My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Presently, you must be amid preparations for bidding farewell to 2021 and welcoming 2022. On New Year, every person, every organization, takes a resolution to do something better, to become better in the coming year. For the last seven years, our ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has also been inspiring us to do better and improve further, by highlighting the goodness of the individual, of the society, of the country. In these seven years, while doing ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I could also have discussed the achievements of the government…You too would have liked it; you would have appreciated it as well! But it is my experience of decades, that away from the glare of the media, away from the headlines of newspapers, there are millions of people who are doing great things. They are expending their today for the ensuing tomorrow of the country. For the coming generations of the country, they are busy today relentlessly with their efforts. Talking about such people is very comforting; gives deep inspiration. For me ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has always been a beautiful garden filled with the efforts of such people and in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, every month my effort is…from this garden, which petal should I pluck for you? I am happy that from the treasure trove of our land the unceasing flow of virtuous deeds keeps on flowing ceaselessly. And today when the country is celebrating Amrit Mahotsav, the mention of this Janashakti; the strength of each and every individual, their efforts, their hard work, in a way, guarantees a bright future for India and humanity.
Friends, this is the strength of the people; it is because of everyone’s effort that India could fight the biggest pandemic in a 100 years. We stood by each other like a family in every difficult moment. To help someone in one’s locality or city… everyone tried to do more than what one could have done. If we compare the vaccination figures of the world today with those of India, it feels that the country has handled such an unprecedented task… how big a goal has been achieved. Crossing the 140 million vaccine dose mark is an achievement of each and every Indian. This shows the trust of every Indian in the system; shows trust in science and in scientists; and is also a testament to the willpower of we Indians who are fulfilling our responsibilities towards the society. But friends, we also have to keep in mind that a new variant of Corona has already knocked at the door. Our experience of the last two years is that our own effort as a citizen is very important to defeat this global pandemic. Our scientists are continuously studying this new Omicron variant. They are getting new data everyday , their suggestions are being worked upon. In such a situation, self-awareness, self-discipline is in itself the country’s strength in fighting against this variant of Corona. It is this very collective strength of ours that will defeat Corona; with this very sense of responsibility we have to enter into 2022.
My dear countrymen, during the battle of Mahabharata, Bhagwan Shri Krishna expressed to Arjuna – ‘ Nabhah Sprisham Deeptam ‘ i.e. touch the sky with pride. This is also the motto of the Indian Air Force. Many lives engaged in the service of Maa Bharati soar over these heights of the sky with pride every day; they teach us a lot. Such was the life of Group Captain Varun Singh. Varun Singh was flying the helicopter that fell prey to a mishap this month in Tamil Nadu. In that accident, we lost the country’s first CDS, General Bipin Rawat and his wife along with many brave hearts. Varun Singh also fought death bravely for many days, but then he also left us. When Varun was in the hospital, I saw something on social media that touched my heart. He was given Shaurya Chakra in August just this year. After this honor, he had written a letter to the principal of his school. After reading this letter, the first thought that came to my mind was that even after reaching the pinnacle of success, he did not forget to nurture his roots. Second – that when he had time to celebrate, he showed concern for the generations to come. He wanted that the lives of the students of the school that he studied in should also be a celebration. In his letter, Varun Singh ji did not boast of his valour; instead he referred to his failures. He talked about how he converted his shortcomings into abilities. At one place in this letter he has written – “ It is ok to be mediocre. Not everyone will excel at school and not everyone will be able to score in the 90s. If you do, it is an amazing achievement and must be applauded. However, if you don’t, do not think that you are meant to be mediocre. You may be mediocre in school but it is by no means a measure of things to come in life. Find your calling – it could be art, music, graphic design, literature, etc. Whatever you work towards, be dedicated, do your best. Never go to bed, thinking, I could have put-in more efforts.
Friends, the mantra he has given to rise from average to extraordinary is equally important. In this letter Varun Singh has written –
“Never lose hope. Never think that you cannot be good at what you want to be. It will not come easy, it will take sacrifice of time and comfort. I was mediocre, and today, I have reached difficult milestones in my career. Do not think that 12th board marks decide what you are capable of achieving in life. Believe in yourself and work towards it.”
Varun had written that if he could inspire even a single student , it would be a lot. But today I would like to say – he has inspired the whole country. Even though his letter talks only to the students , he has given a message to our entire society.
every year I discuss such similar topics with students on exams. This year also I am planning to discuss with the students before the exams. The registration for this program is also going to start two days later, 28th December onwards on Mygov.in . This registration will be on from 28th December to 20th January. For this, online competition will also be organized for students, teachers, and parents of class 9 to 12. I would like you all to take part in this… will get an opportunity to meet you. Together we will brainstorm on many aspects related to examinations, career, success and student life.
My dear countrymen, in Mann ki Baat now, I am going to make you listen to something which has come from far away, across borders. It will delight you and amaze you as well :
(Instrumental + Vocal (VandeMatram))
VandeMataram . vandemataram
suhasini sweet talker
VandeMataram. VandeMataram .
I am sure you must have enjoyed listening to that; with a feeling of pride. The spirit that is embodied in Vande Mataram fills us with pride and enthusiasm.
Friends, you certainly must be thinking… where is this beautiful video from; what country has it come from? The answer will add to your surprise. These students who presented Vande Mataram are from Greece. There they attend a High School at Illia. The beauty and emotion with which they have sung ‘ VandeMataram ‘ is amazing and commendable. Such efforts bring people of two countries closer. My greetings to these students of Greece and their teachers. I appreciate their effort during the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav.
Friends, I would also like to discuss a post of Nilesh ji, a resident of Lucknow. Nilesh ji has showered praises on a unique Drone Show in Lucknow. This drone show was organized in the Residency area of Lucknow. The testimony of the first freedom struggle of 1857 is still visible on the walls of the Residency . In the Drone Show held at the Residency , different aspects of the Indian freedom struggle were brought to life. Be it ‘ Chauri Chaura Andolan ‘ , the ‘ Kakori Train ‘ incident or Netaji Subhash’s indomitable courage and valor, this Drone Show won everyone’s hearts. Similarly, you can also bring to the people the unique aspects related to the freedom movement connected to your cities, villages. In that you can take a lot of help of technology. Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav gives us an opportunity to live the memories of the freedom struggle; gives us an opportunity to experience them. This is an inspiring festival, a motivating occasion , to display the will to do something, to take new resolves for the country. Let us continue to be inspired by the great personalities of the freedom struggle, continue to further strengthen our efforts for the country.
My dear countrymen, our India is endowed with many extraordinary talents, whose work inspires others to do something. One such person is Dr. Kurela Vithalacharya ji from Telangana. He is 84 years old. Vithalacharya ji exemplifies the fact that when it comes to fulfilling your dreams, age does not matter at all. Friends, right from childhood Vitthlacharya ji had a wish to open a big library. The country was a slave then, some circumstances were such that the childhood dream remained just a dream. Over time Vittlachary ji, became a lecturer, deeply studied the Telugu language and also created many works in the same. 6-7 years ago he once again started fulfilling his dream. He started a library with his own books. He put his life’s earnings into this. Gradually, people started joining and contributing to it. In this library at Ramannapet Division in Yadadri-Bhuvnagiri District, there are nearly 2 lakh books. Vitthalacharya ji says that when it comes to studies, none else should have to face the difficulties he had to. Today he feels very happy to see that a large number of students are getting its benefits. Inspired by his efforts, people of many other villages have started setting up libraries.
Friends, books not only impart knowledge; they also shape personality and life. The hobby of reading books leads to a wonderful satisfaction. These days I notice people proudly saying that they have read these many books this year! And that I want to read many more of such books. This is a good trend, which should be enhanced further. I would also ask the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to mention about five books of theirs this year, which have been their favourites. In this way, you will also be able to help other readers to choose good books in 2022. At a time when the screen time is on the upswing, Book Reading should get more and more popular; for that too, we will have to strive together .
My dear countrymen, recently my attention has been drawn to an interesting endeavor. This effort is to make our ancient texts and cultural values popular not only in India but all over the world. In Pune there is a centre named Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute. This institute has started an online course to acquaint the people of other countries with the importance of Mahabharata. You would be amazed to know that although this this course has been started now, the content being taught started taking shape over a 100 years ago. When the Institute started a course with regard to this, it received tremendous response. I am discussing this grand initiative so that people become aware of how the various aspects of our traditions are being presented in a modern manner. Innovative methods are also being adopted to ensure its benefits reach people based across seven seas.
Friends, today there is a growing interest in the world to know about Indian culture. People from different countries are not only curious to know about our culture but are also helping to spread it. One such person is Serbian Scholar Dr.Momir Nikich. He has compiled a Bilingual Sanskrit-Serbian Dictionary. More than 70 thousand Sanskrit words included in this dictionary have been translated into Serbian language. You would be delighted to know that Dr.Nikich has learned Sanskrit language at the age of 70. He tells that he got his inspiration from reading the articles of Mahatma Gandhi. A similar example is that of 93 (Ninety-three) year old Professor J. Gendedharam of Mongolia. In the last 4 decades, he has translated about 40 ancient texts, epics and compositions of India into Mongolian language. Many people are working with this kind of passion in our country too. I also got to know about the efforts of Sagar Mule ji of Goa, who is involved in saving centuries old ‘Kaavi’ painting from extinction. ‘Kaavi’ form of painting covers the ancient history of India in itself. Actually, ‘Kaava’ means red soil. In ancient times red clay was used in this art. During the Portuguese rule in Goa, the people who migrated from there introduced the people of other states to this wonderful painting form. With the passage of time this painting was on the verge of extinction. But Sagar Mule ji has infused a new lease of life to this art. His efforts are also getting a lot of appreciation. Friends, a small effort, even a small step, can make a huge contribution in the preservation of our rich arts. If the people of our country are determined, the passion to adorn, beautify and save our ancient arts across the country can take the form of a mass movement. I’ve talked about a few attempts here. Many such efforts are taking place across the country. Do convey information on them to me through Namo App .
My dear countrymen, the people of Arunachal Pradesh have been running a unique campaign for a year and have named it “Arunachal Pradesh Airgun Surrender Campaign”. In this campaign, people are voluntarily surrendering their airguns – Do you know why? So that indiscriminate hunting of birds can be stopped in Arunachal Pradesh. Friends, Arunachal Pradesh is home to more than 500 species of birds. These include some indigenous species, which are not found anywhere else in the world. But gradually, now the number of birds in the forests has started declining. This airgun surrender campaign is going on now to rectify this very situation. During the past few months, from the hills to the plains, from one community to the other, people everywhere in the state welcomed it with open arms. The people of Arunachal have voluntarily surrendered more than 1600 airguns. I commend and congratulate the people of Arunachal for this.
My dear countrymen, there have been many messages and suggestions related to 2022 from all of you. One theme is always there in most people’s messages. That is of cleanliness and Swachh Bharat. This resolve of cleanliness will be fulfilled only with discipline, awareness and dedication. We can get a glimpse of that in the Puneet Sagar campaign undertaken by cadets. More than 30 thousand NCC cadets participated in this campaign. These cadets cleaned the beaches, removed plastic waste from there and collected it for recycling. Our beaches, our mountains are worth visiting only when there is cleanliness at the place. Many people dream of going to a particular place all their lives… but when they go there, knowingly or unknowingly, they leave behind waste there. It is the responsibility of every countryman that the places which give us so much joy, should not be dirtied by us.
Friends, I have come to know about a start-up named saafwater which has been started by some youth. With the help of Artificial Intelligence and Internet of things , it will give information related to the purity and quality of water in their area to people. This is just the next step of cleanliness. In view of the importance of this start-up for the clean and healthy future of the people , it has also received a Global Award .
Friends, in this effort ‘Ek qadam swachhata ki ore’ , be it the institutions or the government, everyone has an important role. You all know that earlier there used to be a lot of old files and papers in government offices. Ever since the government has started changing the old practices, these files and piles of paper are getting digitized and stored in computer folders . Special campaigns are also being run in ministries and departments to remove the old and pending material. Some very interesting things have happened through this campaign. When this cleanliness drive was started in the Department of Post , the junkyard there became completely empty. Now this junkyard has been turned into a courtyard and cafeteria. Another junkyard has been converted into a parking space for two wheelers. Similarly, the Ministry of Environment converted its vacant junkyard into a wellness centre. The Ministry of Urban Affairs has even installed a Swachh ATM too. Its purpose is that people deposit garbage and take cash in return. Departments under the Civil Aviation Ministry have started making organic compost from dry leaves falling from trees and organic waste. This department is also working to make stationery from waste paper. Our government departments can also be so innovative on a subject like cleanliness. Till a few years ago, no one even believed in it , but today it is becoming a part of the system. This is the new thinking of the country, which is being led by all the countrymen together.
My dear countrymen, this time also in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ we touched upon many topics. Like every time, after a month, we will meet again, but, in 2022. Every new beginning also brings an opportunity to recognize your potential. Goals we didn’t even imagine before. Today the country is making efforts for them. It is said here –
Kshanashah kanashashchaiva, vidyam artham cha saadhayet.
Kshane Nashte Kuto Vidya, Kane Nashte Kuto Dhanam ||
That is, when we want to earn knowledge, learn something new or do it, we should make use of every single moment. And when we have to earn money, that is, progress and growth, every particle, every resource, should be used optimally. Since, with the destruction of the moment, learning and knowledge are gone, and with the destruction of the particle, the resource, paths to wealth and progress are closed. This thing is an inspiration for all of us countrymen. We have to learn so much, innovate anew, achieve new goals, therefore , we will have to persevere without wasting even a moment. We have to take the country to new heights of development, so we have to make full use of every resource of ours. In a way, this is also the mantra of Atma Nirbhar Bharat that is self-reliant India, because, when we use our resources properly, we will not let them go waste, only then will we recognize the power of local, only then will the country be self-reliant. So, let us reiterate our resolve to think big, dream big, and work hard to make them come true. And, our dreams will not be limited to us alone. Our dreams will be such that the development of our society and the country is connected, our progress will open the way for the progress of the country and for this, we have to start working from today, without wasting a single moment, without losing a single particle or resource. I am fully confident that with this very resolve the country will move forward in the coming year, and 2022 will be the golden page of building a new India. With this very faith, wishing you all a very Happy 2022. Thank you very much.