‘Mann Ki Baat’ a Spiritual Journey

by May 1, 2023Welfare0 comments

My dear countrymen, Namaskar. Today is the hundredth episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’. I have received thousands of letters from all of you, lakhs of messages … and I have tried to read as many letters as possible, have a look at them and try to understand the messages a bit. Many a time while reading your letters, I got emotional, was filled with emotions, got carried away in emotions and then also composed myself. You have congratulated me on the 100th episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, but I say this from the core of my heart,…that in fact, all of you, the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, our countrymen, deserve congratulations. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ of crores of Indians, it is the expression of their feelings.

Friends, the 3rd of October, 2014 was the festival of Vijaya Dashami and all of us together started the journey of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on the day of Vijaya Dashami. Vijaya Dashami is the festival of victory of good over evil. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has also become a unique festival of goodness and positivity of the countrymen. A festival that comes every month, keenly awaited by all of us. We celebrate positivity in this. We also celebrate people’s participation in this.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that so many months, so many years have passed since ‘Mann Ki Baat’ commenced. Every episode was special in itself. Every time, the novelty of new examples, every time the extension of new successes of the countrymen. In ‘Mann Ki Baat’, people from every corner of the country, people of all age groups joined. Whether it is about Beti Bachao Beti Padhao, or the Swachh Bharat movement, love for Khadi or nature, whether it is the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav or Amrit Sarovar, any subject with which ‘Mann Ki Baat’ got associated, turned into a mass movement, and you people have made it so. When I jointly shared ‘Mann Ki Baat’ with the then US President Barack Obama, it was discussed all over the world.

Friends, for me, ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has been like worshipping the qualities in others. I had a guide – Shri Laxmanrao ji Inamdar. We used to address him as “Vakeel Saheb”. He always used to say that we should worship the qualities of others. No matter who is face to face with you, be it your compatriot, be it your opponent, we should try to know about their good qualities and learn from them. This trait of his has always inspired me. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ has become a great medium to learn from the qualities of others.

My dear countrymen, this program has never let me be away from you. I remember, when I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, it was natural to meet and interact with the common people there. The work and tenure of the Chief Minister is like that…, there are many opportunities to come together. But after coming to Delhi in 2014, I found that life here was very different. The nature of the work is different, the responsibility is different, one is bound by circumstances, the rigours of security & time limits. In the initial days, something felt different, there was an emptiness. Fifty years ago, I did not leave my home just to find one day it would be difficult to contact the people of my own country. The very countrymen who are my everything,… I could not live separated from them. ‘Mann Ki Baat’ gave me a solution to this challenge, a way to connect with the common man. The post and protocol remained limited to the system and public sentiment, along with crores of people, became an inseparable part of my inner world.

Every month I read thousands of messages from the people of the country, every month I get to view one or the other wonderful manifestation of the countrymen. I see and feel the extremities of the penance and sacrifice of the countrymen. I just don’t feel that I am even a little far from you.

For me ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is not a program, for me it is a matter of faith, of worship, or Vrat. Like when people go to worship God, they bring along a Thaal of Prasad.

For me, ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is like a Thaal of Prasad at the feet of God in the form of Janata-Janardan, the people.

‘Mann Ki Baat’ has become a spiritual journey of my being.

‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a journey from the self to the collective.

‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a journey from myself to ourselves.

It is not me, but you are its Sanskar Sadhana.

Imagine, some of our countrymen have been planting trees on deserted hills and barren land for 40 odd years, many people have been digging stepwells and ponds for water conservation for 30 odd years, cleaning them as well. Some have been teaching underprivileged children for 25-30 years, some are helping in the treatment of the poor. I have become emotional while mentioning them many a time in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. Friends from AIR had to re-record it many times. Today, a lot from the past is coming in front of my eyes. These efforts of the countrymen have inspired me to continuously keep striving.

(Excerpts from Prime Minister’s address in the 100th Episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on 30.04.2023)

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