In the last edition of this year's monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed Christmas greetings and talked about the teachings of Jesus Christ and his commitment to the service of mankind. He also paid tributes to Guru Gobind Singh and said that his extraordinary life of courage inspires us all. He urged the people to shape their lives according to the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh, who fought against oppression and injustice.
Guru Gobind Singh ji fought against oppression & injustice. His teachings to people focused on breaking the cordons of caste and religion. In this endeavour, he stood to lose a lot on his personal front. But he never let antagonism raise its ugly head in his path. PM: #MannKiBaat
— ALL INDIA RADIO (@AkashvaniAIR) December 31, 2017
While talking about 1 January, 2018, Modi said that this day is particularly special because those born in the 21st century will become eligible to vote. He urged all the people born in the 21st century to register themselves as voters and said that their vote will become the basis for a 'new India'. "A vote is the biggest power in a democracy. It can transform our nation," he said.
The prime minister specifically addressed the youth between 18-25 years of age and urged them to fulfil the dream of a 'new India'. He called them the 'new India youth' and said that a new India must be free of corruption and casteism. It should also provide equal opportunities for all.
He also talked about organising mock parliaments for the youth. "We can have mock parliaments in all our districts where we discuss how to make development a mass movement and transform India," Modi said. The movement, he said, will be to make a strong and capable India. He also expressed his wish that a mock parliament be organised in New Delhi around 15 August to discuss how the dream of a 'new India' can be fulfilled by 2022.
Modi also referred to his last Mann Ki Baat address, where he had talked about the importance of positivity. He said that a person full of enthusiasm can overcome all hurdles. He gave an example of Anjum Bashir Khan Khattak, who excelled in the Karnataka Administrative Service (KAS) exam. Khattak's ancestral home, Modi said, was burnt by terrorists in the 1990s but he never lost hope. "He chose to serve the people of the country," he said.
Modi also urged the people of India to take a vow of cleanliness. He said that he wants to gift a 'swachh Bharat' to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary. He also said that a cleanliness survey will be conducted from 4 January to 10 march to evaluate achievements in the cleanliness of urban areas.
The prime minister also talked about the rights of Muslim women in India. He said that he noticed a Muslim woman cannot go for Haj without a male guardian. "And when I asked about it, I came to know that it was we who have restricted them for going alone for the Haj. This practice is not followed in many of the Islamic countries," he said.
Modi added that the minority affairs ministry has removed this restriction and will now allow Muslim women to travel to Haj without a male attendant.
"Till date, 1,300 women have applied to travel for Haj without any mahram (male guardian)," the prime minister said, adding that "they should get equal opportunity". He also urged that Muslim women are exempted from the lottery system for Haj.
The prime minister also said that 26 January, 2018, will be remembered by all because the leaders of all ASEAN nations will be the guests for the Republic Day celebrations.
With inputs from IANS
Updated Date: Dec 31, 2017 13:09 PM