Mann ki Baat address | PM Modi pays homage to 26/11 victims and bravehearts

In his Mann ki Baat address, Mr. Modi said the country could never forget the day, November 26, when the terrorists had struck. ‘But, it is India’s fortitude that made us surmount the ordeal; we are now quelling terror with full courage’.

Updated - November 26, 2023 03:57 pm IST

Published - November 26, 2023 12:05 pm IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi. File. | Photo Credit: PTI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday paid homage to all those who had lost their lives, including the security personnel, in the dastardly 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

Addressing the nation through the “Mann Ki Baat” monthly radio programme, Mr. Modi said the country could never forget the day, November 26, when the terrorists had struck. “But, it is India’s fortitude that made us surmount the ordeal; we are now quelling terror with full courage,” he said.

The Prime Minister said November 26 was significant on one more account, as the same day in 1949 the Constituent Assembly had passed and adopted the Constitution of India. Following his suggestion in 2015, when the 125th birth anniversary of Babasaheb Ambedkar was celebrated, it is observed as Constitution Day every year.

“...the Constitution took two years, 11 months and 18 days for coming into being...after readying the draft, before the final structure shaped up, over 2000 amendments were re-incorporated in it. Even after the Constitution came into force in 1950, till this day, a total of 106 amendments have been carried out...but, this too has been a misfortune that the Constitution’s first amendment pertained to curtailing the Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Expression. Whereas, through the 44th amendment, the wrongs committed during the Emergency had been duly rectified,” he said.

Mr. Modi remembered Hansa Mehta, one of the 15 nominated women members of the Constituent Assembly, saying that she raised her voice for women rights and justice. “It’s a matter of inner satisfaction for me that in adherence to the farsightedness of the framers of the Constitution, the Parliament of India has now passed the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam...,” he said.

In his previous speech, the Prime Minister had stressed on “Vocal for Local”. This time, he expressed satisfaction that on Deepavali, Bhaiya Dooj and Chhath, ₹4 lakh-crore worth business was done. He said the campaign’s success was opening the doors to a developed and prosperous India. During the ongoing wedding season too, people should opt for local products and wedding destinations. They should also decide for one month to make payments only via UPI or any digital medium, he said.

‘Intelligence, idea and innovation’

Stating that intelligence, idea, and innovation was the hallmark of Indian youth today, Mr. Modi said there was an increase of over 31% in patent applications by Indians in 2022. As per the World Intellectual Property Organisation report, it had never happened earlier even in the top 10 patent-filing countries. “...today the spirit of innovation is being promoted among our school children as well. Atal Tinkering Lab, Atal Innovation Mission, Incubation Centres in colleges, Start-Up India campaign…,” he said.

Talking about the Ministry of Culture’s Mela Moments Contest initiative, he said thousands of people took part and many won prizes. A festival of “Chhau” dance, of the tribal areas of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, was organised in Srinagar and “Basohli Utsav” in Kathua earlier this month. In Saudi Arabia, “Sanskrit Utsav” showcasing dialogues, music, and dance, was held.

On the “Swachh Bharat” campaign, the Prime Minister appreciated public participation in Gujarat’s Surat where over 50,000 youth got together to clean the banks of the Tapi river and collect garbage as part of a cleanliness drive. He also mentioned about Loganathan from Coimbatore (Tamil Nadu) who has so far helped over 1,500 needy children.

‘Amrit Sarovars’

Stating that water security was one of the biggest challenges of the 21st century, he said over 65,000 “Amrit Sarovars” developed during the “Amrit Mahotsav” would benefit future generations. Now, the goal should be to conserve them. During the past 20-25 years, after the efforts of the government and social organisations, the situation in Gujarat had changed considerably in this regard, he said.

The Prime Minister also spoke about the importance of skill development and congratulated the “Beljipuram Youth Club” from Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, for empowering around 7,000 women. It also helped the children trapped in child labour to get out of that vicious cycle by teaching them some skill or the other; taught new skills to the farmers associated with Farmer Producer Organisations; spread awareness about cleanliness in villages; and helped in the construction of many toilets.

Citing an example of collective effort, Mr. Modi said over 450 women from 15 villages in Ladakh were involved in weaving Pashmina shawl, which was now reaching different markets in the country and the world. “...in ‘Mann Ki Baat’, we have been discussing such collective efforts which have brought about major changes in society,” he said, adding that one Varsha of Chamarajanagar, Karnataka, inspired by the programme, had started the work of making organic fertiliser from bananas.

The Prime Minister extended greetings to the people on the occasion of “Kartik Purnima” and “Prakash Parv” on November 27.

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