Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday announced that the Chandigarh airport will be renamed after Shaheed Bhagat Singh as a tribute to the great freedom fighter.
In his Mann Ki Baat radio broadcast where he referred to diverse issues, Mr. Modi spoke of climate change which he said is a major threat to marine ecosystems and also expressed concern about the “disturbing” menace of litter on beaches.
“It becomes our responsibility to make serious and continuous efforts to tackle these challenges,” he said.
In the broadcast, Mr. Modi paid tributes to BJP ideologue Deendayal Upadhyaya, saying he was a profound thinker and a great son of the country.
Mr. Modi also said that 130 crore Indians were filled with pride over the return of cheetahs to the country. He said a task force will monitor them and on the basis of that, it will be decided when people can see them.
He said that September 28 is an important day of ‘Amrit Mahotsav’ when the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh will be celebrated.
“Just before the birth anniversary of Bhagat Singh, an important decision has been taken as a tribute to him. It has been decided that the Chandigarh airport will now be named after Shaheed Bhagat Singh. It had been in the waiting for a long time,” Mr. Modi said.
He congratulated the people of Chandigarh, Punjab and Haryana, and the entire country for this decision.
“Let us take inspiration from our freedom fighters, following their ideals and build the India of their dreams… this is our tribute to them. The memorials of martyrs, the names of places and institutions named after them inspire us with a sense of duty,” he said.
Just a few days ago, the country had made a similar effort by setting up the statue of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose on Kartavya Path and now the name of Chandigarh Airport after Shaheed Bhagat Singh is another step in that direction, he noted.
Punjab and Haryana governments had last month agreed to name the Chandigarh international airport after freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
The decision had come after Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann and Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala held a meeting over this issue.
In his remarks, Mr. Modi also said people have another reason to celebrate September 28.
“Do you know what it is? I will say only two words and I know your enthusiasm will increase four-fold. These two words are – surgical strike! Hasn’t the Josh risen,” the Prime Minister said.
Referring to the release of eight Cheetahs from Namibia in Kuno national park in Madhya Pradesh, Mr. Modi said 130 crore Indians are happy and full of pride.
Such is India’s love for nature, he said.
Noting that a common question posed by people is when will they get an opportunity to see the cheetahs, Mr. Modi said a task force has been formed which will monitor the cheetahs and see how much they have been able to adapt to the environment here.
“On this basis, a decision will be taken after a few months and then you will be able to see the cheetahs,” he said.
Mr. Modi said competition will be organised on the MyGov platform in which people could share certain things like what should be the name of the campaign that is being run on cheetahs and naming all these cheetahs could also be thought about.
“By the way, if the naming is done the traditional way, it will be very nice since anything related to our society and culture, tradition and heritage, draws us easily,” he said.
Mr. Modi said people should also share how humans should behave with animals and noted that even in fundamental duties, emphasis has been laid on respect for animals.
“I appeal to all of you to participate in this competition. Who knows…you may be the first to get an opportunity to see a cheetah as a reward!” the Prime Minister said.
Paying tributes to Upadhyay, Mr. Modi said the more the youth of any country take pride in their identity and honour, the more their original ideas and philosophies attract them.
“The biggest feature of Deendayal ji’s thoughts is that in his lifetime, he had seen the great upheavals of the world.
‘’He had become a witness to the struggles of ideologies. That is why he put forward an idea of ’Ekatma Manavdarshan’ and ‘Antyodaya’ before the country which was completely Indian,” Mr. Modi said.
Upadhyay’s ‘Ekatma Manavdarshan’ is such an idea that in the realm of ideology gives freedom from conflict and prejudice, he said.
He again put forth to the world, the Indian philosophy which considers human beings equal, Mr. Modi added.
“Deendayal ji taught us how Indian philosophy can guide the world even in the modern, social and political perspective. In a way, he awakened our intellectual consciousness by freeing us from the inferiority complex that prevailed in the country after independence,” Mr. Modi said.
The Prime Minister said the biggest support for many people who are either unable to hear, or are unable to express themselves through speech is sign language, Mr. Modi said.
“But a big problem in India for years was that there were no clear gestures, no standards for sign language. To overcome these difficulties, the Indian Sign Language Research and Training Center was established in the year 2015,” he said.
“I am happy that this institution has thus far prepared a dictionary comprising ten thousand words and expressions. Two days ago i.e. on the 23rd of September, on the Sign Language Day, many school courses have also been launched in Sign Language,” he said.
Mr. Modi said a few days ago he got a copy of the Hemkosh, one of the oldest dictionaries of the Assamese language, written in Braille.
Highlighting the benefits of Yoga, the Prime Minister narrated how a girl from Surat, Anvi, who is afflicted with Down’s Syndrome, practised Yoga which improved her physical health and her need for medicines was lessening.
With festivals approaching, Mr. Modi said the resolution of the country that has also been associated with festivals is that of ‘Vocal for Local’.
“On the occasion of Bapu’s birth anniversary on the 2nd of October, we have to take a pledge to intensify this campaign. Khadi, handloom, handicrafts…along with all these products, you must buy local goods,” he said.