Breaking his silence over the vandalism at the Red Fort on Republic Day by a group of farmers , Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said, “The country was saddened to see the national flag being insulted”.
In his first radio broadcast, Man Ki Baat, of 2021, Mr. Modi also said his government was “committed to modernising agriculture and the efforts of the government will continue in that direction in the future as well”.
The Prime Minister also talked about the country's fight against COVID-19 and how the Made in India vaccine has not only made India self-reliant (Atma Nirbhar) but has also become a moment of self pride (Atma Gaurav).
While recounting the developments in January this year including India's remarkable come-back in the four match test series in Australia, Mr Modi mentioned the violence on Republic Day.
“Amidst all this, the country was saddened by the insult to the Tricolour on January 26 in Delhi. In times to come, we have to infuse new hope and novelty. Last year, we displayed extraordinary patience and courage. This year too, we have to work hard to attain our resolves. We have to take our country forward at a faster pace,” he said.
Referring to India's on-going vaccination exercise, Mr. Modi said that not only is the world largest largest vaccination drive is but also at the fastest rate. While India has vaccinated over 30 lakh front line corona warriors in 15 days, he said, the United States needed 18 days and the United Kingdom took 36 days to reach this figure.
The Prime Minister pointed out that India’s decision to send vaccines to several countries has generated world wide appreciation and displayed its capabilities and self-reliance in the field of medicines.
“The same thought underpins the Atmanirbhar Bharat Campaign. The more India is capable, the more will it serve humanity; and the world will benefit more,” Mr. Modi said.
On freedom fighters
Noting that the country is approaching its 75th year of Independence, the Prime Minister urged people, especially young people to write about freedom fighters and incidents associated with their struggle.
“Write books about the saga of valour during the period of freedom struggle in your area. Now, as India will celebrate 75 years of her freedom, your writings will be the best tribute to those heroes of our freedom. An initiative has been taken for young writers for the purpose of India Seventy-Five. This will encourage young writers of all States and of all languages,” he said.
Reading out the comments of a resident from Munger in Bihar, the Prime Minister mentioned about the 'Tarapur Martyr Day', when the British had mercilessly killed several of a group of brave young patriots on February 15, 1932. The incident didn’t not received as much publicity as it should have, he said.
Speaking of the recent announcement of Padma award winners, he said the tradition of conferring the honour on unsung heroes that was started a few years ago has been maintained this time too.
“I urge all of you to know more about these people and their contribution,” he said, recalling the contribution of several individuals who continue to make immense individual contribution to society.
Mr. Modi said his monthly broadcast was an opportunity to learn many new things and mentioned a vegetable market (Bowenpally) in Hyderabad which was generating electricity from vegetable waste; a gram panchayat in Panchkula (Haryana) which used waste water to irrigate fields, the people of Tawang (Arunachal Pradesh) making Mon Shugu, a form of eco-friendly paper; a young woman entrepreneur growing strawberries in Bundelkhand region, women in Jabalpur successfully running a rice mill after taking over the reins and the all women crew of Air India commandeering the longest flight from San Francisco to Bengaluru.
Speaking about the importance of India’s culture, the Prime Minister highlighted yoga’s popularity in the South American country of Chile with 30 yoga institutes adding that the Vice-President of the Chilean Senate is Rabindranath Quinteros, whose name was inspired by India's poet-philosopher Rabindranath Tagore.
With the country observing Road Safety month between January 18 and February 17, the Prime Minister said road accidents are a matter of concern not just in India country but the world over.