A few weeks ago, 'BhadaraviPoonam Fair' was organized atAmbaji.More than 50 lakh people came to this fair. This fair takes place every year. The most significant aspect about it was that the people who came to the fair conducted a cleanliness campaign across a large part of Gabbar Hill. This campaign to keep the entire area around the temples clean is very inspiring.
Friends, I always say that cleanliness is not a campaign for a day or a week but it is an endeavor to be implemented for life. We also see people around us who have devoted their entire lives to issues related to cleanliness. Loganathanji, who lives in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, is incomparable. During his childhood, he often used to getperturbedon seeing the torn clothes of poor children. After that, he took a vow to help such children and started donating a part of his earnings to them. When there was shortage of money, Loganathanji even cleaned toilets so that the needy children could be helped. He has been engaged in this task with complete dedication for the last 25 years and till now has helped more than 1500 children. I once again commend such efforts. Many such efforts taking place across the country not only inspire us but also ignite the will to do something new.
My family members, one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century is 'Water Security'. Conserving water is no less than saving life. When we perform any work with this spirit of collectivity, we also achieve success. An example of this is the 'AmritSarovar' being built in every district of the country. The more than 65 thousand ‘AmritSarovars’ that India has developed during the ‘AmritMahotsav’ will benefit forthcoming generations. Now it is also our responsibility to ensure that wherever 'AmritSarovar' have been built, they should be regularly looked after so that they remain the main source of water conservation.
Friends, amidst such discussions on water conservation; I also came to know about the 'JalUtsav' held in Amreli, Gujarat. There is also a lack of perennially flowing rivers in Gujarat, hence people have to depend mostly on rain water. During the last 20-25 years, after the efforts of the government and social organizations, the situation there has definitely changed. And hence ‘JalUtsav’ has a big role there. During the ‘JalUtsav’ held in Amreli, there were efforts to enhance awareness among the people on ‘water conservation’ and conservation of lakes. In that, water sports were also promoted and brainstorming was also done with experts on water security. The people participating in the program liked the tricolor water fountain very much. This water festival was organized by the foundation of SavjibhaiDholakia, who made a name for himself in the diamond business of Surat. I congratulate everyone involved in this and wish them all the best for doing similar work for water conservation.
My family members, nowadays the importance of skill development is finding acceptance all over the world. When we teach someone a skill, we not only give the person that skill; we also provide a source of income. And when I came to know that an organization has been engaged in skill development work for the last four decades, I felt even better. This institution is in Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh and its name is ‘Beljipuram Youth Club’. Focusing on skill development, ‘Beljipuram Youth Club’ has empowered around 7000 women. Most of these women today are doing some work or the other on their own. This organization has also helped the children trapped in child labor to get out of that vicious cycle by teaching them some skill or the other. The team of ‘Beljipuram Youth Club’also taught new skills to the farmers associated with Farmer ProducerOrganizations i.e. FPOs, which has empowered a large number of farmers. This youth club is also spreading awareness in every village regarding cleanliness.It has also helped in the construction of many toilets. I congratulate and appreciate all the people associated with this organization for skill development. Today, such collective efforts are needed for skill development in every village of the country.
Friends, when there is a collective effort towards a goal, the level of success also rises higher. I want to share with all of you an inspiring example of Ladakh. You certainly must have heard about the Pashmina Shawl. Ladakhi Pashmina is also being discussed a lot for some time now. Ladakhi Pashmina is reaching the markets around the world under the name of ‘Looms of Ladakh’. You will be surprised to know that more than 450 women from 15 villages are involved in weaving them. Earlier they used to sell their products only to the tourists coming there. But now in this era of Digital India, the products made by them have started reaching different markets in the country and the world. That means our local is now becoming global and on account of that, the earnings of these women have also increased.
Friends, such successes of women power are present in every corner of the country. There is a need to bring such examples to the fore as much as possible. And what could be better than ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to convey this? So you too share such examples with me as much as possible. I will also try my best to bring them to you.
My family members, in 'Mann Ki Baat' we have been discussing such collective efforts which have brought about major changes in the society. Another achievement of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is that it has made radio more popular in every household. On MyGov, I have received a letter from Ram Singh BaudhJi of Amroha in Uttar Pradesh. Ram Singh ji has been engaged in the work of collecting radio sets for the last several decades. He says that after 'Mann Ki Baat', people's curiosity about his Radio Museum has increased further. Similarly, inspired by ‘Mann Ki Baat’, TeerthdhamPrernaTeerth near Ahmadabad has organized an interesting exhibition. More than a 100 antique radios from India and abroad are displayed here. Here, all the episodes of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ done till now can be heard. There are many more examples, which show how people got inspired by ‘Mann Ki Baat’ and started their own enterprise. One such example is that of Varshaji of Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, who was inspired by 'Mann Ki Baat' to stand on her own feet. Motivated by an episode of this program, she started the work of making organic fertilizer from bananas. This initiative of Varshaji, who is very fond of nature, has also brought employment opportunities for other people.
My family members, tomorrow the 27th of November, is the festival of KartikPurnima. ‘DevDeepawali’ is also celebrated on this day. And I always feel like witnessing 'DevDeepawali' of Kashi. This time I’ll not be able to go to Kashi but I am definitely sending my best wishes to the people of Banaras through ‘Mann Ki Baat’. This time too, lakhs of lamps will be lit on the Ghats of Kashi; there will be a grand Aarti; there will be a laser show… lakhs of people from India and abroad will enjoy 'DevDeepawali'.
Friends, tomorrow, on the day of the full moon, is also the Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak DevJi. Guru Nanak Ji's precious messages are inspiring and relevant even today, not only for India but for the whole world. They inspire us to be simple, harmonious and dedicated towards others. Our Sikh brothers and sisters all over the world are seen following the teachings of Guru Nanak DevJi about the spirit of service and acts of service. I convey my very best wishes to all the listeners of Mann Ki Baat, on the Prakash Parv of Guru Nanak DevJi.
My family members, that’s all this time with mein 'Mann Ki Baat'. By and by, 2023 is moving towards its end. And like every time, you and I are also thinking that look...this year has passed so quickly. But it is also true that this year has been a year of immense achievements for India, and India's achievements are the achievements of every Indian. I am glad that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has become a powerful medium to highlight such achievements of Indians. Next time we will talk to you again about the many successes of our countrymen. Till then, I take leave of you.