Dr. Syama Prasad Mookerjee Research Foundation

PM’s address in the 15th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat 2.0’

  • My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Generally, this period is full of festivals; fairs are held at various places; it’s the time for religious ceremonies too.
  • During these times of Corona crises, on the one hand people are full of exaltation and enthusiasm too; and yet in a way there’s also a discipline that touches our heart.
  • Broadly speaking in a way, there is a feeling of responsibility amongst citizens. People are getting along with their day to day tasks, while taking care of themselves and others as well.
  • At every event being organised in the country, the kind of patience and simplicity being witnessed this time is unprecedented.
  • Even Ganeshotsav is being celebrated online at certain places; at most places eco-friendly Ganesh idols have been installed.
  • Friends, if we observe very minutely, one thing will certainly draw our attention- our festivals and the environment. There has always been a deep connect between the two.
  • On the one hand, our festivals implicitly convey the message of co-existence with the environment and nature; on the other, many festivals are celebrated precisely for protecting nature.
  • For example, in West Champaran district of Bihar, people belonging to Thaaru tribal community have been observing a sixty-hour lockdown for centuries in their own words- ‘Saath ghante ke Barna’.
  • The Thaaru community has adopted BARNA as a tradition for protection of nature; that too for centuries.
  • During this period, neither does anyone enter the village, nor leave home, and they believe that if they step out or if someone enters from elsewhere, the to and fro movement along with other routine activities of people can lead to the destruction of new plants and trees.
  • Our tribal brothers and sisters begin the Barna lockdown with a grand worship and conclude with jestful traditional tribal songs, music and dance programmes.
  • Friends, these days, the festival of Onam is also being celebrated with gaiety and fervour. This festival arrives in the month of Chingam.
  • During this period, people buy something new, decorate their homes, prepare Pookalam and enjoy Onam-Saadiya variety of games and competitions are also held.
  • The zest of Onam today has reached distant shores of foreign lands. Be it America, Europe or Gulf countries, the verve of Onam can be felt everywhere. Onam is increasingly turning out to be an international festival.
  • Friends, Onam is a festival linked with our agriculture. It is also the time of a new beginning for our rural economy.
  • Our lives, our society derive sustenance from the fortitude of farmers. Their perseverance lends myriad hues to our festivals.
  • In the Vedas too, our food provider, Annadaata, the life sustaining shakti of our farmers has been gloriously venerated. There is a mantra in Rigved Annanam PatayeNamah, Kshetranam PatayeNamah, Which means, Bow to the food provider, Salute to the farmer.