Text of Prime Minister’s ‘Mann ki Baat’ on All India Radio

Published By : Admin | December 14, 2014 | 11:49 IST

My Dear Fellow Countrymen,

Today I have this great opportunity of interacting with you again. You must be wondering why a Prime Minister should be interacting the way I am doing it. Well, first and foremost, I am a less of your Prime Minister and more of a Pradhan Sewak (serving the people). Since childhood I have been hearing that by sharing, our intensity of pain become less while the intensity of our joys grow manifold. Well I think, this is the guiding thought behind Mann ki Baat. It is an opportunity for me to sometimes share my concern and sometimes my joy. Sharing my deepest concerns with you makes me feel light hearted and sharing my joy just doubles my happiness.

Last time, I mentioned my concern about the youth of the country. It is not because you chose me as the Prime Minister but because I feel concerned as an individual. Sons and daughters of many families are caught in the trap of drugs. It just does not destroy the person involved, but his entire family, the society and the Nation at large. Drug is such a grave menace which destroys the most powerful individuals.

While serving as the Chief Minister of Gujarat, my officers with good records would often come to ask for leave. Initially they would hesitate to spell out the reasons, however on insisting they revealed that their child had fallen into the drug trap and they now need to spend time with their kids and rehabilitate them. I could see the bravest of my officers struggling to control their tears. I met suffering mothers too. In Punjab I had the chance to meet some mothers who were very angry and yet concerned about their children who had fallen into the trap of drugs.

We have to work together as a society to tackle this menace. I understand that the youth who fall into this drug trap are often blamed. We blame these youth as being careless and irresponsible. We perceive that the victims are bad but the fact is that the drugs are bad. The youth are not wrong; it is this addiction which is wrong. Let us not blame and wrong our kids. Let us get rid of  this habit of addiction and not victimize our kids. Blaming the kids would push them further into addiction. This is in fact a psycho-socio-medical issue and let us treat it as such a problem. This menace needs to be handled carefully as its solution is not limited to medical intervention only.  The individual concerned, his family, friends, the society, the government and the legal system all have to work in tandem to tackle this menace. Each one of us have to contribute to get rid of this menace..

A few days ago, I had organized a DGP level conference in Assam. I expressed my concern over this issue and my displeasure at the non-serious attitude of the people concerned. I have asked the police department to seriously discuss this issue and come out with relevant solutions. I have suggested the department to launch a toll free helpline. The families often feel ashamed to come out in open about the addiction problem of their children. They have no one to confide in. Parents from any part, any corner of the country can freely approach the police if their children have fallen a victim to addiction. The department has taken this suggestion seriously and working towards its fulfillment.

The drug menace brings about the Three D’s. These Three D’s are not the ones related to entertainment but I am talking about the Three D’s related to the three vices.

First D is Darkness, the second D is Destruction and the third D is Devastation.

Drugs lead a person to a blind path of destruction. There is nothing left in its trail but devastation. This is a topic of great concern and demands total attention.

I had mentioned this topic in my last address in Mann ki Baat. We received more than 7000 letters on our Akashvani address. Some letters were received in the government offices. We received responses on government portal, Mygov.in, online and through e-mails. Lakhs of comments were received on twitter and facebook. Hence, a deep rooted concern in the society’s psyche has found a voice.


I am especially thankful to the media of our country for carrying this concern forward. Many channels conducted hour long programs. These programs were not just meant to criticize the government. They were forums for open discussion, a concern and an effort to come out with workable solutions. These initiatives created background for healthy discussions. The government was also sensitized to its responsibilities in this direction. The government can no longer remain neutral to these concerns.

There is a question I want to ask these youth caught in the drug trap. I want to ask these youth that when for three or four hours they are in a state of intoxication, they might be feeling free of all concerns, free of all tensions and  in a different world altogether. But have you ever lent a thought to the fact that when you buy drugs where does this money go to? Have you ever thought about it? Just make a guess. What if this drug money goes to the terrorists? What if this money is spent by the terrorists to procure weapons? And with this weapon the very same terrorist might be pumping bullets in the heart of my soldiers. The soldier of my country gets martyred. Have you ever thought about our soldiers- a soldier who is so dear to his mother, the treasured son of Mother India, the brave son of the soil is hit by a bullet probably funded by the money spent on purchasing drugs. I know and firmly believe that you too love your motherland and have tremendous respect for our soldiers. Then how can you support a habit which funds drug mafia and the terrorists.

Some people feel that when a person is in despair, faces failures and when he is directionless, he is an easy prey to drugs. But I feel that people who lack ambition, do not have any set goals and targets, who have a deep vacuum in their lives, are the ones where drugs will have an easy access. If you want to avoid drugs and save your children from this menace then foster ambition in them, give them dreams to pursue and make them individuals with a desire to achieve something in life. Then you will see that they will not be easily distracted. Their aim then will be to achieve something in life.

Have you ever followed a sportsman’s life?  A sportsman is motivated forever. In the bleak winters everyone feels like sleeping in the warmth of a quilt but a sportsman will still rise at 4 or 5 and go for his workouts. Why? because the goal is set. Similarly, if your child would be aimless, there are chances of him/her to fall prey to menace like drugs.

I remember the words of Vivekananda. These words are very apt for all the young people. Just keep repeating this thought over and over again. “Take a thought, make it your life. Ponder on it and dream about it. Make it an integral part of your dreams. Make it a part of your mind, brain, veins and each and every part of your body and forget everything else”.

This thought of Vivekananda is apt for every young person and that is why I say that each person should have an ambition in life. Having an ambition does not allow your focus on unnecessary things.

Some take it under peer pressure because it looks “cool”, some consider it as a style statement. So sometimes the youth inadvertently fall into this serious trap, due to the wrong mental perception. Addiction is neither cool nor a style statement. In reality, it is a precursor to destruction. So whenever your friends boast about their drug habits, do not applaud and enjoy such conversation. Do not be a mute spectator to such absurdities. Have the courage to stand against such conversations and say NO. Have the guts to despise such a conversation, reject such a conversation and have the guts to tell the person that he is wrong.

I would like to share some views with the parents too. These days none of us have time. All of us are running against time to earn our livelihood. We are racing against time to improve the quality of our lives. But in this blind race, do we have the time to spare for our kids. Do we ever work for our kid’s spiritual progress and discuss it with them, rather we discuss only material progress. How are they doing in their studies, what has been their progress in exam, what to eat and what not to eat, where to go and where not to go – majorly these topics form the core of the entire interactions. Do we share such a relationship that our children can bare their hearts to us? I request all of you to do this. If your children share a frank relationship then you can very well know what is going on in their life. Children do not take to bad habits suddenly. It happens gradually and it also impacts the home. Observe the changes that are happening in your home. If you observe closely then I believe that you may be successful in detecting the problem at the very beginning.  Be aware of your child’s friend circle and don’t keep your conversations focused just about progress. Your concern should extend to their inner depths, their thoughts, their logic, their books, their friends and their mobiles - how and where are they spending their time. These need to be taken care of. I believe that no one else can do what a parent can for their kids. Our ancestors have left us certain pearls of wisdom and that is why they are known as statesmen. A saying goes like this:

Paanch Varsh Laaw Lijiye

Dass Laaw Tadan dei
Paanch Varsh Laaw Lijiye

Dass Laaw Tadan dei
Sut Hi Solah Varsh Mein
Mitra Sarij Gani Dei

This means that till 5 years of age a child should grow in the loving and tender care of his parents, by the time he is 10 the values of discipline should be inculcated in him. Sometimes we see that an intelligent mother gets angry and does not speak with her child throughout the day. This is a big punishment for the child.  The mother punishes herself but the child too gets punished in turn. The mother just has to say that I will not talk and the 10 year old will remain worried the whole day long. He changes his habit and by the time he is of 16 years then the relationship should turn like a friend towards him. There should be an open conversation with him. This is a brilliant advice which has been passed on by our ancestors. I would like to see this inculcated in our family life.

Another thing brought to our notice is the role of the pharmacists. Some of the medicines lead to addiction. So such medicines should not be distributed without a doctor’s prescription. Sometimes a simple thing like a cough syrup can trigger addiction. It becomes the starting point for addiction. There are quite a few things that I would not like to raise from this platform. But we will have to follow and accept this discipline.

These days many children from villages go to city for higher education and start living in a hostel or a boarding school. I have heard that sometimes these avenues become the entry point of such addiction. For this the education system, the society and the security force will have to act as a vigilante. Each one will have to fulfill their roles and responsibilities. The government will fulfill the responsibilities on its end. We should constantly strive to fulfill our obligations.

I would also like to mention about the letters we have received. Some of them are interesting, some are filled with grief and some are inspiring. I cannot mention all, but I would like to mention one. There was a certain Mr. Dutt. He was deep into addiction .He was also jailed where he had several restrictions. Then later his life changed. He studied in jail and then his life was transformed. His story is very famous. He was in Yerawada Jail. There might be many such inspiring stories. Many people have been victorious in their fight against addiction. We too can come out of such habits and so we should definitely try. We should make efforts for de-addiction and rehabilitation. I would ask celebrities to be a part of this initiative - be it from the field of cinema, sports or someone concerned with public life. Be it the cultural or spiritual world, we should use every possible platform to create awareness. There should be constant messages in public interest. They will certainly have an effect. Those active on the social media, I would request them to create a continuous online movement by joining #DrugsFreeIndia hash-tag. This is more relevant because most of the addicted youth are a part of the social media. If we take this #DrugsFreeIndia hash-tag movement forward then we will do a great service for public awareness and education.

I want to take this concern forward.  I would request all those who have successfully come out of this addiction to share their stories. I touched this topic because like I said in the beginning grief becomes less on sharing. This is a topic of national concern and I am not here to sermonize. And neither am I entitled to preach. I am just sharing my grief with you. Those families who are suffering from this menace, I want to share their pain as well. I want to create a responsible environment. There can be difference of opinions but let us make a beginning somewhere.   

Like I mentioned before, I want to share happiness. Last week I had the opportunity to meet the Blind Cricket Team. They had won the world cup. What joy and excitement, they were exuding great self confidence. God has given us everything, eyes, hands, legs i.e. we are totally capable yet we lack this kind of determination and passion which I could see in the blind cricketers. What zeal and enthusiasm, really it was contagious. I felt super charged after meeting them. Such incidents bring great pleasure in life.

In the past few days there was yet another important news. The cricket team from Kashmir defeated Mumbai on their home ground. I do not view it as a matter of someone’s victory and other’s loss. I view it differently.  All the stadiums in Kashmir have been inundated after the floods.  Kashmir is passing through a tough phase. The circumstances have been extremely grim with these boys not standing any chance to practice. But the Team Spirit shown by these boys, their conviction and determination is awe inspiring. These boys have shown us that one can overcome the most trying and testing circumstances if one remains focused on our goals. This news gave me immense pleasure and I take this opportunity to congratulate all these players on their victory.

Two days back, the United Nations has decided to celebrate June 21st as International Yoga Day. It is a matter of great pride and honour for India. Our ancestors developed a beautiful tradition and today the entire world is associated with it. It does not merely benefit one personally but it has the potential to bring all the people together globally. The entire world came together on the issue of Yoga in the UN and a unanimous resolution was passed just two days back. 177 countries became the co-sponsors. In the past when it was decided to celebrate the birthday Mr. Nelson Mandela, 165 countries became co-sponsors. Before that efforts were on for International Toilet Day and 122 nations became co-sponsors to that initiative too. For celebrating Oct 2nd as Non Violence Day 140 Countries became co-sponsors, before that. But 177 countries co- sponsoring Yoga is a world record of sorts. I am thankful to all the countries that have come out in support and have honored the sentiments of the Indians and decided to observe World Yoga Day.  It is now our duty that Yoga reaches out to the masses in its true essence.

Last week I had the chance to have a meeting with the Chief Ministers of all the states. This tradition has been going on for the past 50-60 years. This time it was organized at the Prime Minister’s residence. We started it as a retreat program with no papers, no files and no officers. It was a simple interaction where the Prime Minister and Chief Minister were all the same, seated together like friends. For an hour or two, matters of national concern were seriously discussed in a friendly atmosphere. Everyone just poured their hearts out. There was no political agenda involved. This too was a memorable experience that I wanted to share with you.

Last week I had the chance to travel to the North East. I had been there for three days. Many a times youth express their desire to see the Taj, Singapore or Dubai. But I would urge all the nature lovers, all who want to experience the divinity in nature, to take a tour of the North East. I had gone earlier too. This time when I went as the Prime Minister, I tried to explore its potential. Our North east has tremendous potential and possibilities. It’s a land of beautiful people and beautiful surroundings. I was filled with immense joy visiting that place. Sometimes people ask Modi ji don’t you get tired? I want to say that whatever little fatigue I had, well the North East took it away completely, I am thoroughly rejuvenated. Such is the pleasure that I derived from that visit. The love and respect accorded by the people there is something that will stay with me forever. The kinship and affinity showed by the people of the North East touched me deeply. I will also tell you, it is not a joy for only Modi to enjoy, it is there for you to enjoy too.  So do travel to the North East and enjoy.

The next edition of Mann Ki Baat will happen in 2015. This is probably my last program in 2014. I wish you all a Merry Christmas. I would like to wish all the very best of New Year hes in advance. It gives me immense pleasure to know that this program Mann Ki Baat is broadcast in regional languages by the Local Radio stations that same night at 8 pm. And it is surprising to know some of the regional voice-over artists also speak in the voice very similar to me. I am surprised at the brilliant work being done by the artists associated at Akashvani and I would like to congratulate them. I consider this as an effective medium to connect to the masses. We have had tremendous response. Seeing the response Akashvani has devised a new method. They have taken a new Post Box number. So now if you wish to write into me you can write on this Post Box number.

Mann Ki Baat

Post Box no 111, Akashvani

New Delhi.

I will be awaiting your letters. You do not realize that your letters become my inspiration. Some suggestions penned down can do good to the entire nation. I am thankful to you all. We will meet next in 2015 and on some Sunday morning we will again have our own Mann Ki Baat.

Thank you very much.

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Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan ji, the ministers of MP government, MPs, MLAs, my friends from the world of start ups, ladies and gentlemen!

You all must have seen that I was interacting with the young talents of Madhya Pradesh associated with start-ups and I realized and you too must have realized that when the heart is full of enthusiasm, new hopes and the spirit of innovation, its effect is clearly visible. I got the opportunity to talk to all of you and those who would have heard this interaction can say with full confidence that just like we have a proactive start-up policy in the country today, the start-up leadership too is extremely diligent. That is why, the country's development is gaining momentum with a new youthful energy. Start up portal and i-Hub Indore have been launched in Madhya Pradesh today. Financial assistance has also been given to start ups and incubators under the start up policy of MP. I congratulate the Government of Madhya Pradesh, the start up ecosystem of the country, and all of you for these efforts, and for organizing this event.


 You might remember, when our government was formed in 2014, there used to be around 300-400 start-ups in the country and the word start-up was not heard of and no one talked about it either. But today in a short span of eight years, the world of start ups in India has completely transformed. Today there are about 70 thousand recognized start-ups in our country. Today India has the third largest start-up eco-system in the world. We are also emerging as a force to be reckoned with among the world's biggest unicorn hubs. Today a start up in India turns into a unicorn within an average of 8 or 10 days. Just imagine! Turning into a unicorn means reaching a valuation of about 7000 crore rupees starting from zero in such a short time. And today every 8–10 days a new unicorn is being formed by our youth in this country.


 This is the strength of the youth of India, an example of the will power to achieve new heights of success. And I would ask the experts studying the policies of the economic world to note one thing. The volume of our start-ups in India is huge and so is its diversity. These start-ups are not limited to any one state or a couple of metro cities. These start-ups are spread throughout several states as well as smaller cities of India. Moreover, approximately there are more than 50 different types of start-ups associated with different industries. These are spread across every state and more than 650 districts of the country. About 50 percent of the start-ups are in tier 2 and tier 3 cities. Often some people are under the impression that start-up is something related to computers or some activity or business of the young people. This is just an illusion. The reality is that the scope of start-ups is huge. Start-ups give us simple solutions to tough challenges. And we can see that the start-ups of yesterday are turning into multinationals today. I am glad that today new start ups are emerging in the field of agriculture, retail business as well as the health sector.


 Today, when we hear the world praising India's start up ecosystem, every Indian feels proud. But friends, there is a question. The word start up, which was a part of discussion in certain pockets of technical world till 8 years ago, has become a powerful medium to fulfil the dreams of ordinary Indian youth. How did it become a part of their everyday conversation? How did this paradigm shift take place? It didn't happen suddenly. Clear goals, defined direction under a well thought out strategy resulted in these changes and as I am before the land of Indore today and have also met the youngsters from the world of start-ups, I feel that I should tell you a few things today. How did the start up revolution take its present shape? I believe it is very important for every youngster to know this. This is also an inspiration in itself. Moreover, it is a great impetus for the 'Azadi Ka Amritkal'.


There has always been an urge to innovate in India and to solve problems with new ideas. We have experienced this very well during the era of IT revolution. But unfortunately, our youth didn't get the encouragement and the support that they should have received at that time. The environment developed by the IT revolution should have been channelized and given a direction. But that did not happen. We have seen that the entire decade had been marred by big scams, policy paralysis and nepotism. The dreams of one generation of this country had been shattered. Our youth had ideas and a yearning for innovation but everything was entangled in the policies of the previous governments or rather in the 'lack of policies'.


After 2014, we revived this power of ideas and this spirit of innovation among the youth. We believed in the power of the youth of India. We prepared a complete roadmap for 'Idea to Innovation to Industry' and focused on three things.

First - construction of infrastructure of the institutions associated with 'Idea, Innovate, Incubate and industry'.

Second - simplification of government procedures

And third- change in mind-set for innovation; creation of a new ecosystem.


Keeping all these things in mind, we started working together on different fronts. One of these was Hackathons. Seven-eight years ago, when Hackathons started happening in the country, no one had any idea that they would create and serve as a strong foundation for start-ups. We threw a challenge at the youth of the country and the youth accepted the challenge and came up with solutions. Lakhs of youth of the country saw a purpose in life and their sense of responsibility increased through these hackathons. This instilled in them the belief that they could contribute in resolving the day to day problems the country was facing. This spirit acted as a kind of launch pad for start-ups. If we talk only about the Smart India Hackathon of the government, about 15 lakh such talented young fellows were associated with it in the past years. Probably some of you sitting here were also a part of it. I remember that in such hackathons there were so many new things to learn and understand because I too enjoyed it a lot! I used to keep a close watch on the Hackathon activities of the youth for two days. I also used to take part in group discussions with them till 12, 1 and even 2 at night. I could see their passion. I used to observe their activities, the way they solved the problems and their brightened faces on successes. I used to observe all these things. And I am glad that even today some or the other hackathon is going on in some part of the country. That is, the country is continuously working on the initial process of building start-ups.


7 Years ago, the Start Up India campaign was a huge step towards institutionalizing the concept of 'idea to industry'. Today it has become a major medium of converting ideas into the industry by hand-holding. The next year we had started the Atal Innovation Mission to develop a mind-set of innovation in the country. Under this, a huge ecosystem is being created from Atal Tinkering Labs in schools to incubation centres and hackathons in universities. Atal Tinkering Labs are running in more than 10 thousand schools across the country today. In these, more than 75 lakh children are getting exposed to modern technology and are learning the ABCD of innovation. These Atal tinkering labs being built across the country are acting as a nursery class for start ups. When the student reaches college, more than 700 Atal Incubation Centers would have been set up in the country to incubate the new idea that he would have. The new National Education Policy that the country has implemented will also help in further enhancing the innovative minds of our students.


Besides incubation, funding is also very crucial for start ups. They received assistance because of the concrete policies of the government. The government not only created a fund of funds on its behalf, but also created different platforms to engage the start-ups with the private sector. With similar steps, today private investment worth thousands of crores of rupees is also being injected into the start-up ecosystem and is increasing day by day.


Over the years, several reforms have been made relentlessly such as giving tax exemptions and other incentives in the country. The doors of new areas have been unlocked for start-ups with the various reforms made in the technological aspect like mapping in the Space Sector, drones etc.


We have prioritised another requirement of the start-ups. After the start-up is formed and their services and products reach the markets easily, they are also getting a major buyer in the form of government. So, a special provision was made by the Government of India on the GeM portal. Today there are more than 13 thousand start ups registered on GeM portal. And you would be delighted to know that on this portal start-ups have done business worth more than Rs 6500 crores.


Another major work that has been done is related to the modern infrastructure. Digital India has laid a great emphasis on the expansion of the start-up ecosystem. Cheap smart phones and cheap data also connected the middle class and the poor of the villages. This has opened up new avenues and new markets for start-ups. Due to such efforts of 'idea to Industry', today start ups and unicorns are providing employment to lakhs of youth of the country.


The start-up itself constantly gets innovated. It does not talk about the past. That is the fundamental character of a start-up. It always talks about the future. Today, from Clean Energy and Climate Change to Healthcare, there are infinite opportunities for the startups to innovate in all such areas. Start-ups also play a major role in increasing the tourism potential in our country. Similarly, start-ups can also do a lot to strengthen the people's movement of Vocal for Local. Our start-ups can bring a huge network and provide a huge platform for branding the cottage industries of our country as well as the commendable work done by handlooms and weavers so as to take them to the international market. Our tribal brothers and sisters of India, forest dwellers make so many beautiful products. That too can become a great option or a new field for the start-ups to work upon. Similarly, you know that India is among the top-5 countries of the world in terms of mobile gaming. The growth rate of India's gaming industry is more than 40 per cent. In this budget, we have also emphasized on the support of AVGC i.e. Animation, Visual Effect, Gaming and Comic sector. This also is a huge sector for India's start ups, which they can lead. One such sector is the toy industry. India has a very rich heritage regarding toys. Start-ups from India can make it the centre of attraction for the whole world. At present, India's contribution to the global market's share of Toys is just less than one percent. The youth of my country, the youth who are living with the ideas can do something about increasing this share. You can venture into this start-up sector and contribute a lot. I am glad to say that more than 800 start-ups of India are associated with sports. I am sure you too are elated on hearing this. No one would have imagined that this too could be a field. In this too the culture of sportsmanship, the spirit of sports is being developed. There are several possibilities in this field too for the start-ups.


We have to give a new momentum to the success of the country. We need to take it to new heights. Today India is the Fastest Growing Economy among G-20 countries. India is the third largest economy in the world. Today India is at number one in the world in terms of Smartphone Data Consumer. India ranks second in the world in terms of Internet users. Today India stands at the second position in the Global Retail Index. India is the third largest energy consumer country in the world. The world's third largest consumer market is in India. India has set a new record by exporting merchandise worth more than $417 billion i.e. Rs 30 lakh crore in the last financial year. India is investing like never before to modernize its infrastructure today. India's unprecedented emphasis today is on Ease of Living and also on Ease of Doing Business. All these things will fill any Indian with pride. All these efforts instill a sense of confidence. India's growth story, India's success story will now move forward with a new zeal in this decade. This is the time for India's 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav'. We are celebrating 75 years of our independence. Whatever we do today, the future of New India and the direction of the country will be decided by it. With these concerted efforts, we will fulfil 135 crore aspirations. I am sure, India's start up revolution will become a very important hallmark of this 'Amritkal'. My best wishes to all the youth.

Heartiest congratulations to the Madhya Pradesh government as well!

Thanks a lot.