PM Shri Narendra Modi address about Vallabhbhai Patel, Infantry Day, Para Asian Games, Indian Tribes and Traditions, Organic Farming
My dear countrymen, Namaskar. The 31st of October is the birth anniversary of our beloved SardarVallabhbhai Patel. This year too, the youth of the country is all set, to take part in the ‘Run for Unity’. The weather too these days is pleasant. I urge you to participate in the largest possible numbers in this run for unity. Six months or so before Independence, on the 27th of January, 1947, the world – famous international Magazine ‘Time’ had a photograph of Sardar Patel on the cover page of that edition. In their lead story, they had depicted a map of India; it was nowhere close to what the map looks like now. It was the map of an India that was divided into myriad fragments. There existed over 550 princely states. The English had lost interest in India; they wanted to leave India fragmented into pieces. Time Magazine had opined that hovering over India then were the dangers of problems like partition, violence, food scarcity, price rise and power-politics. The magazine further observed that amidst that plethora of problems, if there was anyone who possessed the capability to unite the country and heal wounds, it was SardarVallabhbhai Patel. The story also brings to the fore other aspects of the life of the Iron Man of India… the manner in which he had managed relief operations during the Ahmedabad floods in the 1920s; the way he steered the BardoliSatyagrah. Such was his sense of honesty & commitment that the farmer, the worker right up to the industrialist trusted him with full faith. Gandhiji considered Sardar Patel as the only one capable of finding a lasting solution to the vexed issue of the states and asked him to act. Sardar Patel formulated solutions one by one, weaving the warp & weft of unity on the axis of a single thread. He ensured the merger of all princely states with the Dominion of India. Whether Junagadh, Hyderabad, Travancore, or for that matter the princely states of Rajasthan, if we are able to see a United India now, it was entirely on account of the sagacity & strategic wisdom of Sardar Patel. It is but natural for us to solemnly remember SardarVallabhbhai Patel as we exalt the spirit of unity that binds our Nation, our Mother India. The 31st of October this year will be special on one more account- on this day, we shall dedicate the statue of unity of the nation as a true tribute to Sardar Patel. Erected on the banks of river Narmada in Gujarat, the structure is twice the height of the Statue of Liberty. This is the world’s tallest scyscraping statue. Every Indian will now be proud to see the world’s tallest statue here on Indian soil. Sardar Patel, a true son of the soil will adorn our skies too. I hope every Indian being will swell with pride on this remarkable feat of mother India… and will sing paeans of glory in its praise with the head held high. Of course, the inner wish to visit the statue of unity will come naturally to every Indian. I am sure this will turn out to be a described destination for one & all across the country.
My dear brothers & sisters, we celebrated ‘Infantry Day’ yesterday. I respectfully bow before all of them who are part of the Indian Armed Forces. I also salute the families of our soldiers. But, do you know why we Indian citizens commemorate this day as Infantry Day? This is the very day when Indian Forces landed in Kashmir and saved the valley from the clutches of aggression. This incident too is directly related to SardarVallabhbhai Patel. I was reading an old interview with the celebrated Army officer samManekshaw. In that interview, field Marshal Sam Manekshaw was reminiscing on times when he was a Colonel. Around this time, military operations commenced in Kashmir. Field Marshal Manekshaw has mentioned how in a meeting,SardarVallabhbhai Patel was irked on the delay in sending troops to Kashmir During the proceedings, Sardar Patel gave him a characteristic glance and reiterated that there should be no delay in our Army operation and that a solution should be sought swiftly. And immediately after that, our troops flew to Kashmir… we’ve seen how our Army was successful. The 31st of October also is the death anniversary of our former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Our respectful tributes to Indira ji too.
My dear countrymen, who doesn’t love sports? Elements like spirit, strength, skill, stamina are extremely important in the world of sports. They are the ultimate test for a sportsperson’s mettle… all four of these virtues form the core foundation of nation – building universally. If the youth of a country possess these qualities, that country will progress not only in areas such as Economy and Science & Technology but also bring laurels home in the field of sports. Just recently I had two memorable meetings. First, I got an opportunity to meet our Para Athletes who participated in the Asian Para Games 2018 held at Jakarta. These athletes bagged a tally of 72 medals, creating a new, unprecedented record, bringing glory to the nation. I was fortunate to get an opportunity to meet all these talented athletes personally. I congratulated them. Their grit & determination; their resolve to overcome all odds in the path of success is indeed inspiring for all our countrymen. Similarly, I was blessed with a chance to meet our winners of the Summer youth Olympics 2018 held in Argentina. You will be pleased to know that in the Summer Youth Olympics 2018, the performance of our youth was the best ever. At this event we won 13 medals besides 3 in mixed events. You may recall that even, in the recent Asian Games, India’s performance was par excellence. Have you observed the way I have frequently used terms such as ‘the best ever’ or ‘new, unprecedented record’? This is the real story of Indian Sports which are witnessing an upswing with each passing day. India is setting new records not just in the field of sports but also in hitherto uncharted areas. To give you an example, I would like to mention about Para Athlete Narayan Thakur, who won a gold medal for the country in the 2018 Para Asian Games. He is a Divyang by birth. When he turned eight he lost his father. Then he spent another eight years in an orphanage. After leaving the orphanage, he eked out a living cleaning DTC buses and working as waiter at roadside eateries. The same Narayan is winning medals for India at International events. Not just that, just observe the rapidly enhancing levels of excellence in Indian sports !Hitherto, India had never won a medal in a Judo event, at the junior or senior level. But Tabaabi Devi created history by bagging the silver medal at the youth Olympics. 16 year old player Tabaabi Devi hails from a village in Manipur. Her father is a labourer and mother a fish-seller. There were times when the family had no money to buy food. Even such hardships were not able to cow down her zest & devotion. And she has created history by winning a medal for the country. Stories like these are innumerable. Every life, every being is a source of inspiration. Every young sportsperson’s passion & dedication is the hallmark of New India.
My dear countrymen, you may recall that we had successfully organized FIFA Under- 17 World Cup in the year2017. The whole world acclaimed this as a very successful tournament. FIFA Under -17 World Cup had created a record in terms of the number of viewers on the ground. More than 12 lakh enthusiasts enjoyed the romance of Football matches in various stadia across the country and boosted the morale of the young players. This year also, we have been fortunate to be the hosts of the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneshwar. The Hockey World Cup will commence on the 28th November to be concluded on the 16thDecember. Each Indian who plays any game or has interest in any game has a definite interest in Hockey. India has a golden history in Hockey. India has won gold medals in various tournaments and has been the World Champion once. India has produced many great hockey players. Wheneverthere will be reference to Hockey,the story will remain incomplete without a mention of these legends. Hockey maestro Major Dhyan Chand is a renowned name all over the world. Then, from Balbeer Singh Senior, Leslie Claudius, Mohammad Shahid, Udham Singh to Dhan Raj Pillai, Indian Hockey has had a very long journey. Even today, players of Team India are encouraging the younger generation through their hard work and focused attention.
It is a good chance for the sport lovers to witness closely contested matches. Go to Bhubaneshwar and cheer up the Indian team and also encourage each team there. Odisha has a dignified historical background and has a very rich cultural tradition. People of the state are full of warmth. This is a chance for the sports lovers to see Odisha. They can visit the world famous holy places like the Sun Temple of Konark, Lord Jagannath Temple in Puri and Chilka Lake along with enjoying the games there. I convey my best wishes to our Men’s Hockey Team for this tournament and assure them that 125 crore Indians are supporting them. I also convey my wishes to all the teams from around the world coming to participate in the tournament.
My dear countrymen, the way people are coming forward and volunteering for social works is really inspirational and encouraging for all our countrymen. “Service is Supreme” has been India’s tradition since centuries and we can feel the scent of this tradition in each and every sector today as well. But, in this new era, the new generation is coming forward in a new way with a fresh vigour and spirit to fulfill their new dream. Recently, I attended a programme where a portal was launched, its name is ‘Self 4 Society’, MyGov and the IT and Electronics industry of the country have launched this portal with a view to motivating their employees for social activities and providing them with opportunities to perform in this field. Their dedication and vigour can make each Indian feel proud. A fresh and pleasant air of IT to society, We-not I, a transformation from the individual to the community is imbibed in this. Someone is teaching the old people; someone is involved in the campaign of cleanliness whereas someone is helping out the farmers. And there is no vested interest behind all these activities but a pure feeling of dedication and resolve is the driving force. One young person learned to play wheelchair basket ball in order to be able to help the wheelchair basket ball team of differently abled, divyang players. This spirit, this dedication is a mission mode activity. Will this not make every Indian feel proud. This spirit of ‘We, not I’ will surely inspire all of us.
My dear brothers and sisters, when I was going through your suggestion for Mann Ki Baat this time, I found a very interesting comment from Shri Manish Mahapatra from Pudducherry. He wrote on Mygov- Please take up the topic “in Mann Ki Baat” as to how the tribes and their traditions and rituals are the best examples of coexistence with the nature. How do we need to adopt their traditions in our lives for achieving sustainable development and learn from those traditions?Manishji, I appreciate you for bringing this subject among the listeners of Mann Ki Baat. This is one subject that inspires us to look into our dignified past and our ancient traditions, Today, the whole world and specially the western countries are discussing about environment protection and are trying to find new ways to adopt a balanced life style. Our country is also facing this problem. But, for its solution we only have to look inwards, to look into our glorious past and our rich traditions and have especially to understand the lifestyle of our tribal communities. To live in consonance and closed coordination with the nature has been an integral part of our tribal communities. Our tribal brethren worship trees and plants and flowers like gods and goddesses. The Bhil tribes of Central India and specially those in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh worship Peepal and Arjun trees religiously. TheBishnoi community in the desert land of Rajasthan has shown us a way of environment protection. Specially, in the context of serving trees, they prefer laying down their lives but cannot tolerate any harm to a single tree. Mishmi tribes of Arunachal Pradesh claim their relationship with tigers. They even treat them like their brothers and sisters. In Nagaland as well, tigers are seen as the forest guardians. People of Warli Community in Maharashtra consider tigers as their guests and for them the presence of tigers is a good omen indicating prosperity. There is a belief among the Kol community in Central India that their fortune is directly connected with the tigers and they firmly believe that if the tigers do not get food, the villagers will have to facehunger . The Gond tribes in Central Indai stop fishing in some parts of Kaithan river during the breeding season. They consider this area as a fish reserve and they get plentiful of healthy fishes because of this belief of theirs. Tribal communities make their dwelling units from natural material which are strong as well as eco-friendly. In the isolated regions of the Nilgiri plateau in South India, a small wanderer community Toda make their settlements using locally available material only.
My dear brothers and sisters, this is a fact that the tribal community believes in very peaceful and harmonious co-existence but, if somebody tries to harm and cause damage to their natural resources, they do not shy away from fighting for their rights. There is no wonder that our foremost freedom fighters were the brave people from our tribal communities. Who can forget BhagwanBirsaMunda who struggled hard against the British Empire to save their own forest land. Besides whatever I have said, there is a very long list of examples of the tribal communities which teach us how to keep a close coordination and make adjustments with the nature and the nation is indebted to our tribal people for the forest land that is still remaining with us. Come on, let us express our gratitude towards them.
My dear countrymen, in “Mann Ki Baat”, we talk about those persons and institutions who make extra-ordinary contribution for the society. These works may seem small but have a very deep impact in changing our thinking and in giving a new direction to the society. A few days ago, I was reading about a farmer brother Gurbachan Singh from Punjab. The son of this hard working farmer Gurbachan Singh ji was to be married. Gurbachan Singh ji had told the bride’s parents that the marriage would be performed in a solemn manner. There is absolutely no need to spend much on wedding reception or any other item. We have to keep it a very very simple event. But then he suddenly said that he had one condition. And, when a condition is put these days, generally it is thought that the other side is going to make a big demand which will be really difficult for the bride’s family to fulfill. But, you will be surprised to know that Bhai Gurbachan Singh was a simple farmer and what he told the bride’s father and the condition he placed reflects the true strength of our society. Gurbachan Singh ji asked him to promise that they will not burn parali or stubble in their fields. You can well imagine the social strength this statement had. This point made by Gurbachan Singh ji appears quite ordinary but this reveals how tall and strong his personality is and we have seen that there are many families in our society who connect their individual matters with the benefit of the society as a whole. ShrimanGurbachan Singh ji’s family has presented one such example before us. I have also read about a village KallarMajra which is near Nabha in Punjab. KallarMajra came into lime light as the farmers there mix the stubble with the sand by ploughing their fields rather than burning the stubble and adopt the necessary technology for the process. Congratulations to bhaiGurbachan Singh ji ! Congratulations to the people of KallarMajra and of all those places who are making their best efforts to keep the environment clean and pollution free. All of you are carrying forward the Indian tradition of a healthy life style as a true successor. Just as a sea is formed by collection of tiny drops, similarly,a small constructive step, plays a vital role in creating a positive environment.
My dear countrymen, it has been told in our epics:-
ॐ द्यौ: शान्तिः अन्तरिक्षं शान्तिः,
पृथिवी शान्तिः आपः शान्तिः ओषधयः शान्तिः |
वनस्पतयः शान्तिः विश्वेदेवाः शान्तिः ब्रह्म शान्तिः,
सर्वं शान्तिःशान्तिरेव शान्तिः सामा शान्तिरेधि||
ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति:शान्ति:||
It means- O, Lord, peace should prevail all around in all three “Lokas”,in water, in air, in space, in fire, in wind, in medicines, in vegetation, in gardens, in sub conscious, in the whole creation. Grant peace to each soul, each heart, in me, in you, in every particle and everywhere in the Universe. Om Shanti: Shanti: Shanti:.
Wherever there will be a talk of world peace, India’s name and contribution will be written in golden letters. For India, 11th of November this year has a special significance because on 11thNovember a hundred years back the World War I had ended. Ending of that war is completing one hundred years meaning thereby that a century of ending of the vast devastation and human loss would also get completed. For India, World War I was an important event. Rightly speaking we had no direct connection with that war. Despite this, our soldiers fought bravely and played a very big role and made the supreme sacrifice. Indian soldiers showed it to the world that they are second to none if it comes to war. Our soldiers have displayed great valour in difficult areas and adverse conditions. There has just been a single objective behind it- Restoration of peace. The world witnessed a dance of death and devastation during the World War I; According to estimates, around one crore soldiers and almost the same number of civilians lost their lives. This made the whole world realize and understand the importance of peace. The definition of peace has changed in the last hundred years. Today, peace does not only mean ‘no war’. There is a need to work unitedly to address issues such as terrorism, climate change, economic development to social justice through universal cooperation and co-ordination. Development of the poorest of the poor is the real indicator of peace.
My dear countrymen, our North-East has a unique distinction of its own. The natural beauty of North –East has no parallel and the people of this area are extremely talented. Now our North-east is also known for all best deeds. North east is one region that has made grand progress in organic farming. A few days ago Sikkim won the prestigious Future Policy Gold Award, 2018 for encouraging the sustainable food system. This award is given by the UN body ‘Food & Agriculture Organisation’ – FAO. You will be delighted to know that this best policy making award is equivalent to an Oscar in the sector. Not only this, our Sikkim outperformed 51 nominated policies of 25 countries to win this award. For this, I heartily compliment the people of Sikkim.
My dear countrymen, October is about to end. Quite a change is being felt in the weather. Winter has set in and with the changing weather, the season of festivals has also set in - Dhanteras, Deepawali, BhaiyaDooj, Chhatth – in a way it can be said that the month of November is the month of festivals. I extend my best wishes to all countrymen for these festivals.
I would request all of you to take best care of yourselves and take care of your health as well and also take care of social interests. I am sure these festivals are an opportunity to make new resolves. These festivals prove a chance to advance in a mission mode and to make firm resolves in your life. Your progress is a vital part of the country’s progress. The more you progress, the more will the country progress. My best wishes to you all. Thank you very very much.