My dear countrymen, my greetings (namaskar) to you all
Last year, we had to endure so many trials - the scorching heat of the summer, scarcity of water, drought conditions and so on. However, the past two weeks have been the harbinger of the welcome news of rainfall from different places, bringing in its wake a feeling of freshness. You too must have felt it. Going by the predictions of the scientists, this time there should be good rainfall, far and wide and throughout the rainy season. This news in itself charges us with a lot of enthusiasm. I extend my greetings to all our farmer brethren hoping for a bountiful rainfall.
In our country, like the toiling farmers, our scientists are also achieving success on many fronts to take our country to new heights. I have believed it right from the beginning that the new generation should nurture the dream of becoming scientists, should have keen interest in Science, and our youngsters should step forward with the zeal to do something for the coming generations. I also want to share another bright news with you. Yesterday I had gone to Pune, on the occasion of the anniversary of the Smart City Project. Over there I met those students of the Pune College of Engineering, who on their own have made a satellite, which was launched on 22nd June. I had called them to meet me, as I had a wish to see these young friends of mine, to interact with them and to experience firsthand the energy and enthusiasm within them. For the past many years, several students have made their contributions to this project. In a way, this academic satellite is a living example of the soaring flight of courage and ambition of the young India. That has led these our students to make this satellite. The dreams behind this small satellite are big and lofty; they soar high into the sky; the efforts put in by them are very intense. On similar lines as achieved by these Pune students, the students of Satyabhama University of Chennai in Tamil Nadu also created their satellite; and their SathyabamaSAT has also been launched. We have been hearing these things since childhood, and every child wishes deep inside his heart to touch the sky and grab a few stars. Keeping this in mind, in my opinion, these two satellites made by the students and launched by ISRO, are extremely important and most valuable. All these students deserve hearty congratulations. I also want to congratulate the people of the country that on 22nd June, our scientists at ISRO launched 20 satellites simultaneously into space, and in the process set a new record, breaking their own previous records. And this is also a matter of joy that of the twenty satellites which were launched in India, 17 satellites were from other countries. Along with America, the satellites of many other countries were launched on Indian soil by Indian scientists and along with these, those two satellites made by our students also reached outer space. And it is also noteworthy that owing to its guarantee of success with lesser cost, ISRO has carved its special place in the world. And for this very reason, many countries of the world are today looking towards India for the launching of their satellites.
My dear Countrymen, “Save the Girl Child, Educate the Girl Child” (Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao), has already become the Mann Ki Baat, the heartfelt wish of all the people of India. Still, some incidents infuse a new life into this slogan. This time in the results of 10th and 12th classes, our daughters have been doing wonderfully well, which is a matter of pride. And my dear countrymen, there is another significant event that all of us should take pride in. On 18th June, the Indian Air Force for the very first time inducted its first batch of women fighter pilots. You get goose pimples just at the mention of ‘women fighter pilots’; we feel so proud that these three Flying Officer daughters of ours- Avni Chaturvedi, Bhawna Kanth and Mohana, have achieved this great feat. What these three daughters have accomplished is truly special. Flying Officer Avni is from Rewa in Madhya Pradesh, Flying Officer Bhawana is from Begusarai in Bihar and Flying Officer Mohana is from Vadodara in Gujarat. You must have noticed that all these three daughters do not hail from metro cities of India. They do not even come from the capital cities of their respective states. Despite hailing from small cities and towns, they nurtured dreams as high as the sky, and they also made them come true. I extend my heartiest wishes to these three daughters Avni, Bhawana and Mohana as well as their parents.
My dear Countrymen, a few days ago on 21st June, the whole world organised grand shows in observance of the anniversary of the International Day for Yoga. As an Indian, when we witness the entire world coming together through Yoga, we realize that the entire world is getting linked with our past, present and future. We are forging a unique bond with the rest of the world. In India too, the International Yoga Day was celebrated at over 1 lakh places, with a lot of fervour and enthusiasm in myriad forms and hues, and in an atmosphere of gaiety. I also got an opportunity to perform Yoga in Chandigarh amidst thousands of Yoga lovers. It was worth watching the zeal of the young and old alike. You must have seen that last week the Indian government issued a postage stamp on ‘Surya Namaskar’ on the occasion of International Yoga Day. This time, people all over the world, on Yoga Day, were witness to two special events. One was at New York City where the United Nations Organisation -UNO Head Quarters building is located. A special projection depicting different postures of the various yoga asanas was organized on top of that building. And passersby kept taking pictures of these, and these pictures soon were being shared all over the world. Tell me, which Indian would not feel proud at such happenings? One more interesting thing happened. Technology is at work. Social media has created an identity of its own. And this time Twitter carried out a light hearted pleasant experiment in Yoga with its ‘Yoga imaging’. As soon as we typed ‘hash tag yoga day’, we would immediately get a picture of a yoga image on our mobile. And this image too went viral all over the world. Yoga by itself means adding - getting connected. Yoga has the power to connect the entire world. But for that to happen, first all of us need to get connected to Yoga.
Swati Srivastava from Satna in Madhya Pradesh, called me up on telephone after the Yoga Day and left a message for all of you but it seems that it pertains more to me: -
Sound Byte: “I wish that my entire country should be healthy and all the poor people also should remain free from diseases. For this I want that among the many ads that are played on Doordarshan, there should be one ad on Yoga, how it is to be done, and what are its benefits?”
Swati ji, your suggestion is very good, but if you observe carefully you will notice that not just on Doordarshan, but these days in India and outside India too, the Indian T.V. channels and channels of other countries are pitching in with their contribution to propagate Yoga. They all are shown at different times, but if you watch carefully, all these things are being done to disseminate information about Yoga. And I have seen that there are some countries in the world which have T.V. channels exclusively dedicated to Yoga 24 hours a day. And you probably know that, during the month of June, in view of the International Yoga Day, I used to share a video everyday of one particular asana of Yoga through Twitter and Face Book. If you go to the website of the Ministry of Ayush, you will see available there a 40-45 minutes very good video demonstrating one after another, different kinds of yog asanas for different parts of the body that you can do, people of all ages can do. To you and through you to all the people interested in Yoga, I would like to exhort to get connected to it.
This time I have made an appeal. When we say that Yoga is a way to rid oneself of illnesses, then why don’t we bring together all the different schools of thought of Yoga, which have their own methods, their own priorities and their own experiences. But all of them share the same final goal. All the prevalent systems of Yoga, all the functioning Yoga institutions, all the different Yoga Gurus, I have urged all of them to run a successful campaign this entire year on how to defeat Diabetes through Yoga. Can we control Diabetes through Yoga? Some people have been successful in that. Everyone has searched for a wayin this regard. And we know that there is no definite cure for Diabetes. One has to manage it with medicines. Diabetes is the master switch that triggers all other illnesses. It becomes an entrance for many other diseases. And so everyone is wary of Diabetes. A lot of people have worked in this direction. Some diabetic patients have also been able to control it thorough their yogic practice. Why don’t we share our experiences with other people to impart a momentum to this endeavour and create a kind of atmosphere for it for an entire year? I urge you to use– “Hashtag Yoga Fights Diabetes” I repeat- “Hashtag Yoga Fights Diabetes”. Use this Twitter handle and share your experiences on social media. Or send them to me on NarendraModiApp. Let us see what the various experiences are. At least, give it a try. I invite you to share your experiences on “Hashtag Yoga Fights Diabetes”.
My dear countrymen, sometimes my ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is ridiculed a lot and is criticized much also. However, this can only happen because all of us are committed to democracy. But today, as I speak to you on 26th June, and I want to especially say this to the new generation that this democracy that we take pride in, this democracy that has granted great power to us, every citizen has been empowered... but 26th June 1975 was also a day... the night of 25th June and the next morning, was a dark hour for the democracy of India when Emergency was imposed in India. All the rights of the citizens were suspended. The country was turned into a prison. Lakhs of people along with Jai Prakash Narain, thousands of leaders, many organisations were put behind bars. Many books have been written on that dark period. Many discussions have been held on it. But today, as I talk to you all on 26th June, we should not forget that our strength lies in our democracy. Our strength lies in the people’s power. Our strength lies in each and every citizen of our country. We have to carry forward this commitment and make it stronger. And it is this people’s power which has sustained democracy as its living embodiment. There might have been locks on newspaper houses, radio might have been speaking just one kind of language, still on the other hand, given the opportune moment, the citizens give an example of the power of Democracy. A great example of the democratic strength of the common people was witnessed during Emergency. And we must keep reminding our country of its democratic strength from time to time. And our endeavour should be to make people aware of their power and to always have the tendency to further strengthen it by linking more and more people to it. I always stress that Democracy doesn’t merely mean that people vote for you and give you the contract to run this country for five years. Certainly Not! Voting is certainly an important component but there are many other facets of democracy. And the biggest dimension is that of people’s participation, their attitude, their thinking. And the more the governments get connected with the people, the stronger they become. The chasm between the governments and the people leads to ruin. My endeavour has always been to ensure that the nation moves forward on the strength of people’s participation.
Recently, when my government completed two years of functioning, some young people of modern thinking suggested, “When you talk such big things about democracy, then why don’t you get your government rated by the people also.” In a way it had a tone of challenge as well as advice. But that stirred my mind. I raised this topic with some of my senior colleagues. Their first reaction was, “Oh no! Sir! What are you thinking of doing? These days technology has changed so much that if people get together and form a group and if they decide to misuse technology, then who knows in which direction they might take forward this survey.” They thus expressed their concern. But I felt, “No, we should go ahead even if it is a risk. We should give it a try and see what happens. Now a lot of surveys are conducted after the elections, during the elections, at other times also over some issues, sometimes to gauge the popularity, but the sample size of these surveys is not very big. However, my dear countrymen, I am happy to state that when I, through the medium of technology, using different languages, appealed to the masses to rate my government, a lot of people amongst you have expressed your opinion on ‘rate-my-government-MyGov. In.’ Lakhs of you displayed your interest in this but 3 lakh people devoted their time and put in serious effort for giving an answer to each and every question. I am grateful to these 3 lakh people that they displayed a lot of self initiative in rating the government. I won’t discuss the results. Our media persons are sure to do that. But I can say for sure that it was a good experiment. And this was a matter of joy for me that people speaking all the languages of India, residing in every corner of the country, hailing from all types of background... all of them participated in it. And the biggest thing was... and this, of course, came as a surprise to me... that maximum number of people took part in this exercise through the portal of the website of the Rural Employment Scheme which is being run by the government. Thus, my primary impression is that there has been a large and active participation of people connected to rural India and poverty issues. This I liked the most. So you have seen that while on 26th June some years ago the voice of the people was stifled, now is the time, when the people make their decisions, they judge whether the government is doing the right thing or not, is performing well or poorly. This is the real power of democracy.
My dear countrymen, today I want to make a special appeal for one thing. There was a time when taxes were so pervasive, that it became a habit to avoid taxation. There was a time when there were many restrictions imposed on bringing foreign goods into the country which gave rise to a lot of smuggling. But gradually, times have changed. Now it is not very difficult for the taxpayer to get connected with the taxation system of the government. But even then, old habits die hard. One generation still feels that it is best to keep away from the government. Today I want to impress upon you that we end up losing our peace of mind by trying to escape from rules and regulations. As a result, anybody can trouble and harass us. Why should we let this happen? Why don’t we, on our own, give the correct details of our income and property to the government, so that we can rid ourselves from the burden of hitherto undeclared assets? I appeal to the countrymen to do this. To the people who have undisclosed income, the Government of India has given a chance to declare such income. The government has presented before the country a special facility to disclose undisclosed income by the 30th of September.
We can be free ourselves of various burdens just by paying a fine. I have also promised that for those who voluntarily declare to the government their assets and their undisclosed income, then the government will not conduct any kind of enquiry. Not once will it be asked as to from where all this wealth came and how it was acquired. And so, this is a good chance for you to become a part of a transparent system. At the same time, I want to tell the people of the country that please consider this plan, which is up to 30th September as your last chance. In between, I had even told the Members of the Parliament that after 30th September if any citizen is put through any difficulty, the one who does not want to follow due rules of government, then it will not be possible to help them. I want to say this to the people of the country that we do not wish that after the 30th September anything should happen that will cause difficulties for you. And so I say that please avail of this facility before this date and save yourselves from any possible trouble after the 30th of September.
My dear countrymen, I had to talk about this in Mann Ki Baat today because recently I held a two-day conclave with the Revenue Departments- all the officials of the Income Tax, Customs and Excise Departments. And I have told them in clear words that we should not perceive citizens as crooks. We should have trust and faith in the citizens. We should hold hands with them. If they want to follow rules, we should encourage them, and lovingly help them cross over. It is important to build an atmosphere of trust. We shall have to bring about a change through our conduct. We shall have to reassure the taxpayer. I stressed this upon them and I noticed that they too realized that today when the nation is surging ahead, all of us must contribute to it. And when I was taking inputs from them in this conclave, I gathered information which I want to share with you as well. None of you will believe that in a country of 125 crore people, one and a half, only one and a half lakh people exist, whose taxable income is more than 50 lakh rupees. Nobody will be able to swallow something like this. People having a taxable income of more than 50 lakh rupees can be seen in big cities in large numbers. Just looking at their bungalows worth 1 or 2 crores, one wonders how they can be in a tax bracket of less than 50 lakhs. This means that there is something wrong somewhere. We have to change this situation. And this has to change before 30th September. Before taking any extreme steps, the government must give a chance to the people. And so my dear brothers and sisters, this is a golden chance for you to disclose your undisclosed income. And in another way, this is the way out to save yourself from any trouble that could arise after 30th September. I urge you to come forth in this task for the betterment of our country, for the upliftment of the poor. And I do not want that you should face any problems after 30th September.
My dear countrymen, the common man of this country is always looking for a chance to do something for the country. When I asked the people to give up their cooking gas subsidy, more than 1 crore families of this country voluntarily gave up their subsidy. And now I want to cite an example especially for those people who have undisclosed income. Yesterday when I went to Pune for the Smart City programme, over there I got the chance to meet Shri Chandrakant Damodar Kulkarni and his family. I had called them especially to meet me. And what was the reason? Anyone who has ever evaded tax, my words may or may not inspire that person, but the example of Shri Chandrakant Kulkarni is sure to inspire him. Do you know what the reason is? Shri Chandrakant Kulkarni is an ordinary man who belongs to an average middle class family. He used to work for the government. Then he retired. He receives a pension of sixteen thousand rupees. And my dear countrymen, you will be surprised to hear, and those who are in the habit of evading tax will get a shock to know that Chandrakant Kulkarni Ji, who gets a pension of only rupees sixteen thousand, some time back wrote a letter to me saying that out of his pension of 16,000, he voluntarily wants to donate Rs. 5000 per month for the Cleanliness Campaign. And not just this, he sent me 52 cheques, post dated, which bear a date for each forthcoming month. We certainly do not have any right to evade tax in this country where there is one such government employee, who after retirement, out of a pension of mere sixteen thousand rupees, gives five thousand for the Cleanliness Campaign. No one could be a greater source of inspiration than Chandrakant Kulkarni. And for the people who are associated with the Cleanliness Campaign also, there could be no better inspiring example than Chandrakant Kulkarni. I called Chandrakantji face to face. I met him and his life has touched my heart. I express my felicitations and admiration for the Kulkarni family, I congratulate them. And surely there must be countless people like them about whom I have no information. These are the very people... and this is the power and strength of the masses. A man with a pension of sixteen thousand rupees sends me cheques worth two lakhs, sixty thousand in advance, is this a small thing? Come, let us search deep down inside our hearts, and ponder over the fact that the government has given us an opportunity to disclose our incomes. While thinking of Chandrkant Kulkarni, let us also follow him.
My dear countrymen, Santosh Negi from Pauri Garhwal in Uttarakhand, has called up to relate one of his experiences. He has given a message regarding water conservation. Friends, his experience can be of use to you as well: -
Sound Byte: “Drawing inspiration from you, in our school, before the onset of monsoon we dug 250 small trenches which were 4 feet deep, along the side of the playground, so that rainwater could be collected in these. This way the play ground remained unspoilt and there was no danger of children drowning in these... and we managed to save crores of litres of rainwater which fell on the playfield.”
Santoshji, I would like to thank you for sending me this message. Pauri Garhwal is a hilly area where you have done such splendid work. You deserve congratulations for that. The people of our country should certainly enjoy the rains but let us also be mindful that this is a holy gift from the Almighty. This is a limitless wealth. We should make every effort to conserve every single drop of water. How can we retain the rainwater of the villages there itself and similarly preserve rainwater of cities therein. To recharge Mother Earth once again, how can we replenish water back to the earth? If there is water today, only then can there be a tomorrow. Water is the basis of all life. An atmosphere has certainly been created in the country. Lately, in all the states a lot of measures have been taken for water conservation. But now that we are going to have the bounty of rain water, we must see to it that it doesn’t just flow away. We are so concerned about saving lives; we should be equally concerned about saving water.
My dear countrymen, you already know that number 1922 ...it must have become a part of your memory by now. ... 1-9-2-2 . This 1922 is one such number that if you give a missed call to it, you can listen to Mann Ki Baat in the language of your choice. By listening to Mann Ki Baat, at the time of your convenience, in the language of your choice, you too can make up your mind and resolve to contribute to the journey of the nation’s progress.
My namaskar once again to all my countrymen, Thank You.