Don’t Forget Swachh Bharat Amid Covid: PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat

English rendering of PM’s address in the 80th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on 29.08.2021

My dear countrymen, Namaskar. All of us know that today is the birth anniversary of Major Dhyanchand ji. And our country celebrates it as National Sports Day, in commemoration. A thought struck me, that perhaps, wherever Major Dhyanchand ji’s soul must be at the moment, it must be feeling overjoyed…since it was Dhyanchand ji’s hockey that brought glory to Indian hockey in the whole world. And four decades later, almost after 41 years, the youth of India, her sons and daughters, once again infused vitality in our hockey. And irrespective of the number of medals won, no citizen of India enjoys victory until a medal is won in hockey. And this time, in the Olympics, the medal that was won for hockey came our way after four decades. You can imagine…wherever Major Dhyanchand ji might be…his heart, his soul must be overflowing with joy. And the entire life of Dhyanchand ji was dedicated to Sports…and that is why today, when the youth of the country, our sons and daughters are visibly drawn towards sports, with even parents experiencing happiness on children coming forward in sports; this eagerness that one can see all over…I feel that itself is a great tribute to Major Dhyanchand ji.

Friends, whenever the subject of Sports and Games is touched upon, the entire young generation comes into view; naturally so. And when we cast a keen glance at the young generation, we notice a sweeping change there. The mind of the youth has undergone a transformation. And today’s young minds, shunning obsolete, age old methods and patterns, want to do something new altogether; something different. Today’s young mind does not want to tread readymade beaten paths; it wants to carve out newer paths. It wants to step on unknown territory. New destinations, new goals as well, new roads, new aspirations as well! And once a young person decides in the mind, no stone is left unturned in the pursuit…persevering day and night. We see how, some time ago, when India opened her Space Sector…within no time the young generation lapped up the opportunity. And to avail of its benefits, college students and young people working in Universities and the private sector enthusiastically came forward. And I firmly believe that in the coming days, a large number of satellites would be of those developed by our youth, our students, our colleges, our universities, students working in labs.

Similarly, wherever you see…go to any family…however well to do, however educated the family might be…if you speak to a young person in the family, she or he, moving away from family traditions, express the wish to do a start up or join a start up…excitedly willing to take a risk. Today, the startup culture is expanding even to smaller cities and I am seeing it as an indication of a bright future. Just a few days ago, toys in our country were being discussed. Within no time, when this caught the attention of our youth, they too resolutely decided to work towards positioning Indian toys in the world with a distinct identity. And they are trying out ever new experiments. The world is a huge market for toys…a market of 6 to 7 lakh crores. Today India’s share is miniscule. But, how to craft toys, what diversity to be lent to toys, what technology to be used, how toys should be, compatible with child psychology…these are points where the youth of the country is applying minds to…wishing to contribute something. Friends, there’s one more thing that fills the heart with joy and further strengthens the belief. And what is that…have you ever marked? Generally, what had crept into our fabric was acceptance of mediocrity…”It happens”, “It’s okay – this will do”! But now I’m noticing my country’s young minds focusing themselves on excellence. They want to do the best, using the best methods. This too will emerge as a major force for the nation.

Friends, this time, the Olympics have created a major impact. The events at the Olympics are over; the Paralympics are going on. Whatever our country earned in this world of Sports may be little in comparison with the world, but enough has happened to bolster our belief. Today, it is not that the youth is just watching sports…the youth is also looking at possibilities associated with Sports…observing the entire eco system minutely…comprehending its potential, wishing to connect with it in some way or the other. She or he now wants to surpass conventional ways and adopt new disciplines. And my dear countrymen, now that such a momentum has been built up…Sports has begun to be discussed in every family…do tell me…should this momentum be allowed to subside, to halt now? No…not at all. Even you must be thinking on the similar lines. In the country now, Sports and Games, sportsman spirit is not to stop. In family life, in social life, in the life of the Nation, this momentum has to be accorded permanence…infusing it with energy…replenishing it with relentless new energy. At home or elsewhere, in villages or cities, our playgrounds must be filled up. Let all play – let all bloom! And I’m sure you remember what I had said from Red Fort, “Sabka Prayas”…Yes…collective endeavour.  It is only through collective endeavour of all that India will attain glorious heights in Sports that she rightfully deserves. On the course charted by people such as Major Dhyanchand ji we have to move forward…it’s our responsibility. After years has the country witnessed a period where, in families, in society, in States, in the Nation, all the people are single mindedly forging a bond with Sports.

My dear young friends, taking advantage of this opportunity, we must garner expertise in a variety of sports. In villages as well, sports competitions should be held successively. It is only through competition that a sport evolves…progresses…giving rise to sportspersons as an outcome. Come, let all us countrymen strive to further this momentum as much as we can…contributing whatever we can…let us transform the mantra of ‘Sabka Prayas’ into reality.

My dear countrymen, tomorrow also happens to be the grand festival of Janmashtmi. This festival of Janmashtami, that is the festival of birth of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. We are familiar with all the forms of Bhagwan, from naughty Kanhaiya to the one taking Colossal form Krishna, from the one well versed in scriptures to one skilled in weaponary. Be it art, beauty, charm, where all isn’t Krishna there! But I am saying all this because a few days before Jamashtami I had gone through an interesting experience. So I felt I should talk about this to you. You must be aware that on the 20th of this month the construction work related to Bhagwan Somnath temple has been dedicated to the people. 3-4 kilometers away from Somnath temple is the Bhalka Teerth, this Bhalka Teerth is the place where Bhagwan Shri Krishna spent his last moments on earth. In a way his Leelas, divine acts in this world culminated there. Many works for the development of that entire region are being done by the Somnath Trust. I was thinking of  Bhalaka Teerth and the works going on there when I noticed a beautiful art-book. Someone had left this book for me outside my residence. In this there were many forms and many magnificent  pictures of Bhagwan Shri Krishna. Pictures were very attractive and very meaningful. My curiosity grew all the more when I started turning the pages of the book. When I saw the book and all the pictures and the message for me written there, I felt l should meet the one who had left it for me. I should meet the one who has left the book outside my home. So my office contacted the person. Such was my curiosity on seeing the art-book, on seeing the different forms of  Bhagwan Shri Krishna that  I called the person to meet the very next day. With this curiosity I met Jaduarani Dasi ji. She is American, was born in America, brought up in America, Jadurani Dasi ji is connected to ISKCON, connected to Harey Krishna movement and one of her major specialities is that she is skilled in Bhakti Arts. You know that just after two days, on the 1st of September,  we have the 125th birth anniversary of the founder of ISKCON Shri Prabhupaad Swami ji. Jadurani Dasi ji had come to India in this very connection. The question before me was that one who was born in America, who had been  so far away from the Indian ethos;  how could she make such attractive pictures of  Bhagwan Shir Krishna! I had a long chat with her, but I want you to listen to some parts of it.

PM sir : Jadurani Ji, Hare Krishna!

I have read a little about Bhakti Art but tell our listeners more about it. Your passion and interest towards it is great.

Jadurani Ji : So, bhakti art we have one article in the bhakti art  illuminations which explains how this art is not coming from the mind or imagination but it is from the ancient Vedic scriptures like Bhram Sanhita. Ven Omkaraya Patitam skilatam Sikand (वें ओंकाराय पतितं स्क्लितं सिकंद),  from The Goswami’s of Vrindavan, from the Lord Brahma himself. Eeshwarah paramah krishnah sachchidanand vigrahah ( ईश्वर: परम: कृष्ण: सच्चिदानन्द विग्रह: )  how He carries the flute, how all of his senses can act for any other sense and Srimad bhagwatam (TCR 9.09) (Barhapeend natwarvapuh karnayoh karnakaram ) बर्हापींड नटवरवपुः कर्णयो: कर्णिकारं everything, He wears a karnika flower on his ear, He makes the impression of His Lotus feet all over the land of Vrindavan, the cow herds voicing of his Glories, His flute attracts the hearts and minds of all fortunate beings. So everything is from ancient Vedic scriptures and the power of these scriptures which are coming from transcendental personalities and the pure devotees who are bringing it the art has their power and that’s why its transformational, it is not my power at all.

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