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I have been travelling in the North East for the past three days. Perhaps no other Prime Minister had the privilege of spending so much time with the people of North East, but I have been fortunate enough to get this opportunity. This is my last programme here. The love, welcome and respect that has been accorded to me by the residents of North East has overwhelmed me and I express my heartfelt gratitude and I am thankful to you all from the core of my heart. 

My first programme in the North East was concerned with speed and this last one is concerned with energy. For progress energy is required and so is speed, but most importantly direction is needed. And for the Nation’s development we have chosen the North East Direction. There have been talks of Look East policy. Now is the time to move from Look East to Act East policy. And within the ambit of this Act East policy we want to move forward at great speed for the development of this region. 

Today in Tripura the Central government in collaboration with the State government is launching the biggest project in terms of Capital investment worth Rs 10,000 crore for a 726 mega watt power project. Such a small state but such a huge investment for such a large project! This is an opportunity for Tripura to make a mark on the world map. The entire world is working in the direction of Climate change; talks are on to implement Kyoto Protocol. This project in Tripura will follow all the norms of Kyoto protocol thereby lending Tripura a chance to make a mark in the Green Energy movement. 

Recently the SAARC Summit took place. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Begum Hasina ji was also present. An important decision was taken in the SAARC summit. It was decided that the nations will strive together for energy production and use energy for mutual benefit as a common commodity. 

Now that the SAARC Nations have agreed, I will request Bangladesh and I offer to provide electricity to Bangladesh if it intends to purchase it. We are in that position. And I am making this declaration from a place which has shared Bangladesh’s joys and grief during the period of its freedom movement and creation. The Minister of Bangladesh was telling me “I am visiting after 41 years and in 1971 when freedom movement was being fought I came here to seek refuge and today I have come again” and he was feeling very satisfied. 

Some time back the Chief Minister was discussing new schemes regarding petroleum sector and fertilizers plant. We also want to develop the economy using gas based energy resources. The ONGC has doubled its budget related to gas production. They will be able to utilize this expanded budget in regions like Tripura which have abundant supply of gas and in turn rev up the nation’s economy. These energy projects will enhance the job possibilities for the youth of North East and that is what our major focus is. 

A few days back I had been to Japan. We have signed an agreement with the government of Japan. The North East is also going to be benefitted by this agreement. The youth of North East is going to be benefitted by this agreement. India and Japan have taken a joint decision to try and create an economical corridor from North East to Myanmar. For this to happen so that the region grows fast we are emphasizing on this aspect so that Japan also lend its support to us. In my opinion the North East will no longer remain a neglected and secluded corner of India. The future of North East is bright. 21st century is called the Century of Asia. If this is so, that it is the century of Asia then North East is the door to all Asia and in a way it is a door to prosperity and I am seeing these possibilities. A comprehensive plan to strengthen the infrastructure with rail connectivity, road connectivity, removal of digital divide, benefit of marine routes needs to be put in place. As the Chief Minister was mentioning just now that all these facets should be incorporated in a one point programme. This one point programme is to bring in the newest infrastructure in the North East and open its horizons for progress and development. 

Today I also wish to express my gratitude to the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Begum Hasina ji for her support. They have helped us considerably in bringing machinery and equipment to this place which otherwise would have been very difficult. Bangladesh has set an example of how two nations can come together for a project. This will also set a precedent for SAARC nations to see that how two neighbouring countries can come together for common welfare and produce such vital commodities like Power from even a small place like Tripura. This event sends out this positive message to the SAARC nations.

Not only this, if there is coordination among states, there is cooperation among states then such a major benefit can be achieved. In this project all the states of North East have taken collective responsibility for transmission. That the states take up collective responsibility itself lends a new hope for future development. I express my heartfelt gratitude to all the Chief Ministers of all the states for coming up and creating such an environment of cooperation. This is our Mantra too; Cooperation from all and Development for all. If we move ahead with this motto then we can scale many new heights. 

In the entire North East there are a few sectors that I feel needs to be especially emphasized upon. In our country we respect our Tricolor. We all honour and respect our Tricolour. But I take inspiration from the tricolor for a four pronged revolution. I am talking of a multifaceted revolution. 

One is Green Revolution. One of the colours of the tricolor is Green. Green gives us a message for green revolution. But in this second green revolution the people of the North East can make a difference by focusing on Organic Farming and the agricultural product which has a worldwide market to capture. A huge potential exists here for the same and we want to strengthen that. 

Second is the White colour. There is ample scope for Milk revolution in the North East. There is unlimited potential for Animal Husbandry. We should focus on the second colour and think how to bring about this second Milk Revolution. 

Third is the saffron colour. I am talking about a saffron revolution. We need a Green Revolution, a White revolution and a Saffron Revolution. When I talk of a Saffron Revolution some people may get alarmed. They will start thinking what is it that Modi is planning? Saffron is the colour of energy so when I talk of Saffron Revolution I am taking about an Energy Revolution. We should be benefitted by Solar Radiation. How do we strengthen solar energy potential? How do we incorporate energy into Gas based economy and provide an overall solution? We need to move forward bearing these factors in mind. 

And fourth is the Blue colour of our Ashok Chakra. This blue colour symbolizes the strength of water, it represents the marine force. How do we strengthen our Marine force? The entire North East has immense water sources. It is the basin of Brahmputra. There are numerous waterfalls. So how do we channelize this blue revolution so that it changes our economy? How do we develop it to its fullest potential taking it to be a vital source of energy? This should be our focus. 

With this four pronged revolution we intend to change the destiny of not only Tripura but the entire North East. We have to strengthen our efforts so that the youth here gets employment. 

In India, the place with the largest wealth of natural resources and the greatest potential for tourism is the North East. No other State in India can match it. This region abounds in biodiversity. We have to attract the entire India here. And for this, connectivity needs to be emphasized. We have to enhance the connectivity by strengthening the rail connectivity, the road and the water connectivity. And so we have to move in a new direction where Tripura and the entire North East are able to scale new heights of development. 

Today this 726 MW power project comes to completion. When the first stage got completed Honorable President came here. Today on final completion I have been given the privilege of coming here. I salute Tripura’s contribution in increasing the energy production. My heart is filled with pride and satisfaction as I dedicate this project to the Nation. I once again thank Bangladesh for its contribution. We offer to sell power to Bangladesh to meet its power requirements. India can work towards bringing light to Bangladesh also. 

Thank You. 

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

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Namaskar!

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.

Friends,

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.

Friends,

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.

Friends,

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.

Friends,

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.

Friends,

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.

Friends,

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.

Friends,

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.

Friends,

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!