Text of PM Modi’s first address to the Nation on Radio

Published By : Admin | October 3, 2014 | 13:43 IST

My Dear Countrymen, 

Today is the holy festival of Vijay Dashami. My heartiest greetings on this occasion of Vijay Dashami to one and all. 

Through the medium of radio, I would like to share few heartfelt thoughts with you today. And, I hope that not only today, this series of conversation may be carried out regularly in future. I will try my best, if possible, to take out time twice a month or even once to speak with you. In future, I have also decided that whenever I will speak to you, it would be on Sundays and time would be morning 11. In that way, it would be convenient for you too and I will feel contented with the fact that I am successful in sharing my thoughts with you. 

We are celebrating the festival of Vijay Dashami today, which symbolises the triumph of Good over Evil. But one gentleman named Ganesh Venkatadari, a native of Mumbai, sent me a mail and has written to me that we must take a vow to eliminate ten bad habits from within ourselves on this occasion of Vijay Dashami. I express my gratitude to him for this recommendation. We all, as individuals, must be thinking to put an end to all our bad habits and win over them, although, with respect to our nation, I believe we all should come together and take a vow in eliminating all the dirt from our country. On this occasion of Vijay Dashami, we must take a vow to eliminate dirt and filth and we can do so on this occasion. 

Yesterday, on 2nd October on the eve of Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, more than 1.25 crore countrymen have started the ‘Swachh Bharat’ movement. I had shared one thought yesterday which is that I will nominate nine people and they need to upload their videos of cleaning the nation on social media websites, and nominating nine more people to do the same. I want you all to join me, clean the nation, and nominate nine more people to clean the nation, and those nine people must do the same. Eventually, the entire nation will have this atmosphere. I strongly believe that you all will join hands with me to carry this movement forward. 

Whenever, we think of Mahatma Gandhi, naturally we are reminded of Khaadi. You may be wearing variety of clothes with different fabrics and company brands in your family. But is it not possible to include Khaadi too? I am not telling you to use only Khaadi products. I am just insisting to use, at least one Khaadi product, like handkerchief, or a bath towel, a bed sheet, a pillow cover, a curtain or anything of that kind. If you have an inclination for all kinds of fabrics and clothes in your family, you can also buy Khaadi products on a regular basis. I am saying this as when you buy Khaadi products, it helps poor people to light lamps on Diwali. Also, you can avail a special discount on Khaadi products from 2nd October for a month. It is a very small thing, but has very big impact which binds you with the poor. How you see this as a success. When I speak of 1.25 crore countrymen and infer the outcome, we might assume that government will take care of everything and as individuals we stand nowhere. We have seen that if we intend to progress then we need to identify our potential, understand our strengths and I can swear that we form the incomparable souls of this world. You all know that our own scientists have been successful in reaching Mars, bearing least expenses. We do not lack in our strengths, but have forgotten our strong points. We have forgotten ourselves. We have become hopeless. My dear Brothers and Sisters I cannot let this happen. I always remember one of the sayings by Swami Vivekananda ji as he always used to emphasize on one thought and possibly, he might have shared this thought with many others. 

Vivekananda ii used to say, once a lioness was carrying her two cubs on the way and came upon a flock of sheep from a distance. She got a desire to prey upon them and started running towards the flock. Seeing her running, one of the cub too, joined her. The other cub was left behind and the lioness moved on, post preying upon the flock. One of the cub went with the lioness but the other cub was left behind, and was brought up by a mother sheep. He grew among the sheep, started speaking their language and adapted their ways of life. He used to sit, laugh and enjoy with them. The cub who went with the lioness, was a grown-up now. Once, he happened to meet his brother and was shocked to see him. He thought in his mind,” He is a lion and is playing with sheep, talking like sheep. What is wrong with him? He felt that his ego was at stake and went to talk to his brother. He said,” What are you doing, brother? You are a lion.” He gets a reply from his brother, “No, I am a sheep. I grew up with them. They have brought me up. Listen to my voice and the way I talk.” He said, “Come, I will show you, who you really are.” He took his brother to a well and told him to look in the water his own reflection, and asked him, if both of them had similar faces. “I am a lion, you, too, are a lion.” His brother’s self-esteem got awakened; he attained self-realization through this and even a lion brought up among sheep started roaring like a lion. His inner entity was awakened. Swami Vivekananda ji used to say the same. My countrymen, 125 crore Indians have indefinite strengths and capabilities. We need to understand ourselves. We need to identify our inner strengths and like Swami ji always used to say, we need to carry our self-respect, identify ourselves and move forward in life and be successful, which in turn, make our nation a winning and successful country. I believe, all our countrymen with a population of 125 crores are efficient, strong and can stand against any odds with confidence.

These days, I have been getting many letters through social media websites, like Facebook, from my friends. One of them, Mr. Gautam Pal, has addressed an issue regarding the specially-abled children. He has suggested forming separate Municipality, Municipal Corporation or councils for them. We need to plan something for them for enhancing their moral support. I liked his suggestion and I have experienced this during my day as Chief Minister of Gujarat. A Special Olympics was held in Athens in 2011. After the Olympics I had called all the participants and winners of specially-abled category from Gujarat to my home. I spent two hours with them, and it was the most emotional and inspiring incident of my life. As I believe, a specially-abled child is not only the responsibility of the parents in a family, it is the responsibility of the entire society. God has chosen this family to support a specially-abled child, but a child is a responsibility of the entire nation. After this incident, I got so emotionally attached with them, I started organizing separate Olympics for them in Gujarat. Thousands of children with their parents used to come and attend, I, too, used to attend the Olympics. There was an atmosphere of trust and, this is the reason, I liked the suggestion given by Mr. Gautam Pal and I felt like sharing this thought with you. 

It reminds me of another story. Once, a traveller was sitting at the corner of a road, and was asking everyone the way to a specific place. He continued asking the route from many people. A man, sitting beside him was observing him. The traveller stood up and started asking passers-by again. He stood up and said,” The way to your destination is here.” The traveller, then, said,” Brother, you were sitting next to me for so long, saw me asking everyone the route. If you knew the route, why didn’t you tell me before?” The man answered,” I was waiting to verify if you really intend to reach your destination or you are asking people just for your knowledge. But, when you stood up, I was assured that you truly wish to reach your destination, and decided to confirm the address”.

My countrymen, till the time we do not decide to walk, stand on our own, we will also not the get the guidance from others in our journey. We will not get the people to hold our hand and help us in walking. We need to take the initiative in walking and I trust all my 125 crore Indians, who are capable of walking on their own and will keep moving. 

For the past few days, I have been getting very interesting suggestions from people. I am aware, when to adapt to these suggestions. But, I want everyone to actively participate in these suggestions as we all belong to our nation, the nation does not only belong to any Government. We are the citizens of our Nation and we all need to unite without any exceptions. Some of you have suggested simplifying the registration process for Small Scale Industries. I will definitely put this under Government’s notice. Some of you have written to me to incorporate skills development courses in the school curriculum from 5th standard. This will help the students to learn various skills and crafts. I loved this effective suggestion given by them. They have also suggested that even the adults should learn skills development courses along with their studies. One of the suggestions given was to keep a dustbin at every 100 meters and a cleaning system should be established. 

Some of you have written to me, to abolish the use of plastic bags. I am receiving numerous suggestions from people. I have always been telling you, to write to me and narrate a true incident, which is positive and inspiring to me and our Countrymen, along with the evidence. If you do this, I can promise this to you, that I will share all those heartfelt thoughts or suggestions with all our Countrymen, through “Mann ki Baat”. 

I have only one intention in speaking with you all,” Come, let us serve our Mother India. Let us all take our nation to the new heights. Let us all take a step forward. If you take one step, our nation takes 125 crore steps to move forward, and for this purpose, on this auspicious occasion of Vijay Dashami, we all need to defeat all of our inner evils and decide to start doing something good for the nation. Today is the fortunate beginning for me. I will be sharing my heartfelt thoughts with one and all. Today, I have shared all the thoughts coming directly from my heart. I will meet you all next at 11 am on Sundays, but I trust our journey shall never end and will continue receiving love and suggestions from you. 

After listening to my thoughts, please do not hesitate in sharing your thoughts or advice to me, I will appreciate that your suggestions keep coming. I am glad to talk with you through this simple medium of Radio, which serves each and every corner of the nation. I can reach the poorest homes, as mine, my nation’s strength lies within the hut of Poor, within the villages; my nation’s strength lies with the Mothers, Sisters and Youths; my nation’s strength lies with the farmers. Nation will only progress, if you believe in it. I am expressing my trust towards the nation. I believe in your strength, hence, I believe in our nation’s future. 

I would once again, like to thank one and all for taking out time and listening to me. Thank you all. 

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

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My dear countrymen, Namaskar!

The topic that grabbed our attention in the last few days is the Cheetah. There have been a lot of messages to talk about cheetahs. Be it Arun Kumar Gupta of Uttar Pradesh or N. Ramachandran Raghuram ji of Telangana, be it Rajan ji of Gujarat or Subrata ji of Delhi, people from all corners of the country have expressed happiness over the return of cheetahs to India. 130 crore Indians are happy, full of pride; this is India's love for nature. A common question posed by people about this is “Modi ji, when will we get an opportunity to see the cheetahs?”

Friends, a task force have been formed. This task force will monitor the cheetahs and see how much they have been able to adapt to the environment here. On this basis a decision will be taken after a few months and then you will be able to see the cheetahs. But till then I am assigning some work to all of you. For this, a competition will be organized on the MyGov platform, in which I urge people to share certain things. What should be the name of the campaign that we are running on cheetahs? Can we even think of naming all these cheetahs…. by what name should each of them be called? By the way, if this naming is of traditional nature, then it will be very nice since, anything related to our society and culture, tradition and heritage, draws us easily. Not only that, you should also share how humans should behave with animals! Even in our fundamental duties, emphasis has been laid on Respect for Animals. I appeal to all of you to participate in this competition. Who knows…you may be the first to get an opportunity to see a cheetah as a reward!

My dear countrymen, today the 25th of September is celebrated as the birthday of Deendayal Upadhyay ji, the brilliant humanist, thinker and great son of the country. The more the youth of any country take pride in their identity and honour, the more their original ideas and philosophies attract them. The biggest feature of Deendayal ji's thoughts is that in his lifetime, he had seen the great upheavals of the world. He had become a witness to the struggles of ideologies. That is why, he put forward an idea of 'Ekatma Manavdarshan' and 'Antyodaya' before the country which was completely Indian. Deendayal ji's 'Ekatma Manavdarshan' is such an idea, which in the realm of ideology gives freedom from conflict and prejudice. He again put forth to the world, the Indian philosophy which considers human beings equal. It has been said in our scriptures – 'Atmavat Sarvabhuteshu', that is, we should treat living beings akin to us and similarly treat them such. Deendayal ji taught us how Indian philosophy can guide the world even in the modern, social and political perspective. In a way, he awakened our intellectual consciousness by freeing us from the inferiority complex that prevailed in the country after independence. He also used to say - 'Our freedom can be meaningful only when it expresses our culture and identity'. On the basis of this idea, he had created a vision for the development of the country. Deendayal Upadhyay ji used to say that the measure of the progress of the country is the person at the lowest step. In the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, the more we know Deendayal ji, the more we learn from him, the more we will get inspiration to take the country forward.

My dear countrymen, three days later, that is, on the 28th of September, is a special day of Amrit Mahotsav. On this day we will celebrate the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh ji, the brave son of Mother India. Just before the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, an important decision has been taken as a tribute to him. It has been decided that the Chandigarh airport will now be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh. It had been in the waiting for a long time. I congratulate the people of Chandigarh, Punjab, and Haryana and of the entire country for this decision.
Friends, let us take inspiration from our freedom fighters, following their ideals and build the India of their dreams… this is our tribute to them. The memorials of martyrs, the names of places and institutions named after them inspire us with a sense of duty. Just a few days ago, the country has made a similar effort by setting up the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Kartavya Path and now the name of Chandigarh Airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh is another step in that direction. I wish, the way in which we are celebrating special occasions related to freedom fighters during the Amrit Mahotsav, in the same way every youth must try something new on the 28th of September.

By the way, my dear countrymen, all of you have another reason to celebrate the 28th of September. Do you know what it is? I will say only two words and I know your enthusiasm will increase fourfold.
These two words are - Surgical Strike!
Hasn’t the Josh risen!! Let us celebrate the campaign of the ongoing Amrit Mahotsav in our country with full enthusiasm, sharing our happiness with everyone.

My dear countrymen, it is said - no obstacle can stand in the way of a person who has been forged by the struggles of life. In our everyday life, we also see some friends who are coping with some physical challenge or the other. There are many people who are either unable to hear, or are unable to express themselves through speech. The biggest support for such friends is Sign Language. But a big problem in India for years was that there were no clear gestures, no standards for Sign Language. To overcome these difficulties, the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center was established in the year 2015. I am happy that this institution has thus far prepared a dictionary comprising ten thousand words and expressions. Two days ago i.e. on the 23rd of September, on the Sign Language Day, many school courses have also been launched in Sign Language. A lot of emphasis has also been given in the National Education Policy to maintain a fixed standard for Sign Language. It is being further disseminated, even by making videos of the dictionary of Sign Language. On YouTube, many people, many institutions, have started their channels in Indian Sign Language, that is, the campaign that started in the country about Sign Language 7-8 years ago, is benefitting millions of my specially-abled brothers and sisters now. Pooja ji, who hails from Haryana, is very happy with the Indian Sign Language. Earlier she was not able to communicate with her son, but after going through Sign Language training in 2018, the lives of both mother and son have become easier. Pooja ji's son also learned Sign Language and in his school he won a prize in storytelling as well. Similarly, Tinkaji has a six-year-old daughter who cannot hear. Tinkaji had made her daughter undergo a Sign Language course but she herself did not know Sign Language, and hence she could not communicate with her daughter. Now Tinkaji has also undergone sign language training and thus both mother and daughter now converse a lot among themselves. Manju ji of Kerala has also benefited a lot from these efforts. Manju ji is not able to hear since birth. Not only that, this has been the situation in the lives of her parents as well. In such a situation, sign language has become a means of communication for the whole family. Now Manju ji herself has decided to become a Sign Language teacher.

Friends, I am also discussing about this in 'Mann Ki Baat' so that the awareness about Indian Sign Language increases. With this, we will be able to help our specially-abled friends more and more. Brothers and sisters, a few days ago, I got a copy of the Hemkosh too written in Braille. Hemkosh is one of the oldest dictionaries of Assamese language. It was prepared in the 19th century. It was edited by eminent linguist Hemchandra Barua ji. The Braille Edition of Hemkosh is around 10,000 pages long and is going to be published in more than 15 volumes. In this, more than 1 lakh words have to be translated. I greatly appreciate this sensitive effort. Every such effort goes a long way in increasing the skill and capability of our specially-abled friends. Today India is also raising the flag of success in Para Sports. We have all been witness to this in many tournaments. Today there are many people who are engaged in promoting the fitness culture among the specially-abled at the grassroots level. This imparts a lot of strength to the self-confidence of the specially-abled.

My dear countrymen, a few days ago, I just met a girl from Surat, Anvi. My meeting with Anvi and Anvi's yoga has been so memorable that I want to tell all the listeners of 'Mann Ki Baat' about it. Friends, Anvi is afflicted with Down’s Syndrome since birth and she has also been battling with serious heart disease since childhood. She also had to undergo open heart surgery when she was only three months old. Despite all these difficulties, neither Anvi, nor her parents ever gave up. Anvi's parents gathered all the information about Down’s syndrome and then decided on the way to reduce Anvi's dependence on others. They started teaching Anvi how to lift a glass of water, how to tie shoe laces, how to button clothes; small things such as those. What the appropriate place of things is, what the good habits are, they tried to teach Anvi all this with a lot of patience. The way daughter Anvi showed her will to learn, displayed her talent, her parents also got a lot of encouragement. They inspired Anvi to learn yoga. The problem was so serious, that Anvi could not even stand on her own two feet…In such a situation, her parents inspired Anvi to learn yoga. When she went to the Yoga coach for the first time, the coach too was in a dilemma whether this innocent girl would be able to do yoga! But even the coach probably had no idea of what stuff Anvi was made of. She started practicing yoga with her mother and now she has become an expert in yoga. Today Anvi participates in competitions across the country and wins medals. Yoga gave a new life to Anvi. Anvi assimilated yoga and imbibed life. Anvi's parents told me that yoga has brought amazing changes in Anvi's life… Now her self-confidence has become remarkable. Yoga has also improved Anvi's physical health and the need for medicines is also lessening. I would like that the listeners of 'Mann Ki Baat' in the country and abroad do a scientific study of the benefits of yoga to Anvi. I think Anvi is a good case study, for those who want to test the power of yoga. Such scientists should come forward with studies based on Anvi’s success and introduce the world to the power of yoga. Any such research could be of great help to children afflicted with Down’s syndrome around the world. Now, the world has accepted that yoga is very effective for physical and mental wellness. Especially in problems related to diabetes and blood pressure, yoga helps a lot. In view of such power of yoga, the United Nations had decided to celebrate the International Yoga Day on the 21st of June. Now, United Nations has recognized and honored another effort of India. This is an effort, started in the year 2017 – the “India Hypertension Control Initiative”. Under this, lakhs of people suffering from blood pressure problems are being treated in government wellness centers. The way this initiative has attracted the attention of international organizations is unprecedented. It is a matter of encouragement for all of us that out of those who have been treated, about half of them are having their blood pressure under control. I congratulate all the people working for this initiative, who made it a success with their untiring hard work.

Friends, the evolutionary journey of human life has been continuously connected with water - be it seas, rivers or ponds. India is also fortunate that due to the long coastline of more than seven and a half thousand kilometers (7500 km), our bond with the sea has remained unbroken. This coastal border passes through many states and islands. India's culture, full of different communities and diversity can be seen flourishing here. Not only that, the cuisine of these coastal areas attracts a lot of people. But along with these interesting things, there is also a sad side. These coastal areas of ours are facing many environmental challenges. Climate Change remains a major threat to Marine Eco-Systems. On the other hand, the litter spread on our beaches is disturbing. It becomes our responsibility to make serious and continuous efforts for these challenges. Here I would like to talk about an effort of Coastal Cleaning in the coastal areas of the country 'Swachh Sagar - Surakshit Sagar'. This campaign, which started on the 5th of July culminated on the 17thof September, the day of Vishwakarma Jayanti. This day was also Coastal Clean Up Day. This campaign which started in the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav lasted for 75 days. Public participation in this was a sight to behold. During this effort, many cleanliness related programs were seen for the entire two and a half months. A long human chain was made in Goa. During the Ganpati immersion in Kakinada, people were told about the harm caused by plastic. About 5000 young friends from the NSS collected more than 30 tonnes of plastic. Within three days in Odisha, more than 20 thousand school students took a pledge that they would inspire their family and people along with them as well, for the Swachh Sagar – Surakshit Sagar initiative. I would like to congratulate all the people who took part in this campaign.

When I interact with Elected Officials, especially the mayors of cities and sarpanches of villages, I urge them to include Local Communities and Local Organizations in efforts like cleanliness as well as adopt innovative methods.

There is a team in Bangalore - Youth for Parivartan. For the last eight years, this team has been working on cleanliness and other community activities. Their motto is very clear – 'Stop Complaining, Start Acting'. This team has so far beautified more than 370 places across the city. The campaign of Youth for Parivartan has connected 100 to 150 (150) citizens at every place. Every Sunday this program starts in the morning and continues till noon. In this task, not only is the garbage lifted, the work of painting the walls and making artistic sketches is also done. At many places, you can also see sketches of famous people and inspirational quotes by them. Following upon the efforts of Youth For Parivartan of Bangalore, I would also like to tell you about the 'Kabaad se Jugaad' campaign of Meerut. This campaign is related to the protection of the environment as well as the beautification of the city. The special thing about this campaign is that, in this, waste such as iron scrap, plastic waste, old tires and drums are used. This campaign is also an example of how to beautify public places at a low cost. I appreciate all the people involved in this campaign from the core of my heart.

My dear countrymen, at this time there is a festive spirit all around the country. Tomorrow is the first day of Navaratri. In this, we will worship the first avatar of Goddess 'Maa Shailputri'. From here, there will be nine days of self discipline, restraint and fasting, then there will also be the festival of Vijayadashami. That is, if we look at it in a way, we will find that along with faith and spirituality, how a profound message is hidden in our festivals. The attainment of ‘Siddhi’ through discipline and restraint, and then the festival of victory, that’s the way to achieve any goal in life. After Dussehra, the festival of Dhanteras and Diwali will follow.

Friends, during the past years, a new resolution of the country has also been associated with our festivals. You all know, this is the resolution of 'Vocal for Local'. We now include our local artisans, craftsmen and traders in the joy of festivals. On the occasion of Bapu's birth anniversary on the 2nd of October, we have to take a pledge to intensify this campaign. Khadi, handloom, handicrafts…along with all these products, you must buy local goods. After all, the true joy of this festival is also when everyone becomes a part of it. Therefore, people associated with the work of local products also have to be supported by us. A good way is to include these type of products in whatever gifts we give during the festival.

At this time, this campaign is also special because during the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, we are also onwards with the goal of a self-reliant India. Which, in the real sense, will be a true tribute to the freedom fighters. That's why I request you to break all the records this time to buy these products of Khadi, handloom or handicrafts. We have seen that polythene bags are also being used a lot for packing and packaging during festivals. The harmful litter of polythene on the festivals observing cleanliness is also against the spirit of our festivals. Therefore, we should use only locally made non-plastic bags. The trend of jute, cotton, banana fibre, many such traditional bags is on the rise once again. It is our duty to promote them on the occasion of festivals, and take care of our health and environment along with cleanliness.

My dear countrymen, it is said in our scriptures –
'Parhit Saris Dharam Nahi Bhai'
That is, there is no other Dharma like doing good to others, serving others, doing charity. Recently, in the country, another glimpse of this spirit of social service was seen. You must have also seen that people are coming forward and are adopting one TB patient or the other, taking the lead in ensuring a nutritious diet. Actually, it is a part of the TB Free India campaign, whose basis is public participation; a sense of duty. It is possible to cure TB with the right nutrition, with the right medicines at the right time. I believe that with this power of public participation, India will definitely be free from TB by the year 2025.

Friends, I have also come to know such an example from the Union Territories of Dadra-Nagar Haveli and Daman-Diu, which touches the heart. Jinu Rawatiya ji, who lives in a tribal area here, has written that under the ongoing village adoption program, students of the medical college have adopted 50 villages. It also includes the village of Jinu Ji. These medical students make the people of the village aware to avoid illness, also help in the recuperation, and also impart information about the schemes of the government. This spirit of philanthropy has brought new joy in the lives of the people living in the villages. I congratulate all the students of the medical college for this endeavor.

Friends,a variety of new topics are being discussed in 'Mann Ki Baat'. Many times, through this program, we get an opportunity to delve into the depth of some old subjects. Last month in 'Mann Ki Baat', I discussed about coarse cereals, and celebrating the year 2023 as 'International Millet Year'. People are very curious about this topic. I have received many such letters in which people have written how they have made millets a part of their daily diet. Some people have also referred to traditional dishes made from millets. These are signs of a big change. Seeing this enthusiasm of people, I think that we should prepare an e-book together, in which people can share their experiences and dishes made from millets, so that, before the start of the International Millet Year, we will have a public encyclopedia based on millets which can be published on the MyGov portal.

Friends, that’s all this time in 'Mann Ki Baat', but before I leave, I want to tell you about the National Games as well. National Games are being organized in Gujarat from the 29th of September. This is a very special occasion, because the National Games are being organized after many years. The previous events had to be canceled due to the Covid pandemic. My very best wishes to every player who takes part in this sports meet. To raise the enthusiasm of the players on this day, I will be in their midst. All of you must also follow the National Games and encourage our players. I now take leave of you. We will meet again next month with new topics in 'Mann Ki Baat'.

Dhanyavaad, Namaskar!