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The Chief Minister was just speaking on a lot of topics - there are no roads, no hospitals and nothing of Film Division of any sort. I felt satisfied to hear him discussing these problems as it made me feel that this Chief Minister trusts this government to change things. And since he has such faith in my government, I feel the need to fulfill these wishes. 

The Porbandar-Silcher Road that he mentioned - I had laid the foundation stone of the road in Gujarat at Porbandar in the capacity of Chief Minister of the State during the period of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. It is also possible that I come here for a similar inauguration in future. But all the subjects that the Chief Minister has mentioned are important. We too are keen on developing North East, the land of Ashta Lakshmi and hence we have allotted a budget of about Rs 60000 crores towards the development of its infrastructure. 

During the bilateral talks in Myanmar on my recent visit there, the maximum impetus was on the subject of how to establish connectivity with Imphal. Be it air connectivity, road connectivity or i-ways, it should benefit everyone and the government of Myanmar has also taken important decisions to get associated with the infrastructure projects with the government of India so that this region can be made more accessible. You will surely notice the results in the coming days. 

Today, I have had the good fortune of being here for the Sangai festival. Our country has a lot of potential for tourism. No matter where in the world a tourist goes, our one State of India is capable of showcasing more than all that one country can offer the tourist. A tourist can easily tour a State for a month and if he keeps visiting our country every year, choosing to experience a new State, a lifetime wouldn't be enough to see entire India. Every State of our country has a different highlight, such varied is the heritage of our country! 

North East and especially Manipur have a lot of opportunities for the development of tourism. Like the Chief Minister just pointed out, I belong to Gujarat. Krishna is celebrated in Dwarka there and I have been brought up in a similar environment, worshipping Lord Krishna. When I saw you worshipping Lord Krishna, singing his praises, I felt right at home in Manipur. 

The world tourism sector has an estimated potential worth 3 trillion dollars. If there is any one sector that is growing by leaps and bounds globally, it is the tourism sector. Some places have shown a growth of 40 per cent in this sector. India has a lot to offer to the world that can influence and inspire them. But this area is still largely untapped. It is our constant effort to attract the world through our rich heritage. 

The game of Polo was born here. There was a Polo programme arranged here yesterday, in which, according to the information I have, 8 countries participated. This is your heritage. I want the world to know about the place that gave birth to Polo and hence I will match steps with the state in its efforts to highlight their assets. 

I just met with delegates from the HRD Ministry and asked them if there was a possibility of about 100 students from all the universities of the country visit North East as tourists. Only if university students start visiting, the tourism scene of the region will change drastically. 

They have already begun work towards making this a possibility and you should be able to see the results soon. And there is such diversity of heritage in Manipur. There is song, dance, theatre, costumes and what not. It is truly reflective in its rich cultural heritage. The reason of my joining in the Sangai festival is the same. I want the world to see what Manipur has to offer and when they see the PM visiting, they might want to find out what the hoopla is all about. 

There are two theories - one that says if the infrastructure is developed, tourism will develop and the other goes if tourism prospers, infrastructure will have to develop. Both theories carry equal weight. If tourism prospers, the quality of infrastructure will improve which in turn will bring in more visitors. These changes take place gradually over a period of time. We just need to create a friendly environment. 

If there is good connectivity then there will be a droves of visitors here. I firmly believe that tourism is one such sector that gives maximum returns in the minimum investment. Everyone - from a snack vendor, an auto rickshaw driver, a florist, a vegetable vendor to a cab driver, a guest house owner and even those offering the option of home stay and a tea vendor - everyone can benefit from the development of tourism. I will be particularly happy if the tea vendor earns well. What I mean to say is that even the poorest of poor would benefit from it. 

The government of India has recognised the power of Manipur and hence we have decided to establish a sports university here. Manipur has a huge role to play in India's achievements in sports. We want to harness this power to the optimum as this power is inherent in the DNA of the people of Manipur. Additionally, the people of Manipur have a sportsman spirit and we want to set an example for the rest of the country. 

Some people think that a sports university only helps in creating good players but that is not the case. A sport in itself is a large economy. Right from making a playground to those who write scoreboards, the one involved in collection of data, those looking after the players' food habits, physiotherapy and sportsman costumes - everyone finds employment. The youth of Manipur who might not have been able to become players but they can train themselves in this university to become an umpire, a scorer or become a physiotherapist of a good sportsman or can become dietician of a good sportsman, they can also become makers or architects of a playground. In a manner, opportunities of overall development are associated with a sports university. Many people might otherwise think that a sports university would mean a place where players would be trained. But that is not the case. It is a science, an economy, a complete creation with elements of technology, arithmetic and many such elements. You cannot imagine the amount of changes a university can bring about in Manipur. 

When I visited Australia recently, I have asked them to collaborate with us on the Manipur Sports University. I want to connect the countries of the world with Manipur and you will reap the benefits in the coming days. 

The youth of Manipur wants job and there is a need for skill development that will eventually lead to jobs. I have also asked an IT professional that I just met, to focus on the possibility of establishing call centers here in cities like Manipur, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram etc. instead of in cities like Hyderabad and Bangalore. The weather here would diminish the need of air conditioners, thus bringing down the cost hugely. The youth here also speak fluent English, so the language shouldn't be a barrier. I am trying to get this done. I will try and pull some companies here due to which there will be a lot of opportunities for the youth here and they wouldn't have to leave Manipur in search of better jobs. 

I have also thought of the possibility of employing the youth of Manipur in the police force of Delhi. When the world sees the youth from the North East policing the streets of Delhi, keeping it safe, they will realise the true potential of these States. I want to work towards this as well. 

When I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, I had a plan that wasn't put into action. I had envisioned a strategy of sort where every State of the North East - 8 of them - will select and send 200 women each to be a part of the police force in Gujarat, in every two years. So, a total of 1600 women would have joined the police forces in Gujarat. Imagine the kind of national integration that would be! 

At the same time I had also emphasised how Gujaratis were the best tourists in the whole world. No matter where you go, you will find a Gujarati there. We like to roam around, spending the wealth we have. So as per my plan, if 1600 girls would stay in Gujarat for 2 years, they would at least mingle with 15-20 families each who would in return visit their State thus enhancing tourism. I have told the Chief Minister of Gujarat to explore the possibility and if anyone from the North East wants to visit Gujarat, we would welcome them with open arms. Imagine the benefits these states will reap by associating with a prosperous state like Gujarat. 

Therefore, my brothers and sisters of Manipur, all the points that have been raised by the Chief Minister at the closing ceremony of the Sangai festival today, naturally having faith in me, please be assured that I will do my best to keep that faith as I am a man who tries to live up to them. I will go back and discuss the issues with the people of the concerned departments and see what can be done about them. I will also try to fulfill all the promises I have made here today and put all the plans into action. I will also expect that the manner in which Manipur has made us proud in the field of sports, similarly it becomes the flag bearer in the arena of development. 

However, I am deeply concerned by one issue here which I would like to address. The youth of Manipur are victims of drug abuse and this deeply hurts me. My heart goes out to the parents of such youth. It is our responsibility to ensure that our future generation does not suffer due to this. It is a dangerous path and it is not about an individual but the whole family and eventually the society and the country suffers immensely due to this. 

Hence we need to make a collective decision as a society, to ensure that we will end this. In a land where Lord Krishna and his miracles are celebrated, where we find the country's best players, we will not let Manipur suffer from such a disease. The youth of Manipur have the capability of changing the future of the country. Drugs destroy everything and today as we have gathered here at the pious occasion of the Sangai festival, I request the youth of Manipur to give up drugs. I know it is a difficult addiction to kick, but once you decide, you will be able to come out of it. Once you save yourself, you and your family will benefit from it and grow. 

With this request, I thank the people of Manipur for inviting me here and being a part of your celebrations. Thank you! 

(The original speech was in Hindi, this is the English rendering. Original speech remains the authoritative version)

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Wishing you all a very Happy 7th International Yoga Day!

Today, when the whole world is battling the corona pandemic, Yogahas remained a ray of hope. Even though no major public events have been organized in countries around the world and in India for almost two years, the enthusiasm for Yoga Day has not diminished a bit. Despite Corona, the theme of this year's Yoga Day "Yoga for Wellness" has intensified the enthusiasm for Yoga among crores of people. I pray that every country, society and individual stays healthy, and let's all come together to become each other's strength.


Our sages had termed Yogaas "समत्वम् योग उच्यते"i.e., remaining steadfast in every situation. They had made restraint a parameter of Yoga, being resolute in happiness and sorrow. Today Yoga has proved itin this global tragedy. In these one and a half years, so many countries, including India, have faced a huge crisis.


Yoga Day is not the age-old cultural festival for most of the countries of the world. People could easily forget and ignore it in this difficult time. But on the contrary, the enthusiasm and love for Yoga has increased among the people. In the last one and a half years, there have been lakhs of new Yoga seekers in every part of the world. Everyone is trying to implement the first synonym of Yoga, which is said to be restraint and discipline, in their life.


When the invisible virus of Corona hit the world, no country was prepared for it, from the point of capabilities, resources, or mental toughness. We have seen that Yoga became a great medium of self-confidence in the face of adversity. Yoga helped people to muster confidence to fight this disease.

When I talk to frontline warriors and doctors, they tell me that they also made Yoga their protective shield in the fight against Corona. Doctors also made themselves strong with Yoga, and also used it to help their patients recover quickly. Today, one finds so many stories from hospitals where doctors and nurses are teaching Yoga to patients, and patients sharing their experiences. The experts of the world are also stressing the importance of breathing exercises like ‘Pranayama’ and ‘Anulom-Vilom’ for strengthening our respiratory system.


The great Tamil saint Thiruvalluvar has said: "नोइ नाडी, नोइ मुदल नाडी, हदु तनिक्कुम, वाय नाडी वायपच्चयल" i.e., if there is a disease, diagnose it, go to its root, find out what is the cause of the disease, and then ensure its treatment. Yoga shows this way. Today medical science also lays equal emphasis on healing and Yoga is beneficial in the healing process. I am satisfied that today experts from all over the world are conducting various types of scientific research on this aspect of Yoga.

Many studies are being done on the benefits of Yoga to our body, on the positive effects it has on our immunity. Nowadays we see that in many schools, children are being taught Yoga-Pranayama for 10-15 minutes before the start of the online classes. It is also preparing the children physically to fight against Corona.


The sages of India have taught us-

व्यायामात् लभते स्वास्थ्यम्,

दीर्घ आयुष्यम् बलम् सुखम्।

आरोग्यम् परमम् भाग्यम्,

स्वास्थ्यम् सर्वार्थ साधनम् ॥

That is, by doing Yoga, we get good health, strengthand a long happy life. For us health is the greatest fortune, and good health is the means of all success. Whenever the sages of India have spoken about health, it is not only physical health. That is whythere is so much emphasis on mental health in Yoga along with physical health. When we do ‘Pranayama’, meditate andperform other yogic activities, we experience our inner-consciousness. Through Yoga, we experience our inner strength which is so strong that no problem of the world, no negativity can shatter us. Yoga shows us the path from stress to strength and from negativity to creativity. Yoga takes us from depression to ecstasy and from ecstasy to blessing.


Yoga tells us that so many problems might be out there, but we have infinite solutions within ourselves. We are the biggest source of energy in our universe. We do not realise this energy because of the many divisions that exist. At times, the lives of people exist in silos. These divisions reflect in the overall personality as well. The shift from silos to union is Yoga. A proven way to experience a realisation of oneness is Yoga. I am reminded of the words of the great Gurudev Tagore, who said and I quote:"the meaning of our self is not to be found in its separateness from God and others, but in the ceaseless realization of Yoga, of union."

The mantra of वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम्’, which India has followed since ages, is now finding global acceptance. We all are praying for each other's wellbeing, if there are threats to humanity,Yoga often gives us a way of holistic health. Yoga also gives us a happier way of life. I am sure Yoga will continue playing its preventive, as well as positive role in healthcare of masses.


When India proposed the International Day of Yoga in the United Nations, the spirit behind it was to make this Yoga science accessible to the entire world. Today, India has taken another important step in this direction along with the United Nations and WHO.

Now the world is going to get the power of the m-Yoga app. In this app, many videos of Yoga training will be available in different languages of the world based on the common Yogaprotocol. It is also a great example of the fusion of modern technology and ancient science. I am sure the m-Yoga app will play a big role in expanding Yoga across the globe and making the efforts of One World, One Health a success.


It is said in the Gita:

तं विद्याद् दुःख संयोग-

वियोगं योग संज्ञितम्।

That is, Yoga is liberation from suffering. We have to carry forward this journey of humanity, which is Yoga, by taking everyone along. No matter what the place, situation, age, Yoga definitely has some solutionfor everyone. Today the number of people who are curious about Yoga is increasing very much in the world. The number of Yoga establishments in the country and abroad is also increasing. In such a situation, it is necessary that the basic philosophy of Yoga should reach every person while keeping intact its foundation and core.And this work should be done by the people associated with Yoga, the masters of Yoga andYoga preachers together. We ourselves have to take the pledge of Yoga, and we have to connect our loved ones also with this resolution. This mantra of 'Yoga to Cooperation' will show us the way to a new future and will empower humanity.

I wish you and the entire human race the very best on International Yoga Day.

Many thanks!