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Rajmata Scindia proved that for people's representatives not 'Raj Satta' but 'Jan Seva' is important: PM
Rajmata had turned down many posts with humility: PM Modi
There is lots to learn from several aspects of Rajmata's life: PM Modi

Namaskar!

All my colleagues in the Union Cabinet, Governors of different states, chief ministers, admirers of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia from across the country and the world, family members and my dear brothers and sisters.

Before coming to this event today, I was going through the biography of Vijaya Raje ji. I looked at some pages. There is a chapter on Ekta Yatra where she has introduced me as Gujarat’s young leader Narendra Modi.

After so many years, same Narendra is in front of you with so many of her memories as the Pradhan Sevak of the country. You must be aware that when Kanyakumari to Kashmir Yatra was undertaken under the leadership of Dr. Murli Manohar Joshi ji, I was looking after the arrangements.

Rajmata ji had come to Kanyakumari for that event. And when we were leaving for Srinagar, she came to Jammu to see us off. And she constantly encouraged us. Our dream then was to hoist the flag at Lal Chowk; our motive was to get rid of Article 370. Rajmata ji had seen off that yatra. The dream has been realized. While I was going through the book, she has written somewhere that – “This body will remain here one day; the soul will go from where it has come … from a vacuum to another vacuum. Memories will remain. I will leave these memories for those whom I have been associated with.”

Today wherever Rajmata ji is, she is watching us and blessing us. All of us who have been involved with her and those she was involved with, some of them have arrived for this special programme and are present here, and this occasion is being celebrated virtually across different parts of the country.

Many of us have had the privilege of associating very closely with her and experience her benevolence and affection. Today, her family and relatives are present in this function, but all of us, every national was her family. Rajmata ji would say this also: “I am not only mother of a son, but I am mother of thousands of sons, and I am steeped in their love.” We all are her sons and daughters, her family.

Therefore, it is my great privilege to have the opportunity to release a special commemorative coin of Rs. 100 in memory of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia ji. Today, I am feeling myself very restrained because had corona pandemic not been there, this would have been a grand event. But I do believe that as much as I have been in touch with Rajmata ji, the event may not be grand, but it certainly is divine. There is divinity in it.

Friends, Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia was also among the few personalities who gave direction to India in the last century. Rajmataji was not only affectionate; she was a decisive leader and also a skilled administrator. She was witness to every important phase of Indian politics from the freedom movement to so many decades after independence. There has been a wide evolution of Rajmata's experiences from the burning of foreign garments before the Independence to the Emergency and the Ram Temple movement.

All of us who have been closely associated with her know her very well and know everything associated with her. But it is also very important that the present generation of the country also knows, takes inspiration and learns from the journey and message of Rajmata’s life. Therefore, it is necessary to repeatedly mention about her and her experiences. A few days ago, I had discussed her affection in great detail in the 'Mann Ki Baat' programme.

Before marriage, Rajmata ji was not from any royal family, she came from a common family. But after marriage, she made everyone her own and also taught the lesson that it is not necessary to be born in a particular family for public service and state responsibilities.

Any ordinary person, who has merit, talent, a sense of service, can also make power a medium of service in this democracy. Imagine, she had power, wealth; but above all Rajmata had the legacy of culture, service and affection.

We can see her thoughts and ideals at every step of her life. As the head of such a large royal family, she had thousands of employees, grand palaces and all the facilities, but she spent her life among the common and poor people of villages and devoted her life for them.

Rajmata proved that public service is the most important for a public representative, and not the state power. She was the queen and belonged to a royal heritage, but she struggled for the protection of democracy. She spent the important part of her life in jail.

Many of us have been witness to the hardships that she endured during the Emergency. She had written letters to her daughters from Tihar Jail. Perhaps, Usha Raje ji, Vasundhara Raje or Yashodhara Raje ji are aware of the contents of those letters.

There was a great lesson in what Rajmata wrote. She had written -- "In order to inspire our future generations to live with defiance, we must face today's adversity with patience."

Rajmata had dedicated her present for the future of the nation. She had sacrificed all her happiness for the future generations of the country. Rajmata neither lived for the position and prestige, nor did she choose the path of politics.

There were many occasions when the positions came to her on their own, but she turned them down with humility. Once Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji and Lal Krishna Advani ji urged her to become the president of the Jana Sangh but she accepted to serve the Jana Sangh as an activist rather.

It was not difficult for Rajmata ji to reach any position of authority, if she wished. But she chose to serve the poor of the villages by living among them.

Friends, we can learn so many things from every aspect of Rajmata’s life. The people who have been associated with her tell so many stories about her and incidents in her life.

There is another story of Ekta Yatra. There were two new activists who were also with her when she was in Jammu. Sometimes, Rajmata would forget the name of the other activist. She would quite often ask the first activist whether his name was Golu and what was the name of his other colleague? She loved to recognize her smallest of the colleagues by their name. Many people would tell her why she was so much concerned about their names. She should just call anybody. But Rajmata would tell them that it would not be good on her part not to recognize her companions who were helping her.

I think that if you are in public life, no matter which political party you belong to, all of us should have this feeling towards the ordinary workers. She has shown us the basic mantra of politics that there should be respect and not pride by practicing it.

Friends, Rajmata was a spiritual personality. She was drawn to spiritualism. Spiritual practice, worship, devotion were seeped in her inner mind. But when she would worship God, there used to be a portrait of Bharat Mata in her temple of worship. The worship of Bharat Mata was a matter of similar faith for her.

Once, my friends told me about an incident associated with her. And when I recall that I think that I should also tell you about that. Once she had gone to Mathura for a party function. Naturally, Rajmata also paid her respects to Bankebihari ji. It is very important to understand the crux of what she wished of Bankebihari ji at the temple.

It is going to be very useful for us to understand the life of Rajmata what she said while praying to Lord Krishna. She is standing in front of Lord Krishna in great devotion. Her spiritual consciousness has been awakened and what does she pray before Lord Krishna? She says, "O’ Krishna, play a flute so that all the men and women of India become awaken again".

You think, she did not ask anything for herself. Whatever she wished for was for the country, for the common man and that too she asked for awakening the consciousness. Whatever she did, she did it for the country. She knew and understood what an awakened nation and its nationals could do.

Now that today we are celebrating the birth centenary of Rajmata ji, we are satisfied that her wish for the awakening of the citizens of India, her prayer to Bankebihari, is being realized.

The many changes that have taken place in the country over the years, many campaigns and schemes that have become successful are due to the public awareness and mass movements. The country is moving ahead on the path of development with the blessings of Rajmata. Villages, poor, exploited, deprived and women are the first priority of the country today.

She would specially say this regarding the woman power -- ‘’the hand that can rock the cradle can also rule the world.” Today the woman power of India is leading in every field and taking the country forward. Today the daughters of India are flying fighter jets and are offering their combat services in the Navy. The country has further enhanced the approach of Rajmata and her efforts to empower women by enacting a law against the triple talaq.

We can see the outcome of her struggle for the unity and sovereignty of the country. The country has fulfilled her big dream by revoking Article 370. And it is also a strange coincidence that her dream of Ramjanmabhoomi temple, for which she fought, has been fulfilled in the year of her birth centenary.

And now that there is mention of Ramjanmabhoomi, I must say that all of us wanted that Rajmata becomes part of the event when Advaniji began his march from Somnath to Ayodhya. Rajmata ji also wanted that she should also be there at such an important event. But the problem was that the festival of Navratri was on and Rajmata used to perform rituals during Navratri. And she would not leave the place till all the rituals were completed.

So, when I was talking to Rajmata Sahab, she told me that she would not be able to come but she has to come for sure. I told her to find a way out. She said that she would prefer to leave Gwalior and spend the Navratri period in Somnath. “There I will do the Navratri and when this Rath (chariot) Yatra is being launched during that period, I will attend the event there.”

The fasting by Rajmata ji used to be very arduous. I had just joined the politics then. I used to oversee the arrangements as an activist. I took care of the arrangements of Rajmata Sahab during her Somnath stay. That was the moment when I got the opportunity to come closer to Rajmata Sahab. Then I saw that her worship, the entire rituals of Navratri were devoted to the Ayodhya Rath Yatra and the Ram Temple. I have seen all these things from my eyes.

Friends, we have to move with the same pace to realize the dreams of Rajmata Vijaya Raje Scindia ji. A strong, secure and prosperous India was her dream. We will realize her dreams by making Atmanirbhar Bharat a success. The inspiration and blessings of Rajmata are with us.

With these wishes, I thank you all. The way Rajmata Sahab has lived her life… Imagine, today when somebody becomes the head of a tehsil, look at his temperament. Rajmata, who was part of such a great lineage, had power and property, but still was so humble; her discretion and upbringing were very inspiring.

Let’s discuss these issues with our new generation. This is not the issue of any political party, but of our future generations. It is the privilege of the Indian government that we are presenting before the country this coin in the honour of Rajmata ji.

I once again salute Rajmata ji with utmost respect and conclude.

Many many thanks.

இந்தியாவின் ஒலிம்பிக் வீரர்களை ஊக்குவிக்கவும்!  #Cheers4India
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’பரவாயில்லை இருக்கட்டும்’ என்ற மனப்பான்மையை விட்டு விட்டு “ மாற்றம் கொண்டு வரலாம்” என்று சிந்திக்கும் நேரம் இப்போது வந்து விட்டது : பிரதமர் மோடி

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’பரவாயில்லை இருக்கட்டும்’ என்ற மனப்பான்மையை விட்டு விட்டு “ மாற்றம் கொண்டு வரலாம்” என்று சிந்திக்கும் நேரம் இப்போது வந்து விட்டது : பிரதமர் மோடி
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My dear countrymen, Namaskar. A few amazing pictures taken a couple of days ago, some memorable moments are still there in front of my eyes. Let us hence commence Mann Ki Baat this time, with those very moments. At the Tokyo Olympics, watching Indian sportspersons march carrying the Tricolour exhilarated not just me but the entire country…as if the whole country unitedly exhorted her warriors saying, “Vijayi Bhava – emerge victorious!” When these sportspersons had departed from India, I had the opportunity of chatting with them, knowing about them and conveying it to the country. These sportspersons have reached where they are after overcoming numerous hurdles in life. Today, they possess the strength of your love and support – that’s why, come…let us together extend our good wishes to all of them; encourage them. On social media, our Victory Punch Campaign for the support of Olympics sportspersons has begun. Do share your Victory Punch with your team…Cheer for India.

Friends, it is but natural to get emotional in honour of the one who bears the Tricolour in honour of the country. This feeling of patriotism unites all of us. Tomorrow, that is the 26th of July is Kargil Vijay Diwas as well. The Kargil war is one symbol of the bravery and patience on part of India’s Armed Forces which the whole world has watched. This time this pride filled day will be celebrated amid Amrit Mahotsav. That is why this day becomes all the more special. I wish you read the enthralling saga of Kargil…let us all bow to the bravehearts of Kargil.

Friends, this time on the 15th of August, the country is entering her 75th year of Independence. We are indeed very fortunate that we are witnessing 75 years of Freedom; a freedom that the country waited for, for centuries. You may remember, to commemorate 75 years of Freedom, Amrit Mahotsav had commenced on the 12th of March from Bapu’s Sabarmati Ashram. On this very day, Bapu’s Dandi Yatra too was revived…since then, from Jammu-Kashmir to Puduchery; from Gujarat to the Northeast, programmes in connection with Amrit Mahotsav are being held across the country. There are many such incidents, such freedom fighters whose contribution have been huge, but had not been adequately discussed…today, people are able to know about them. Now, take Moirang Day, for instance…the tiny town of Moirang in Manipur was once a major base of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose’s Indian National Army, INA. Here, even before Independence, Col Shaukat Malik ji of INA had unfurled the Flag.

During Amrit Mahotsav, on the 14th of April, the Tricolour was once again hoisted at that very Moirang. Innumerable such freedom fighters and great men are being remembered by the country during Amrit Mahotsav.Programmes in that connection are being successively organized by the government and social organisations. A similar event is about to take place on the 15th of August this time…this is an endeavour connected with the National Anthem. It’s an effort on part of the Ministry of Culture to have maximum number of Indians sing the National Anthem together. For this, a website too has been created – Rashtragan.in. With the help of this website, you can render the National Anthem and record it, thereby getting connected with the campaign. I hope you connect yourselves with this novel initiative. In the days to come, you will get to see many such campaigns and efforts. Amrit Mahotsav is not a programme of any government; neither a programme of any political party…it is a programme of crores and crores of Indians…a bow to our freedom fighters by every independent and grateful Indian. And the extension of the basic sentiment behind this festival is immense…the spirit entails treading the path of our freedom fighters…building a country of their dreams. Just the way champion proponents of Freedom had joined hands for the cause, we have to come together for the development of the country. We have to live for the country, work for the country…and in that, even the smallest of efforts too produce big results. We can contribute to nation building even while performing our routine chores…such as ‘Vocal for Local’. Supporting local entrepreneurs, artists, craftsmen, weavers should come naturally to us. The National Handloom Day on the 7th of August is an occasion when we can strive to attempt that. National Handloom Day has a remarkable historic background. On this very day in 1905, the Swadeshi Andolan had begun.

Friends, in the rural and tribal regions of our country, handloom is a major source of income. This is a sector that comprises lakhs of women, weavers and craftsmen. Even small efforts on your part will give rise to a new hope in weavers. Do purchase something or the other and share your thought with others as well…now that we are celebrating 75 years of Independence, it of course becomes our responsibility. You must have noticed that year 2014 onwards, we often touch upon Khadi in Mann ki Baat. It is only on account of your efforts that today, the sale of Khadi has risen manifold. Could anyone even think that in any Khadi store, the sales figure would cross one crore rupees…But you have made that possible too. Whenever, wherever you purchase a Khadi product, it does benefit our poor weaver brothers and sisters. That is why, in a way, buying Khadi is service to people, service to the country. I urge you my dear brothers and sisters, to make it a point to definitely buy Handloom products being made in rural areas and share it on #MyHandloomMyPride.

Friends, when one refers to the freedom movement and Khadi, remembering revered Bapu is but natural. Just the way the Quit India Movement, Bharat Chhoro Andolan steered under Bapu’s leadership, every countryman today has to lead a Bharat Jodo Andolan. It is our duty to ensure that our work helps closely knit, bind our India which is filled with diversity. Come, on Amrit Mahotsav, let us make a sacred Amrit resolve that the country remains to be our highest faith; our topmost priority. We have to move forward with the mantra ‘Nation First, Always First’.

My dear countrymen, today I wish to express my special thanks to my young friends tuned in to Mann ki Baat. Just a few days ago, on part of MyGov, a study was conducted regarding the listeners of Mann ki Baat. In this study, primarily, people who send messages and suggestions were focused upon. The study revealed the fact that out of those sending messages and suggestions, close to 75% are below the age of 35…meaning thereby that the suggestions of the youth power of India are steering Mann ki Baat. I view this as a very good indicator. Mann Ki Baat is a medium which has positivity, sensitivity. In Mann Ki Baat, we talk about positive things; its character is collective.

This activism for positive thoughts and suggestions in the youth delights me. I am happy also about the opportunity that I get through ‘Mann Ki Baat’ to know of the minds of the youth.

Friends, suggestions received from you are the real strength of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. It is your suggestions, through ‘Mann Ki Baat’, that express the diversity of India, spread the fragrance of service and sacrifice of Indians in all the four directions, inspire one and all through the innovation of our toiling youth. You send ideas of various kinds in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. We are not able to discuss all of them, but I do send many of them to related departments so that further work can be done on them.

Friends, I want to tell you about the efforts of Saayee Praneeth ji. Saayee Praneeth ji is a Software Engineer, hailing from Andhra Paradesh. Last year he saw that in his area farmers had to suffer a lot due to the vagaries of weather. For years he had interest in meteorology. So, he decided to use his interest and talent for the welfare of farmers. Now he purchases weather data from different data sources, analyses them and sends necessary information through various media to farmers in local language. Besides weather updates, Praneeth ji also gives guidance to people about what they should do in different climatic conditions... Especially how to be safe from floods or how to avoid storm or lightning, he talks about this too.

Friends, on the one hand this effort of a young software engineer touches our hearts; on the other the use of technology by one of our friends will amaze us. This friend Shriman Isaak Munda ji hails from a village in Sambalpur district of Odisha. Isaak ji once used to work as a daily wager but now he has become an internet sensation. He is earning a lot through his YouTube Channel. In his videos he shows prominently the local dishes, traditional ways of cooking, his village, his lifestyle, family and food habits. His journey as a YouTuber began in March 2020 when he posted a video related to Pakhal, the famous local dish of Odisha. Since then, he has posted hundreds of videos. This effort of his is different for many reasons. Specially because through this, people living in cities get a chance to watch the lifestyle about which they don’t know much. Isaak Munda ji is celebrating by blending culture and cuisine equally and inspiring us too.

Friends, while we are discussing technology I want to discuss of an interesting subject. Recently you must have read, seen that a start-up established by an alumni of IIT Madras has made a 3D printed house. The construction of the house through 3D printing, how did this happen after all? Actually, this start-up first of all fed a 3 Dimensional design in a 3 D printer and then through a concrete of a special kind fabricated a 3 D structure layer by layer. You will be happy to know that many experiments of this kind are being done throughout the country. There was a time when it would take years to complete even a minor construction. But today due to technology the situation is changing in India. Some time ago we had launched a Global Housing Technology Challenge to invite such innovative companies from all over the world. This is a unique attempt of its kind in the country; hence we gave it the name Light House Projects. For now, work on Light House Projects is on at a fast pace at 6 different locations in the country. Modern technology and innovative methods are used in these Light House Projects. This reduces the duration of construction. Along with that, the houses that are constructed are more durable, economical and comfortable. Recently, through drones, I also reviewed these projects and saw live their work progress.

In the project at Indore, Pre-Fabricated Sandwich Panel System is being used in place of Brick-and-Mortar Walls. In Rajkot, the Light House is being made with French Technology in which through a tunnel Monolithic Concrete construction technology is being used. Houses made with this technology will be lot more capable of withstanding disasters. In Chennai, the Pre-cast Concrete system technologies form America and Finland are being used. By this, houses will get built faster and the cost too will be low. In Ranchi houses will be built using the 3D Construction System of Germany. In this, every room will be constructed separately and then the entire structure will be joined together the way block toys are joined. In Agartala, using technology from New Zealand, houses that can withstand major earthquakes are being made with steel frame. Meanwhile, in Lucknow technology from Canada is being used. In this plaster and paint will not be required and walls prepared in advance will be used to build houses faster.

Friends, today an attempt is being made in the country to ensure that these projects work as Incubation centers. Through this our planners, Architects, Engineers and students will know of new technology and experiment with them too. I am sharing these things especially with our youth so that in the interest of the nation they are encouraged towards technology in newer fields.

My dear countrymen, you must have heard of an English adage- “To learn is to grow” that is to learn is to progress. When we learn something new, doors to new advances open up automatically for us. Whenever effort to do something new, different from the rut, has been made, new doors have opened for humankind, a new era has begun. And you must have seen whenever something new happens anywhere, its result surprises everyone. Now, for example, if I ask you which the states that you would connect with Apples are? Obviously in your mind first of all the name of Himachal Pradesh, Jammu-Kashmir and Uttarakhand would strike. But if I ask you to add the name of Manipur too to this list you will probably be filled with surprise. Youths filled with passion to do something new have demonstrated this feat in Manipur. Nowadays apple farming is picking up fast in the Ukhrul district of Manipur. Farmers here are growing apples in their orchards. To learn apple farming these people have taken formal training by going to Himachal. One of these is T S Ringphami Young. By profession he is an aeronautical engineer. He along with his wife Shrimati T S Angel has grown apples. Similarly, Avungshee Shimre Augasteena too has grown apples in her orchard. Avungshee had a job in Delhi. She returned to her village quitting this and started farming apple. There are many such apple growers in Manipur who have demonstrated something different and something new.

Friends, in our tribal communities, Ber fruit has always been very popular. The members of the tribal community have always been cultivating Ber. But its cultivation is increasing especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Bikramjit Chakma of 32 years of age is my young friend from Unakoti, Tripura. He has not only earned a lot of profit by starting the Ber cultivation; Now he is also motivating people to do Ber cultivation. The state government has also come forward to help such people. Many special nurseries have been started by the government for this purpose so that the demand of the people associated with the cultivation of Ber can be met. Innovation is happening in agriculture, so creativity is also being witnessed in the by-products of agriculture.

Friends, I have also come to know about an attempt made in LakhimpurKheri in Uttar Pradesh. A unique initiative has taken place in LakhimpurKheri during the period of COVID itself. Here, the work of training women to manufacture fibre from the waste banana stems was started. The way to make the best out of the waste. Banana fibre is prepared by cutting the stem of a banana with the help of a machine, the fibre is like jute or flax. Handbags, mats, rugs, many things are made from this fibre. Through this, the utilization of crop waste started, on the other hand our sisters and daughters living in the village acquired another source of income. Through this work of Banana fibre, a woman from the area earns four to six hundred rupees per day. Banana is cultivated on hundreds of acres of land in Lakhimpur Kheri. After the harvesting of banana, the farmers usually had to spend a separate sum to dispose of its stem. Now not only their money is being saved; and lending credence to the saying of ‘Getting two of something, for the price of one!’

Friends, on the one hand products are being manufactured from banana fibre; on the other, delicious dishes like dosa and gulabjamun are also being made from banana flour. Women in Uttara Kannada and Dakshina Kannada districts of Karnataka are doing this unique work. This endeavour also began in the Corona period itself. These women not only prepared things like dosa, gulabjamun from banana flour; they also shared their pictures on social media. When more people came to know about the banana flour, its demand also increased and so did the income of these women. Like Lakhimpur Kheri, here too, women are leading this innovative idea.

Friends, such examples become the inspiration to do something new in life. There must be many such people around you too. When your family is involved in close conversations, you should also make these a part of your chat. Take out some time and go to see such efforts with children and if you get the opportunity, do something like this yourself. And yes, I would like it if you share all this with me on Namo App or MyGov.

My dear countrymen, there is a verse in our Sanskrit texts -

आत्मार्थम् जीव लोके अस्मिन्, को न जीवति मानवः |

परम् परोपकारार्थम्, यो जीवति स जीवति ||

Atmantharmjeevalokeasmin, ko na jeevtimanavah.

Paramparopkarathram, yojeevatisajeevati ||

That is, everyone in this world lives for himself. But in actuality only the person who exists for the sake of others really lives. Talking about the philanthropic efforts of the sons and daughters of Mother India is what 'Mann Ki Baat' is all about. Today also, we’ll talk about some of these friends. One of our friends hails from Chandigarh city. I too, have lived in Chandigarh for a few years. It is a very cheerful and beautiful city. The people of Chandigarh are also large hearted and yes, if you are a foodie, you will have more fun here. In Sector 29 of Chandigarh, Sanjay Rana ji runs a food stall and sells Chole-Bhature on his cycle. One day his daughter Riddhima and niece Riya came to him with an idea. Both requested him to feed chole-bhature for free to those who had got the COVID Vaccine. He happily agreed to the suggestion and immediately started this good and noble effort. To eat Sanjay Rana ji'schole-bhature for free, you have to show that you have got the vaccine administered on the very day. As soon as you show the vaccination message he will give you delicious Chole-Bhature. It is said that for the welfare of the society, spirit of service and duty are required more than money. Our Sanjay Bhai is proving this saying to be right.

Friends, I would like to discuss another such work today. This effort is being attempted in Nilgiri of Tamil Nadu. Here Radhika Shastriji has started the AmbuRx (Amburex) Project. The purpose of this project is to provide easy transport for the treatment of patients in hilly areas. Radhika runs a cafe in Coonoor. She raised funds for AmbuRx from her cafe colleagues. Today six AmbuRx are serving in the Nilgiri hills and are coming to the aid of patients in remote parts during the time of emergency. An AmbuRx is equipped with a Stretcher, Oxygen Cylinder, First Aid Box and other things

Friends, whether it is Sanjay ji or Radhika ji, their examples demonstrate that we can render service while doing our routine work, our business or job.

Friends, a few days back a very interesting and very emotional event occurred, which imparted new strength to India-Georgia friendship. In this ceremony, India handed over the Holy Relic or icon of Saint Queen Ketevan to the Government of Georgia and the people there, for this mission our Foreign Minister himself went there. The ceremony, which took place in a very emotionally charged atmosphere, was attended by the President of Georgia, the Prime Minister, many religious leaders, and a large number of Georgians. The words that were said in praise of India in this ceremony are indeed very memorable. This single ceremony has not only strengthened the relations between the two nations but as well as between Goa and Georgia. This is because these holy relics of Saint Queen Ketevan were found in 2005 from Saint Augustine Church in Goa.

Friends, the question arising in your mind must be…what is this matter all about and when and how did this happen? Actually, this is an incident about four to five hundred years ago. Queen Ketevan was the daughter of the royal family of Georgia. In 1624 after ten years of imprisonment she was martyred. According to an ancient Portuguese document, the mortal remains of Saint Queen Ketevan were kept in the Saint Augustine Convent of Old Goa. But, for a long time it was believed that her remains buried in Goa were lost in the earthquake of 1930.

After decades of tireless efforts by the Indian government and Georgia's historians, researchers, archaeologists and the Georgian Church, the relics were successfully discovered in 2005. This is an extremely emotional topic for the people of Georgia. That is why keeping in mind their historical, religious and spiritual sentiments, the Government of India decided to gift a part of these relics to the people of Georgia. Today, I would like to thank the people of Goa for preserving this unique side of the shared history of India and Georgia. Goa has been the land of many a great spiritual heritage. Saint Augustine Church is a UNESCO's World Heritage Site – a part of the Churches and Convents of Goa.

My dear countrymen, let me now take you straight from Georgia to Singapore, where another glorious opportunity arose earlier this month. The Prime Minister of Singapore and my friend, Lee Hsien Loong inaugurated the recently renovated Silat Road Gurudwara. He also wore the traditional Sikh turban. This Gurudwara was built about a hundred years ago and there is also a memorial dedicated to Bhai Maharaj Singh. Bhai Maharaj Singh ji fought for the independence of India and this moment becomes more inspiring when we are celebrating 75 years of independence. The people to people strength between two countries gets a boost with such initiatives and efforts. These also show how important it is to live in a harmonious environment and understand each other's culture.

My dear countrymen, today in 'Mann Ki Baat' we have discussed many topics. There is another subject which is very close to my heart. It is the topic of water conservation. The place where I spent my childhood, there was always shortage of water. We used to yearn for rain and thus saving every drop of water has been a part of our traditions, our sanskar. Now this mantra of "Water conservation through public participation" has changed the picture there. Saving every drop of water, preventing any kind of wastage of water… it should become a natural part of our lifestyle. Such a tradition should be made in our families, which would make every member proud.

Friends, the protection of nature and environment is embedded in the cultural life of India, in our daily lives. At the same time, rains and the monsoon have always shaped our thoughts, our philosophy and our civilization. In ‘Ritusanhar’ and ‘Meghdoot’, the great poet Kalidas has beautifully described the rains. These poems are still very popular among literature lovers.The magnificence of rains is also beautifully described in the Parjanya Suktam of Rigveda. Similarly, the relationship between the earth, the sun and the rain has been elaborated in a poetic form in the Srimad Bhagavata.


अष्टौ मासान् निपीतं यद्, भूम्याः च, ओद-मयम् वसु |

स्वगोभिः मोक्तुम् आरेभे, पर्जन्यः काल आगते ||

That is, the Sun has exploited the earth's wealth in the form of water for eight months, now in the monsoon season, the Sun is returning this accumulated wealth to the earth. Indeed, the monsoon and rainy season is not only beautiful and pleasant, but it is also nurturing, life-giving. The rain water that we are getting is for our future generations, we should never forget that.

Today a thought came to my mind that why not end my talk with such interesting references. My very best wishes to all of you for the forthcoming festivals. At the time of festivals and celebrations, you must remember that Corona has not yet gone from amongst us. You must not forget the protocols related to Corona. May all of you be healthy and happy.

Many many thanks!