In the 97th episode of his customary radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for relentless efforts to strengthen the republic. He said republic becomes strong ‘by public participation’, ‘by everyone’s effort’, ‘by performing one’s duties towards the country’. Mr. Modi also congratulated the Padma awards winners and hailed their approach of “Nation First.”
The Prime Minister said that in this year, there has been a good representation of the tribal community and people associated with tribal life among the Padma awardees. He said many great personalities who have worked on tribal languages like Toto, Ho, Kui, Kuvi and Manda have received Padma Awards. “It is a matter of pride for all of us,” Mr. Modi said.
He said many Padma awardees always kept the country paramount, dedicating their lives to the principle of “Nation first”. “They remained engaged in their work with devotion and never expected any reward for it. The satisfaction on the face of those for whom they are working is the biggest award for them. The pride of our countrymen has risen by honouring such dedicated people,” he said.
Talking about the history of democracy in India, he said a village in Tamil Nadu—Utirmerur—has an inscription of 1,100-1,200 years ago which is like a mini-Constitution. “It has been explained in detail how the Gram Sabha should be conducted and what the procedure for selection of its members shall be.”
“Another example of democratic values in the history of our country is the Anubhav Mandapam of Lord Basaveshwara of the 12thcentury. Here, free debate and discussion were encouraged. You will be surprised to know that it was even before the Magna Carta. The republican traditions of the Kakatiya dynasty kings of Warangal were also very famous. The Bhakti movement furthered the culture of democracy in western India,” he said while mentioning about a book, ‘India: The Mother of Democracy’ prepared and published by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR).
Millets and Yoga
Connecting millets and Yoga, the Prime Minister said a revolution is on the way because of public participation in campaigns for both. “Just as people have made yoga and fitness a part of their lives by taking active participation on a large scale, similarly people are adopting millets on a large scale. People are now making millets a part of their diet,” he said adding that small farmers are happy as the world has now started understanding the importance of millets. He said health drinks, cereals and noodles made from millets were showcased in the Millets Exhibitions at all G20 venues.
Mr. Modi said if recycled carefully, e-waste can become a great force in the Circular Economy of Recycle and Reuse. He said about 17 types of precious metals can be extracted from e-waste through different processes. “This includes Gold, Silver, Copper and Nickel, so utilizing E-Waste is no less than making ‘Kachre Ko Kanchan’. Today there is no dearth of start-ups that are doing innovative work in this direction,” Mr. Modi said in ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
Speaking about the importance of wetland sites protected under the Ramsar Convention, he reminded about the importance of observing the World Wetlands Day on February 2. He said Ramsar sites are such wetlands which are of International Importance.
“Wetlands may be there in any country, but they have to fulfill many criteria. Only then are they declared as Ramsar sites. Ramsar sites should have 20,000 or more water birds. It is important to have a large number of local fish species,” he said adding that the total number of Ramsar sites in India has increased to 75, whereas, before 2014 there were only such sites in the country.
“For this, the local community deserves congratulations, who have preserved this biodiversity. It is also a tribute to our age-old culture and tradition of living in harmony with nature. These wetlands of India are also an example of our natural potential,” he said.