My dear countrymen, welcome to ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Today’s episode begins with the young people of the young nation; their enthusiasm, patriotism and the sense of selfless service that envelops them. As you know, every year, the fourth Sunday of the month of November is celebrated as NCC Day. Generally speaking, our young generation is more likely to remember ‘Friendship Day’, without fail. But there are many people who, equally keep in mind NCC Day. So let’s talk about NCC today. I too will get an opportunity to refresh a few memories. At the outset on the occasion of NCC, Day, I extend my best wishes to all NCC Cadets, both former & present. More so, since I too have been a cadet once; I consider myself to be a cadet even, today. All of us know that India’s National Cadet Corps, NCC is one of the largest uniformed youth organizations of the world.
It is a Tri-services organization comprising the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. NCC means, cultivating the qualities of Leadership, patriotism, selfless service discipline & hard work as an integral part of one’s character; the thrilling journey of imbibing them into one’s habits. To discuss more about this journey, let’s call up a few young people, who have made a name for themselves in the NCC. Let’s talk to them.
PM: Friends, how are you?
Tarannum Khan : Jai Hind, Hon’ble Prime Minister
PM: Jai Hind
Tarannum Khan: Sir, this is Junior under Officer Tarannum Khan
PM: Tarannum, where are you from?
Tarannum Khan: I belong to Delhi sir.
PM: Okay. So how many years have you been with the NCC?
How were your experiences?
Tarannum Khan: Sir I was enrolled in the NCC in 2017; these
three years have been the best years of my life.
PM: Great… it’s nice to hear that
Tarannum Khan: Sir, I would like to share my best experience during an ‘Ek Bharat – Shreshth Bharat’ Camp. This camp was held in August and had children from the North Eastern Region, NER too. We stayed with those cadets for 10 days. We learnt elements from their way of life, their lifestyle. We were introduced to their language. We learnt a lot about their tradition & culture. Such as ‘Vaizomi’ means ‘Hello,’ how are you? Similarly, during our Cultural Nite they taught us their dance. It is called Tehra. And they taught me wearing the ‘Mekhla’ attire. Believe me, our Delhi group was looking pretty, as well as our friends from Nagaland. We also took them around on a tour of Delhi; we showed them the National war Memorial & India Gate too. There we treated them to Delhi’s snack ‘Chaat’ & also the Bhelpuri. But they found it a bit hot & spicy. They told us they generally like having a soup, along with a few boiled vegetables. So they didn’t like it much. But, other than that, we clicked a lot of pictures with them and shared many experiences.
PM: Are you still in touch with them?
Tarannum Khan: Yes Sir. We still contact each other.
PM: Great. That’s good
Tarannum Khan: Yes sir
PM: Who else is there with you?
Hari G.V: Jai Hind Sir
PM: Jai Hind
Hari G.V: This is senior under Officer Sri Hari G.V. I belong to
PM: And where do you study?
Hari G.V: Kristujayanti College, Bengaluru Sir.
PM: Okay, in Bengaluru?
Hari G.V: Yes sir.
PM: So, tell me
Hari G.V: Sir, I came back from the youth Exchange Programme,
Singapore just yesterday.
PM: That’s great
Hari G.V: Yes sir
PM: So you got an opportunity to go there!
Hari G.V: Yes sir
PM: How was your experience in Singapore?
Hari G.V: Six countries had come together, there, comprising United Kingdom, United States of America, Singapore, Brunei, Hong Kong & Nepal. Here we learnt an exchange on combat lessons & International Military exercises. Our performance there was one of its kind. It was here that we learnt water sports and adventure activities. Sir, the Indian team won the Water Polo tournament. And in the cultural segment, we were adjudged as overall performers. They admired our Drill & word of command, sir.
PM: Hari, how many of you were there?
Hari G.V: 20 of us Sir. We were 10 boys & 10 girls.
PM: Okay. Were they from different States of India?
Hari G.V: Yes sir.
PM: Fine. Your friends must be eager to listen to your experiences. I liked it. Who else is there with you?
Vinole Kiso: Jai Hind Sir
PM: Jai Hind
Vinole Kiso: This is senior under Officer Vinole Kiso. I belong to the North Eastern Region, Nagaland State sir.
PM: Yes Vinole. Tell us about your experience.
Vinole Kiso: Sir, I’m studying B.A. History (Honours) at St. Joseph’s College, Jakhama (Autonomous). I joined NCC in the year 2017. It was the greatest & the best decision of my life Sir.
PM: With NCC, where all did you get a chance to travel to?
Vinole Kiso: Sir NCC taught me a lot, and gave me many opportunities.
I would love to share one of my experiences. This year in June I attended a camp. It was the combined Annual Training Camp held at Sazolie College, Kohima. 400 cadets attended the Camp.
PM: So, all your friends in Nagaland must be eager to know about the various places in India, you visited, what all you saw! Do you share all your experiences with them?
Vinole Kisu: Yes sir.
PM: Who else is there with you?
Akhil: Jai Hind Sir, this is Junior under Officer Akhil.
PM: Yes Akhil, tell me
Akhil: I belong to Rohtak, Haryana Sir.
Akhil: I am doing Physics Honours from Dayal Singh College, Delhi University.
PM: That’s good.
Akhil: Sir, the best thing I like about the NCC is discipline.
Akhil: It has made me a more responsible citizen Sir. I love the drill and the uniform of a NCC cadet.
Prime Minister: How many camps you have had a chance to attend? What places did you get the opportunity to visit?
Akhil: Sir, I have done 3 camps. I recently was a part of the attachment camp at Indian Military Academy, Dehradun.
Prime Minister: How long was that camp?
Akhil: Sir, it was was a 13-day camp.
Prime Minister: Good
Akhil: Sir, there I witnessed from close quarters how officers are inducted into the Indian Army … and after that my resolve to become an officer in the Indian Army has become even firmer.
Prime Minister: Great …
Akhil: And Sir, I also participated in Republic Day Parade! It was a matter of great pride for me and my family.
Prime Minister: Well done…
Akhil: My mother was much happier than me, sir. When We used to get up at 2 in the morning to go and practice on Rajpath, the enthusiasm in us was worth seeing! People from the rest of the contingents also encouraged us quite a lot. It was while marching on Rajpath, we had goosebumps!
Prime Minister: All right I got a chance to have a word with all four of you, and that too on NCC Day. It is matter of joy for me because I also had the good fortune to be an NCC Cadet in my village school as a child, so I know that this discipline, this uniform, enhances the confidence level, all these things I had a chance to experience as an NCC Cadet during childhood.
Vinole: Mr. Prime Minister I too have a question.
Prime Minister: Sure, ask!
Vinole: That you have also been a part of NCC
Prime Minister: Who? Is that Vinole speaking ?
Vinole: yes sir, yes sir
Prime Minister: Yes, Vinole please tell me.
Vinole: Did you ever get punishment?
Prime Minister: (laughing) That means that you people get
Vinole: Yes sir.
Prime Minister: No! It never happened because I was in a way quite disciplined! But yes once a misunderstanding crept up. While we were at camp I climbed a tree. At first sight it seemed that I had broken some rule but later everyone came to realize that a bird was stuck in a kite string. So I climbed the tree to save it. So, at first it seemed that there would be some disciplinary action against me, but later I garnered a lot of praise. So I had a different sort of experience in this manner!
Tarannum Khan: Sir, it was great to know that.
Prime Minister: Thank you.
Taranum Khan: This is Taranum speaking.
Prime Minister: Yes Tarannum, tell me…
Tarannum Khan: If you permit sir, I would like to ask you a question?
Prime Minister: Yes, please tell me.
Tarannum Khan: Sir, in your messages you have told us that every
Indian citizen should visit to 15 places in 3 years. Would you like to tell us what places we should visit? And what was the one place that made you feel good rather best?
Prime Minister: Well I have always had a certain fondness for the Himalayas.
Tarannum Khan: Yes …
Prime Minister: But even then I will urge the people of India that if you love nature,
Tarannum Khan: Yes Sir.
Prime Minister: Dense forests, waterfalls, If you want to see a unique type of environment, then I tell everyone to go to the North East.
Tarannum Khan: Yes sir.
Prime Minister: I always tell this fact and because of this I hope Tourism will also increase a lot in the North East; the economy will also benefit a lot and the dream of ‘Ek bharat! Shrestha Bharat!’ will also get strengthened there.
Tarannum Khan: Yes sir.
Prime Minister: But there are lot of places everywhere in India which are worth visiting, worth studying, worth imbibing.
Shri Hari G.V. : Prime Minister sir, I am Shri Hari speaking!
Prime Minister: Yes Hari Please tell me.
Shri Hari G.V. : I want to know from you; had you not been a politician, what would you have been?
Prime Minister: Now this is a very difficult question because every child goes through multiple phases in life. Sometimes one wants to become this, sometimes one wants to become that, but it is true that I never had the desire to go into politics, nor ever thought about it, but now that I have reached here, I keep thinking how I can work for the welfare of the country with all my heart, and the mere thought that ‘Where would I have been if I hadn’t been here’ should never enter my thought. Now, wherever I am, I should live life to the fullest and I should wholeheartedly work ceaselessly for my country, not worrying whether it is day, or night. I have now dedicated myself for this purpose only.
Akhil: Prime Minister …
Prime Minister: Yes …
Akhil: If you are so busy during the day, then I’m curious to know whether you get time to watch TV, movies or read books?
Prime Minister: By the way, I was always fond of reading books since it is not a time bound activity. I have never had any interest in watching films, nor do I watch TV with the same intent. I watch very little. Earlier I used to watch Discovery channel for the sake of curiosity. And I used to read books. But these days I am unable to read and due to Google, the habit of reading has deteriorated because if you want to seek a reference, then you immediately find a shortcut. So like everyone certain habits of mine have also been spoiled. Ok, friends, I loved talking to you all very much and through you I wish the very best to all the NCC cadets. Thanks a lot my friends, Thank You!
All NCC cadets: Thank you very much Sir, Thank You!
Prime Minister: Thank you, Thank You.
All NCC cadets: Jai Hind Sir
Prime Minister: Jai Hind
All NCC cadets: Jai Hind Sir
Prime Minister: Jai Hind, Jai Hind
My dear countrymen, we should never forget that Armed Forces Flag Day is celebrated on the 7th of December. This is the day when we pay homage to our brave soldiers, for their valour, their sacrifices; we also contribute. Only a sense of respect does not suffice. Participation is also necessary and every citizen should come forward on the 7th of December and everyone should possess the flag of the Armed Forces on that day; everyone should also contribute. Come. On this occasion, let us express our gratitude for the indomitable courage, valour and spirit of dedication of our Armed Forces and remember the brave soldiers.
My dear countrymen, by now you must be familiar with the Fit India Movement. CBSE has taken a commendable initiative of introducing the concept of ‘Fit India week’. Schools can celebrate ‘Fit India week’ anytime during the month of December. There are many types of events to be organized with regards to the aspect of fitness. This includes quiz, essays, articles, paintings, traditional and local sports, yogasana, dance, sports and games competitions. Students as well as their teachers and parents can also participate in the Fit India Week. But don’t forget that Fit India doesn’t mean just exercising the mind or making fitness plans on paper or merely looking at fitness apps on the laptop or computer or on a mobile phone. Not at all you’ve to sweat it out. The food habits have to change. The habit of maximising focus activity should be inculcated.
I appeal to the school boards and management of all the states of the country that Fit India Week should be celebrated in every school, in the month of December. This will inculcate the habit of fitness in our daily routine. In the Fit India Movement, schedules have been drawn for ranking schools in accordance with fitness. The schools that achieve this ranking will also be able to use the ‘Fit India’ logo and flag. The Schools can declare themselves as Fit by visiting the Fit India portal. Fit India three star and Fit India five star ratings will also be given. I appeal that all schools should enroll in the Fit India ranking system and Fit India should become innate to our temperament. That it become a mass movement and bring awareness is what we must strive for!
My dear countrymen, our country is so large…so full of diversity. It is so ancient… that so many things just slip our mind…and that’s quite natural. But I do wish to share something with you. I happened to glance at a comment on the MyGov portal a few days ago. Mr Ramesh Sharma from Nagaon in Assam has written this comment. He writes, that a festival is being celebrated on Brahmaputra river. It’s called Brahmaputra Pushkar. This festival was held between 4th and 16th November, and people had come from all corners of the country to take part in this Brahmaputra Pushkar. Weren’t you also surprised to hear this? See, that’s the thing, this is such an important festival, and our forefathers have fashioned it in a way that once you hear the full details, you will be even more surprised. But unfortunately, the extent to which this should have been publicized, the extent to which this information should have been disseminated to every corner of the country, it isn’t done. And it is also true, that this event in a way signifies the concept of one country-one message. And that we are all ONE. It fills us with that feeling, it energises us.
First of all let me thank Shri Ramesh for having shared his thoughts with the entire country through the Man Ki Baat forum. You have also agonized about the fact that such an important event is not adequately publicized, not discussed as much as it should be. I can empathise with you.
Not many people in the country know about this. Well, if someone would have given it the moniker “International River Festival”, or used some other highfalutin lingo to reference it, well then, it might have resulted in some sort of discussion around this topic in the country.
My dear countrymen, Pushkaram, Pushkaraalu, Pushkaraha. – have you ever heard these terms? Do you know what these are? Let me tell you. These are the different names by which festivals organized on 12 different rivers across the country are called. One river every year…that means it would recur on that particular river after 12 years…and this festival is held sequentially every year in 12 different rivers spread across the country …and it lasts for 12 long days. Just like the Kumbh festival, this too, encourages the concept of national unity. And echoes the philosophy of “Ek Bharat-ShreshTh Bharat” (One India Best India)…Pushkaram is a festival in which the greatness of the river, the glory of the river, the importance of the river in our lives…all these are brought forth naturally.
Our forefathers put a lot of emphasis on nature, on environment, on water, on land, on forests.
They understood the importance of rivers, and tried to inculcate a positive mindset towards rivers in the society. They constantly strove to conflate the river with the cultural stream, the stream of tradition, and with the society. And the interesting thing is that, not only did it bring the society closer to the rivers, it also brought people closer to each other. Last year the Pushkaram was held on the TaamirabaraNi river in Tamil Nadu. This year it was held on the Brahmaputra river. Next year it will be held in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka on the Tungabhadra river.
In a way, you can travel to all these 12 places, as part of a tourist circuit as well. Here I would like to appreciate the warmth and hospitality of the people of Assam, who acted as wonderful hosts for pilgrims from all over the country. The organizers also paid great attention to cleanliness. They ensured plastic free zones. Bio-toilets were also provided at many places. I hope that this ancient festival, that has helped create a positive mindset towards rivers among us, will continue to bring our future generations also closer to the rivers. Nature, environment, water – all these things should not only be part of our tourism – they should also be a part of our lives.
My dear countrymen, young Shweta writes in from Madhya Pradesh on the NaMo app. And she says, sir, I am studying in Class 9, and there is still a year to go before I sit for my board examinations. But I regularly listen to your conversations with students and exam warriors. The reason I am writing to you is that you have not yet shared with us the scheduled date for your next interaction on examinations. Please schedule it at the earliest. If possible, please schedule it in January.
Friends, this is something I really like about the “Man Ki Baat” programme. The love and sense of entitlement with which my young friends complain to me, instruct me or give suggestions to me – I really am gladdened by them. Shveta ji, you have raised this issue at an opportune time. Exams are round the corner…so like every other year, we need to discuss examinations. And you are right, that this program needs to be scheduled a bit earlier.
After the last exam interaction, many people have written in with suggestions to make it more effective. Some have even complained that it was held too close to the date of the exam. And Shweta is right that I should conduct it in the month of January. The HRD ministry and the MyGov team are jointly working on it. It will be my endeavour to hold this discussion on exams in the beginning or middle of January. Student friends across the country have two opportunities. One, they can become part of this through their respective schools. Alternatively, they can be part of the program being conducted here in Delhi. Students participating in the Delhi event will be selected through the MyGov portal. Friends, we have to banish the fear of examinations collectively. I want to see my young friends smiling during examinations, their parents should be stress-free, teachers should be assured. We have been constantly striving to achieve this objective – through the Man ki baat program, through the “Discussions on Examinations” Townhall or through the Exam Warriors book. Students, parents and teachers from across the country have taken this mission forward, and I am grateful to all of them. We will all celebrate the upcoming program on Examination Discussion together – I cordially invite you all.
Friends, in the last edition of Man Ki Baat, we had discussed the 2010 Allahabad High Court Judgment on the Ayodhya issue. And I have referred to how we had maintained peace and harmony back then. Whether it was before the verdict, or after the verdict. This time too, when the Supreme Court pronounced its judgment on 9th November, 130 crore Indians once again proved, that for them, national interest is supreme. The values of peace, unity and goodwill are paramount in our country. When the verdict on Ram Mandir was pronounced, the entire country embraced it with open arms. They accepted the verdict with ease and with peace. Today, through the Man Ki Baat program, I would like to appreciate and thank my countrymen. I am particularly grateful to them for the patience, restraint and maturity shown by them. On the one hand, a protracted legal battle has finally come to an end, on the other hand, the respect for the judiciary has grown in the country. In the truest sense, this verdict has also proved to be a milestone for the judiciary in our country. After this historic verdict of the Supreme Court, the country has moved ahead on a new path, with a new resolve…full of new hopes and aspirations. It is my hope and wish that New India imbibes this feeling and forges ahead in a spirit of peace, unity and goodwill. It is the wish of each one of us.
My dear countrymen, our civilization, culture and languages preach the message of unity in diversity to the entire world. 130 crore Indians belong to a country about which it is said, “The taste of the water changes after every couple of kilometers, the lingo changes every few miles. Hundreds of languages have blossomed and flourished in our country for centuries. At the same time, we are also concerned about the possible extinction of these languages and dialects. Recently I read a story from Dhaarchulaa in UttaraakhanD. That gave me a lot of satisfaction. After reading that story, I got to know how people are coming forward to promote their languages. In innovative ways…I was attracted to this story from Dhaarchulaa since I too have stayed there while travelling. It has Nepal on one side, Kali Ganga on the other side – so it’s natural that my attention was drawn to this story from Dhaarchulaa. There are many people of the Rang community who inhabit Dhaarchulaa in PithauraagaRh. They converse among one another in the Ranglo language. They are quite saddened by the fact that the number of people who speak this language is rapidly dwindling. And then, one fine day, they got together and resolved to save their language. And in no time, people from the Rang community joined in. You will be amazed to hear that there are only a handful of people in this community. Roughly, their number is estimated to be around ten thousand. But in order to save the Ranglo language, everyone contributed their mite. Be it an 84 year old elderly man Diwan Singh, or a 22 year old youth Vaishali Garbyaal. Be it a professor or a trader, everyone contributed – in whatever way they could. In this mission, ample use was also made of the social media. Many WhatsApp groups were formed. Hundreds of people were connected to this mission through these groups. This language does not have a script. It finds usage only in the spoken form. So, people started posting stories, poems and songs. They started correcting each other’s language (errors). So, in a way WhatsApp became a kind of classroom, where everyone was a student and a teacher at the same time. There is an effort to conserve the Ranglo language in all this ?? Different kinds of programs are being held, magazines are being published, and social institutions are also assisting in this effort.
Friends, another important thing to note is that the United Nations has declared 2019 as the “International Year of Indigenous Languages”. That means, efforts are being made to conserve those languages which are on the verge of extinction. Hundred and fifty years ago, the father of modern Hindi Bharatendu Harishchandra had also said
“The progress of one’s language, is the source of one’s overall progress
All progress is meaningless if one’s mother tongue is neglected”
That means, no progress is possible without the knowledge of one’s mother tongue. This initiative of the Rang community, thus, is sure to be showing the path to the rest of the world. If you too, have been inspired by this story, then start using your language or dialect from today. Inspire the society and your family to do so.
Towards the end of the 19th century, Mahakavi (Great Poet) Subramanya Bharati had said, and he had said in Tamil.
முப்பது கோடி முகமுடை யாள். Mupppadu kODi mugam uDai yaaL
உயிர் மொய்ம்புற ஒன்றுடையாள்- uyir moim bura onDruDaiyaaL
இவள் செப்பு மொழிபதி னெட்டுடையாள் ivaL seppu mozhi padineTTuDaiyaaL
எனில் சிந்தனை ஒன்றுடையாள் enil sindanai onDruDaiyaaL
And he said it back then, I am referring to the second half of the 19th century. And he said that Mother India has 30 crore faces, but one body. She speaks 18 languages, but thinks as one.
My dear countrymen, there are times when mundane things in life enrich us with a great message. Just the other day, I was reading a story in the media on scuba divers. This is a story that can be inspiring for all Indians. One day, these scuba divers, who impart training in Vishakhapattanam, were obstructed by plastic bottles and pouches on their way back from sea on Mangamaripetta beach. While cleaning the litter, they found the matter grave. They were appalled at the way our sea is being littered with garbage. For the last many days, these divers go up to 100 mts. away from the coast; dive deep and take out the garbage lying around. And I am told that just within 13 days ie 2 weeks, they have removed more than 4000kg of plastic waste from the sea. This small beginning by the divers is being transformed into a big mission.
They are being helped by local people now. Local fishermen have also started to help them by all means.
Pondering over, taking inspiration from these scuba divers, if we too, take a pledge to rid our surroundings of plastic waste, “Plastic Free India” can become a new example for the whole world.
My dear countrymen, the 26th of November is just two days away.. This day is special for the whole country. This is especially important for our republic since we celebrate this day as Constitution Day. This year it is even more special as we are completing 70 years of the adoption of the constitution. This occasion will be marked by a special programme in Parliament followed by many other events organised across the country throughout the year. Let us pay our respects and gratitude to all the members of the constituent assembly. Our constitution guards the rights and dignity of every citizen which has been ensured owing to the farsightedness of the architects of our constitution.
I pray that the ‘Constitution Day’ reinforces our obligation towards upholding the constitutional ideals and values thus contributing to nation building. After all, this was the dream of the makers of our constitution.
My dear countrymen, winter is knocking on the door. We can feel the pink of the season all around us. Parts of the Himalaya have begun to don sheets of snow, but this is the season of the ‘fit India movement’ too. You, your family, your friends, your friend circle, your companions, should not miss the opportunity. Use the weather to your advantage to take the ‘Fit India Movement ‘forward.
Many good wishes. Many thanks.