Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his monthly radio broadcast, “Mann Ki Baat” over the All India Radio network; addressed the people of India. Prime Minister said, 26th of July, a very special day. It was on this very day 21 years ago, our Army unfurled the flag of victory in the battle of Kargil. India can never forget the circumstances under which the battle of Kargil took place. Pakistan had embarked upon this misadventure, nursing delusions of encroaching upon Indian soil, to distract attention from the internal strife prevailing there. India was then in the process of making efforts to foster good relations with Pakistan.
Prime Minister Modi said, in times of war, whatever we say or do has immense bearing on the morale of the soldier, ever vigilant at the border, as well as the morale of his family. We should never forget this and that is why our conduct, our demeanour, our speech, our statements, our limits, our aims, whatever we do and say, must distinctly be conducive to enhancing the morale & honour of our soldiers.
Prime Minister observed, over the last few months, the way the country fought against Corona unitedly, has proven many apprehensions wrong. Today, the recovery rate in our country is better compared to other countries; the mortality rate in the context of Corona in our country is much less as well, compared to most countries, of course, the loss of even one life is saddening, but India has also succeeded in saving the lives of millions of her people. However, we need to be extra vigilant. We have to bear in mind that Corona is as fatal today as it was in the beginning – that’s why we have to be fully cautions.
Mr. Modi recalled the services of Zaitoona Begum, of Ganderbal, Jammu & Kashmir. She decided that her Panchayat would fight the battle against Corona and along with that, create income opportunities too. She distributed free masks & free ration in the vicinity; at the same time she distributed crop seeds & apple saplings so that people were not subjected to inconvenience in farming & horticulture.
The Prime Minister said, correct and positive approach always goes a long way in transforming distressing times into opportunities, this triggers development. During the times of Corona, we have witnessed how the youth and women of our country have come up with new experiments on the basis of their talent and skills. In Bihar, many women self-help groups have begun making masks with Madhubani motif; these turned out to be very popular. The Madhubani masks, in a way, propagate a regional tradition; besides protecting health, they also create opportunities for livelihood.
Using Bamboo, artisans of Tripura, Manipur and Assam have started crafting high quality water bottles and Tiffin-boxes. This is a new product which is also eco-friendly.
Mr. Modi asked people to think innovatively. The youth of Bihar have shown the way. Earlier they used to do routine jobs. One day, they decided to start cultivating pearls. In their area, people did not know much about this, but, this group of youth, gathered all the requisite information, then went to Jaipur and Bhubaneswar and took training and started cultivating pearls in their village. Today, they are not only earning from this activity, but have also started training migrant labourers who have returned from other states at Muzaffarpur, Begusarai and Patna. For many people, this has opened the avenues to self-reliance.
Mr. Modi said, 7th August is National Handloom Day. The Handloom of India and our Handicrafts encompass a glorious history of hundreds of years. It should be our endeavour to use Indian Handloom and Handicrafts as much as possible, and also tell more and more people about them.
Prime Minister recalled India’s close relationship with Suriname. More than a hundred years ago, people from India went there, and made it their home. Today, more than one-fourth of the population of Suriname is of Indian origin. ‘Sarnami’ is one of the common languages there; it is a dialect of Bhojpuri. India feels very proud of these cultural bonds.
Mr. Chandrika Parasad Santokhi has been recently elected as the President of Suriname. On his oath taking ceremony, Mr. Santokhi recited Vedic hymns; he also spoke in Sanskrit. Prime Minister congratulated Mr. Chandrika Prasad Santokhi and, wished him the best on behalf of 130 crore Indians.
Script: Kaushik Roy, AIR: News Analyst