PM invokes Sikh gurus, calls for self-sufficiency
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday urged Indian manufacturers to measure up go global standards as the country focuses increasingly on enhancing self-reliance and boosting domestic production at the end of a pandemic-ravaged year.
In his last monthly radio broadcast, Mann Ki Baat, of 2020, Modi said manufacturers should make products that have a “zero defect,” and again reached out to the Sikh community amid the ongoing farmers’ protest against a set of three contentious farm laws.
“Vocal for local is reverberating in each and every household,” the prime minister said. “in such a scenario, it is time to ensure that our products meet global standards. Whatever is the global best; we should make it in India and prove it. For that, our entrepreneur friends have to come forward. Startups too have to come forth,” he said.
In an attempt to to give a fillip to indigenous production and help the poor cope in the aftermath of the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic, the government announced a Rs. 20 lakh crore economic package under the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan (Self-Reliant India initiative). The PM has also urged the nation to go “vocal for local” to reduce dependence on imports.
A growing trend of customers demanding India-made toys, for instance, marks a transformation of the traditional mindset, Modi said.
“A huge change has begun in the minds of our countrymen…that too within a year. It is not easy to gauge this change. Even economists would not be able to assess it on their parameters,” he said.
Geographical Indication, or GI tagging for agricultural products will also aid in the making of a self-reliant India, the PM said, citing the example of saffron from Kashmir. “After obtaining the GI Tag, Kashmiri Saffron was launched in a super market in Dubai. Now its exports will get a boost. This will further strengthen our efforts to build an Aatmanirbhar Bharat.”
The PM also referred to the need to preserve India’s culture and heritage and recalled how the sons of the Sikh Guru, Guru Gobind Singh, Sahibzade Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh, sacrificed their lives to protect the country’s “millennia-old culture, civilization and traditions from the cruel misdemeanours of tyrants and tormentors,” a reference to the Mughal rulers..
“The tyrants wanted sahibzade to renounce their faith, abandon the teachings of the great Guru tradition. But our sahibzade showed amazing courage and determination even at that tender age. During the immurement, as stones began piling up, gradually raising the height of the wall, death staring them in the face. Despite that, they did not budge even a bit. It was on this day itself that Guru Gobind Singh ji’s mother -Mata Gujari attained martyrdom,” he said.
He also referred to his visit last week to Gurudwara Rakabganj in New Delhi where he paid tribute to Guru Tegh Bahadur. The visit came in the midst of the ongoing protests by a section of farmers from Punjab and Haryana against three contentious agricultural laws.
“During this very month, inspired by Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji, many people sleep on the floor. People reminisce about the supreme sacrifices made by family members of Shri Guru Gobind Singh ji with immense reverence,” he said.
Farm unions protesting against the agricultural laws on Saturday agreed to restart negotiations with the government, ending a stalemate in talks to resolve a month-long, politically challenging agitation by tens of thousands of farmers.Farm unions, who have hunkered down at the capital’s borders, on Saturday sent a letter to a senior bureaucrat of the agriculture ministry in which they agreed to hold delegation-level talks with the central government on December 29 at 11am.