English rendering of PM’s address in the 21st Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’ on 28.02.2021
My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Yesterday was the festival of Magh Poornima. The month of Magh is regarded related especially to rivers, lakes and water sources. It has been mentioned in our scriptures: MAGHE NIMAGNAAHA SALILE SUSHITE, VIMUKTAPAAPAAHA TRIDIVAM PRAYAANTI – meaning, in the month of Magh, a bath in any holy water body is considered sacred. In every society of the world, invariably, there is one tradition or the other with respect to a river. Many civilizations have evolved along the banks of rivers. Since our culture is thousands of years old, the spread of this phenomenon is more evident here. There must not be a single day in India, when there is no festival connected with water in some corner of the country or the other. During the period of Magh, people even leave their homes, near and dear ones, comforts and amenities to perform KALPVAAS on the banks of rivers. This time, in Haridwar, KUMBH too is being held. For us, water is life; faith too and the flow of development as well. In a way, water is more important than PARAS, the philosopher’s stone. It is said that with the touch of a PARAS, iron gets turned into gold. Similarly, the touch of water is necessary for life; imperative for development.
Friends, possibly there is another reason to associate the month of Magh with water – after this, winters come to an end and summers start knocking. Hence, for the conservation of water, we should begin efforts right away. A few days later, just on the 22nd of the month of March, it’s World Water Day.
Aaradhya from U.P. has written to me that millions of people in the world spend a major part of their lives in overcoming water shortage. It has not been said without reason, ‘BIN PAANI SAB SOON’ – without water, everything comes to a naught! In order to solve the water crisis, Sujit ji of North Dinajpur has sent me a very nice message. Sujit ji has written that Nature has bestowed upon us a collective gift in the form of Water; hence the responsibility of saving it is also collective. It is correct that just as there is a collective gift, there is a collective accountability too. Sujit ji’s thought is absolutely correct. River, lake, pond or ground water – all of these are for everyone.
Friends, there was a time when in villages, people would collectively look after wells and ponds. Now one such effort is underway at Thiruvannamalai, Tamilnadu. Here, local people have been running a campaign for the conservation of their wells. These people are rejuvenating public wells in their vicinity that had been lying unused for years.
The endeavour of Babita Rajput ji of village Agrotha in Madhya Pradesh will inspire all of you. Babita ji’s village is in Bundelkhand. Close to her village, once there was a very large lake which had dried up. She mobilized other women of the village itself and built a canal to bring water to the lake. Through this canal, rainwater started flowing directly into the lake. Now this lake remains filled with water.
Friends, the work of Jagdish Kuniyal ji, resident of Bageshwar, Uttarakhand also teaches us a lot. Jagdish ji’s village and the adjoining area were dependent on a natural source for their water requirements. But many years ago, the source dried up. This led to worsening of the water crisis in the entire area. Jagdish ji decided to solve the crisis through tree plantation. Along with fellow villagers, he planted thousands of trees over the entire area…and today, the dried up water source at the place is filled to the brim once again.
Friends, similarly, we shall have to understand our collective responsibilities with regard to water. In most parts of India, rainfall begins in May-June. Can we right away start a 100 day campaign for the sake of cleaning up water sources around us and conserving rainwater? With this very thought in mind, in a few days from now, Jal Shakti Abhiyan CATCH THE RAIN is being initiated by the Jal Shakti Ministry. Its credo is ‘CATCH THE RAIN, WHERE IT FALLS, WHEN IT FALLS’. We shall commit ourselves to the task right now…we shall get existing rain water harvesting systems repaired, clean up lakes and ponds in villages, remove impediments in the way of water flowing into water sources; thus we shall be able to conserve rainwater to the maximum.
My dear countrymen, whenever a discussion on the month of Magh and its spiritual-social significance takes place, the discourse is never complete without one name – the name is that of Sant Ravidas ji. Sant Ravidas ji’s birth anniversary falls on the very day of Magh Poornima. Even today, the words, the knowledge of Sant Ravidas ji guide us on our path. He’d said:
EKAI MAATI KE SABH BHAANDE, SABH KA EKAU SIRJANHAAR | RAVIDAS VYAAPAI EKAI GHAT BHEETAR, SABH KAU EKAY GHADAI KUMHAR ||
All of us are earthen vessels of one clay; all of us have been coiled and shaped by the One. Sant Ravidas ji always expressed himself openly on the social ills that had pervaded society. He laid bare social evils in front of society, showed the path of redemption; and that’s why Meera ji had said, ‘GURU MILIYA RAIDAS, DEENHI GYAAN KI GUTKI’ |
It’s my good fortune that I am connected with Varanasi, the birth place of Sant Ravidas ji. I have experienced the spiritual loftiness of Sant Ravidas ji’s life and his energy at the pilgrimage site. Friends, Ravidas ji used to say
‘KARAM BANDHAN MEIN BANDH RAHIYO, PHAL KI NA TAJJIYO AAS | KARMA MAANUSH KA DHARMA HAI, SAT BHAAKHAI RAVIDAS ||
Meaning, we should incessantly strive with our Karma, our work; the Phal, the reward is bound to come your way. This means – Karma leads to Siddhi, attainment with certitude. Our youth must learn one more thing from Sant Ravidas ji. For doing any work, they should not bind themselves to old methods and practices. Decide and shape your life yourself. Devise your own methods and practices, set your goals yourselves. If your conscience and self confidence is unshakeable, you need not fear anything in the world.
I say so since often due to pressures of traditional thinking our youth are not able to do what they really like. That is why you should never hesitate in thinking new, doing new. In the same manner Sant Ravidas ji has given another important message. This message is ‘to stand on one’s own feet’. It is not fair at all that we remain dependant on others for our dreams. Things remaining to continue the way they are… Ravidas ji was never in favour of this. Today, we see that the youth of the country too is not at all in favour of this thinking. Today when I see the innovative spirit of the youth of the country, I feel Ravidas ji too would have definitely felt proud of our youth.
My dear countrymen, today happens to be the ‘National Science Day’ too. The day is dedicated to the discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ by the great scientist of India, Dr C. V. Raman. Yogeshwaran ji from Kerala has written on NamoApp that the discovery of Raman Effect had changed the direction of science in its entirety. Snehil ji from Nasik too has sent me a very good message connected with this. Snehil ji has written that there are many scientists from our country without whose contribution science would not have progressed as much. The way we know of other scientists of the world, in the same way we should also know about the scientists of India. I too agree with this view of these listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. I definitely would want that our youth know, understand and read a lot about the history of science of India ; about our scientists as well.
Friends, when we talk of science then many a time people restrict it to physics-chemistry or labs, but the spread of science is much more than that. And there is a lot of contribution of the power of science in the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Campaign’. We have to move science forward with the mantra of ‘Lab to Land’.
Chintala Venkat Reddy ji from Hyderabad is an example. A doctor friend of Reddy ji once told him about the diseases caused by deficiency of vitamin D and the dangers thereof. Reddy ji is a farmer, he thought about what he could do about solving this problem. After this he worked a lot and developed breeds of wheat and rice that specially contained vitamin D. This month itself he has received patent from World Intellectual Property Organization, Geneva. Our Government is fortunate that Venkat Reddy was also honoured with the Padmashree last year.
Similarly, Urugen Futsog of Ladakh too is working very innovatively. At those heights Urugen is growing about 20 crops organically, that too in a cyclic way, that is, he utilises the waste of one crop as manure for the other crop. Isnt’ it amazing?
In the same way Kamraj Bhai Choudhary from Patan district in Gujarat has developed good seeds of drum stick at home itself. Some people call drum stick as Sargava or Moringa. Drum sticks that are grown with the help of good seeds are of good quality too. Now by sending his produce to Tamil Nadu and West Bengal he is raising his income also.
Friends, nowadays you must be hearing a lot, the name of Chia seeds. People connected to health awareness give a lot of importance to it and it has a lot of demand too in the world. In India, it is mostly sourced from abroad but now people are taking up the challenge to be self-reliant in Chia seeds too. Similarly, Harishchandra ji of Barabanki in UP has begun farming of Chia seeds. Cultivation of Chia seeds will also increase his income and will help in the self-reliant India campaign too.
Friends, many experiments of creating wealth from agricultural waste too are being run successfully in the entire country. Like, Murugesan ji from Madurai made a machine to make ropes from waste of banana. This innovation of Murugesan ji will solve the issues of environment and filth too, and will also pave the way for additional income for the farmers.
Friends, the purpose of talking about so many people to the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is that we all should get motivated by them. When every citizen of the country will spread the spirit of science in his life and in every field, avenues of progress will also open up and the country will become self-reliant too. And I do believe that every citizen of the country can do this.
My dear friends, Ranjan ji from Kolkata, in his letter, has raised a very interesting and fundamental question and along with that, has tried to answer it in the best way. He asks what it means to us when we talk of becoming self-reliant. In answer to this very question, he himself further writes that- “’Self reliant India” is not just a Government policy, but is a national spirit. He believes that being self-reliant means deciding one’s own fate, that is controlling one’s own destiny. Ranjan babu is a hundred percent correct. Furthering what he has said, I too would say that the first condition for self-reliance is to have pride in the things of one’s own country; to take pride in the things made by people of one’s own country. When every countryman takes pride, every countryman connects; self-reliant India doesn’t remain just an economic campaign but becomes a national spirit. When we see fighter plane Tejas made in our own country doing acrobatics in the sky, when Made in India tanks, Made in India missiles increase our pride, when we see Made in India coaches in Metro trains in wealthy-advanced nations, when we see Made in India Corona Vaccines reaching dozens of countries, then our heads rise higher. And it is not that only bigger things will make India self-reliant. Textiles made in India, handicraft goods made by talented artisans of India, electronic appliances of India, mobiles of India, in every field we have to raise this pride. When we move forward with this thought, only then will we become self-reliant in the truest sense… and friends, I am happy that this mantra of self-reliant India is reaching the villages of the country. This very thing happened in Bettiah, about which I got to read in the media.
A resident of Bettiah, Pramod ji worked as a technician in an LED bulb manufacturing factory in Delhi. During his work in the factory, he understood the intricacies of the entire process in great detail. But during corona Pramod ji had to return to his home. Do you know what Pramod ji did after returning? He himself started a small unit to manufacture LED bulbs. He brought along some youngsters from his area and completed the journey from being a factory worker to becoming a factory owner in a few months ; that too while living in his own house.
There is one more example from Garhmukteshwar in UP. Shriman Santosh Ji from Garhmukteshwar, has written how during the Corona outbreak he turned adversity into opportunity. Santosh ji’s ancestors were craftsmen par excellence ; they used to make mats. When everything came to a halt at the time of Corona, these people began mat making with great energy and enthusiasm. Soon, they started getting orders for their mats not only from Uttar Pradesh, but also from other states. Santosh ji also narrated that with this the hundreds of years old beautiful art of this region has received a new strength.
Friends, there are many examples across the country where people are contributing in a similar manner to the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’. Today it has become a sentiment, flowing in the hearts of common folk.
My dear countrymen, I saw an interesting post by Mayur, a resident of Gurgaon, on the NaMo App. He is a passionate bird watcher and a nature lover. Mayur ji has written that while he lives in Haryana, he wishes us to touch upon the people of Assam, and in particular, the people of Kaziranga. I thought that Mayur ji would talk about the Rhino, hailed as the pride of Kaziranga. But Mayur ji instead has asked for appreciation of the people of Assam for the rise in the number of Waterfowls in Kaziranga. I was searching for a common term to describe Waterfowls in simple terminology, and found the word – Jalpakshi – Birds that nest not on the trees but on the water, such as ducks and others.
The Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve Authority has been carrying out its Annual Waterfowls Census for some time. This Census reveals the population of water birds and also about their favorite Habitat. Just two-three weeks ago, the survey was conducted again. You will also be delighted to know that this time the number of water birds has increased by about one hundred seventy five (175%) percent compared to last year. A total of 112 Species of Birds have been sighted in Kaziranga National Park during this Census. And of these, 58 species happen to be winter migrants from different parts of the world including Europe, Central Asia and East Asia. The most important reason for this is that here, there is better water conservation along with very little human interference. However, in some cases, positive human interference is also very important.
Just take the example of Shri Jadav Payeng of Assam with whom some of you certainly must be familiar. He has received the Padma award for his work. Shri Jadav Payeng is the person who actively contributed in raising about 300 hectares of plantations in the Majuli Island in Assam. He has been constantly working for forest conservation and is also involved in motivating people for Plantation and conservation of biodiversity.
Friends, our temples in Assam are also playing a unique role in the protection of nature. If you take a look at our temples, you will find that every temple has a pond in the vicinity. The Hayagriva Madheb Temple at Hajo, the Nagashankar Temple at Sonitpur and the Ugratara Temple at Guwahati have many such ponds nearby. They are being used to save near extinct species of turtles. Assam is home to the highest number of species of turtles. The ponds of theses temples can become excellent sites for their conservation and breeding and training about them.
My dear countrymen, some people think that it is necessary to be a scientist to do innovation and some believe that it is essential to be a teacher to teach something to others. Those who challenge this line of thinking are worthy of praise. Now for example if anyone trains someone to become a soldier, is it necessary for him to be a soldier? You may be thinking that yes, it is necessary. But here is a little twist!
On MyGov app, Kamalakant ji has shared a media report which states something different. There is a gentleman in Arakhuda in Odisha – Nayak Sir. Although his name is Silu Nayak, everyone addresses him as Nayak Sir. In reality he is a man on a mission! He imparts free training to the youth who want to join the army. The name of the organization of Nayak Sir is Mahaguru Battalion. The training touches upon all the aspects from physical fitness to interviews and writing to training. You will be surprised to know that the people this organization has trained, have secured their places in uniformed forces such as the Army, Navy, Air Force, CRPF and BSF.
By the way, you will also be amazed to know that Silu Nayak ji had himself tried to get recruited in Odisha Police but could not succeed. Despite this, on the basis of his own training, he has made many youth worthy of national service. Come, let us all wish Nayak Sir greater success for preparing more heroes for our country.
Friends, sometimes even a very small and simple question rankles the mind. These questions are not very long ; they are very simple, yet they make us think. A few days ago Aparna Reddy ji of Hyderabad asked me one such question. She said “You have been PM for so many years and were CM for so many years. Do you ever feel that something is missing?” Aparna ji’s question seems simple but is equally difficult. I pondered this over and told myself that one of my shortcomings was that I could not make much effort to learn Tamil, the oldest language in the world ; I could not make myself learn Tamil! It is such a beautiful language, which is popular all over the world. Many people have told me a lot about the quality of Tamil literature and the depth of the poems written in it. India is a land of many languages, which symbolizes our culture and pride. Speaking of language, I want to share a small, interesting clip with you.
(SOUND CLIP STATUE OF UNITY)
Actually, what you were listening to now is a guide at the Statue of Unity, informing people in Sanskrit about the tallest statue of Sardar Patel in the world. You will be happy to know that there are more than 15 guides in Kevadiya, who guide people in fluent Sanskrit. Now I present to you one more voice –
(SOUND CLIP CRICKET COMMENTARY)
You too would have been surprised to hear this. Actually, this is a cricket commentary being done in Sanskrit. In Varanasi, a cricket tournament is held among Sanskrit colleges. These colleges are – Shastharth College, Swami Vedanti Ved Vidyapeeth, Sri Brahma Veda Vidyalaya and International Chandramouli Charitable Trust. Commentary is also done in Sanskrit during the matches of this tournament. I just played for you a very small part of that commentary. Not only this, in this tournament, players and commentators are seen in the traditional attire. If you want energy, excitement, suspense all at once, then you should listen to the sports commentaries. Long before the advent of TV, sports commentary was the medium through which people of the country felt the thrill of sports like cricket and hockey. The commentary for tennis and football matches is also very well presented. We have seen that games in which commentaries are vibrant, they get promoted and gain popularity very fast. Here too, we have many Indian sports, where commentary culture has not permeated yet and due to this they are in a state of near extinction. I have a thought – Why not have good commentaries of different sports and especially Indian sports in more and more languages, we must think about encouraging it. I would urge the Sports Ministry and private institutional partners to think about it.
My dear young friends, the coming few months are of special importance in the lives of all of you. Most of the young friends will have exams. Do all of you remember – You have to become a warrior not a worrier, go gleefully for the examination and come back with a smile. You have to compete with yourself, not with anyone else. Get adequate sleep and be mindful of time management. Do not stop playing, for those who play are the ones that blossom. Revision and smart methods of memorization are to be adopted, that is, overall, in these exams, you have to bring out your best. You must be thinking how all this will be possible. We’re going to do it together. Like every year, this year too we will have ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’. But before the ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’ to be held in March, I request all of you exam warriors, parents and teachers to share your experiences, your tips. You can share on MyGov platform and Narendra Modi app. This time, along with the youth, parents and teachers are also invited to ‘Pariksha Pe Charcha’. You will get all the information on MyGov – how to participate, how to win the prize, how to get an opportunity to discuss with me. So far, more than one lakh students, about 40 thousand parents, and about 10 thousand teachers have participated. You too participate today itself. In the times of Corona, I took out some time, added many new mantras in the exam warrior book; some for the parents as well. A lot of interesting activities related to these mantras are given on the Narendra Modi App which will help to ignite the exam warrior in you. Do try them. Best wishes to all my young friends for the upcoming exams.
My dear countrymen, the month of March is also the last month of our financial year, therefore, it will be a very busy period for many of you. The way economic activities are intensifying in the country, the activities of our business and entrepreneur friends are also increasing. In the midst of all these, we should not lower our guard against Corona. May all of you be healthy, be happy, stay steadfast on the path of duty and service and the country will continue to move ahead fast. Best wishes in advance to all of you for the festivals; there should not be any laxity in the rules regarding Corona as well.
Many many thanks.