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Mann Ki Baat: Don’t just talk, feel India’s diversity, touch it, says PM Modi

The Prime Minister said the focus of all the great leaders was to live for the country, do something for the nation and lead the people not by sermons but action.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2017 23:12 IST
Saubhadra Chatterji
Saubhadra Chatterji
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
PM Modi,Mahatma Gandhi,Sardar Patel
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.(Reuters Photo)

As the festive seasons begin in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi urged people to “feel” India’s unity in diversity and not just talk about it, in his latest episode of his radio programme, Mann ki Baat, on Sunday.

Modi mentioned how Mahatma Gandhi, Lokmanya Tilak, Swami Vivekanand and former President APJ Abdul Kalam travelled across India and understood the country. “Can we make an effort as a student to learn, understand and try to live as per the traditions, culture, attire, eating habits and beliefs of different states, different societies, different groups of our country?” he said in his address.

In past two weeks, this is the second time Modi spoke on acting on oft-repeated slogans, indicating a new shift in his interactions with people. On September 12, PM Modi said that people lose the right to chant Vande Mataram if they can’t keep the country clean, as he also urged people to fight social evils such as disrespect to women.

“I know many people might be hurt, but do we have the right to say it? Think 50 times if we have the right to say Vande Mataram,” Modi said, minutes after he was greeted with chants of Vande Mataram at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi.

On Sunday, the PM pointed out that his ‘Mann ki Baat’, which completed three years, presented a unique opportunity to connect with people across India, as he spoke about travelling and knowing the country.

“We feel proud of (India’s) diversity but have you ever tried to feel this diversity? We should feel India’s diversity, touch it, feel its fragrance. You may see for yourself, that for your inner development also, these diversities of our country work as a big teaching tool,” he said.

Modi added that although people are inclined to travel, it’s a matter of concern when “we do not see our own country, we do not know about its diversities nor do we understand them.”

The PM who had earlier mooted the idea of institutionalised system of interaction between people of different states, said on Sunday that “people of north India may not know what all is there in the South. People of west India may not know what all is there in the east.” “Our country is full of such myriad diversities.”

He said during his formative years in politics, he travelled to more than 500 districts across the country and that experience helped him fulfil his duties as an administrator.

“I request you too, to feel the ‘unity in diversity’ which is not a mere slogan but a storehouse of enormous energy,” he said.

Praising martyrs’ wives

Indian army officers Lieutenant Swati Mahadik and Nidhi Dubey, both army widows, were showered with praise from Modi on Sunday for being a “unique example of grit, determination and patriotism that was witnessed by all countrymen.”

Swami’s husband, Colonel Santosh Mahadik died fighting terrorists in Kupwara in 2015.

Nidhi’s husband Mukesh Dubey, a Naik of the Mahar regiment, died after a cardiac arrest. Both of them joined the army to live their husband’s dream. Modi admitted that the incident has left a “deep impression” on his heart. “They have evoked a new inspiration and a new awakening among millions of our countrymen,” the PM said.

First Published: Sep 24, 2017 15:02 IST