My dear countrymen Namaskar. After a rather long pause, we are resuming once again, our series of touching upon matters close to people and their hearts; in fact subjects close to every person’s heart… I am once again amidst you with our ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
The rigours of Elections called for hectic preoccupation, but the one thing that was missing was the sheer joy of ‘Mann Ki Baat.’ For me, it was like experiencing a kind of void. It used to be a chat in a genial atmosphere amidst the warmth of one’s own family of 130 crore countrymen; we would listen, we would re-iterate; at times our expressions would turn into an inspiration for someone close to us. You can imagine how this period must have made one feel.
Sunday, the last Sunday, at 11 o’clock, even I used to be uneasy, with a nagging feeling of a kind of emptiness… you too felt the same, didn’t you? I am sure you did. Perhaps, this was not a lifeless programme. It was full of liveliness, warmth and fondness.
And that is why, for me the intervening period was very difficult to bear. I used to miss something every moment; when I express myself through ‘Mann Ki Baat,’ the one speaking is me, the words are mine, the voice is mine, but the story is yours, the ‘Purusharth’ pertaining to your pursuits and goals is yours, the ‘Parakram’, the achievement is yours.
The need of the hour is to synergise those strengths and talents, to provide opportunities, to implement them. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ also tells us that a 130 crore countrymen wish to be, strongly and actively, a part of the nation’s progress.
I receive a lot of letters and phone calls in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, but the element of complaint is negligible and I would like to tell you that in the last five years, I have not come across a single instance where somebody has asked for something for personal gain.
Just imagine… a person writing to the Prime Minister of the country, but seeking nothing for one’s own self… it is a reflection on the lofty collective demeanour of crores of people in the country. When I analyse this, you can visualise how heartening it must be for me, what a source of energy it is for me.
You possibly don’t know that you are the ones who make me walk, who make me run and keep me full of life and zest… this is the very bond that I used to miss. My heart is filled to the brim with joy today. When it was about to end, I had stated that we would meet once again after 3 or 4 months, people assigned a political hue to it, saying ‘Hey, Modi ji is so full of confidence, he is certain!’
The confidence was not Modi’s. This trust was the trust of your foundation. You were the ones who transformed yourself into a pillar of trust. And that is why in the last episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, then, I effortlessly said that I would be back after a few months.
Actually speaking, I have not RETURNED; you brought me back, you positioned me here and gave me the opportunity to speak once again. With this sentiment, come, let’s take ‘Mann Ki Baat’ forward.
Another such poignant story is ‘Poos Ki Raat’.
In this story, the living depiction of the paradoxes in a poor farmer’s life is seen. Halku the farmer is happy even after his crops are destroyed by frost, because now he will not be forced to sleep in his fields in the cold winter. Though these stories were written about a century ago but remain relevant all the same even today. After reading these stories, I felt myself to be empathetic.
Now that we are conversing about reading, then in some extension of media, I had read about the Akshara Library in Kerala. You will be surprised to learn that this library lies in a village nestling within the dense forests of Idukki.
A Primary school teacher, P.K.Muralidharan and P.V.Chinnathampi who runs a small tea shop, have between them worked tirelessly for this library. There was a time when the books were brought here stuffed in sacks and carried on the back. Today this library is a beacon guiding tribal children on a new pat