During his monthly 'Mann Ki Baat' address, Prime Minister Narendra Modi cited the 'Back to village' programme in Jammu and Kashmir and said that those spreading hate and obstructing development in the state "will never succeed". He also lauded scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for successfully launching Chandrayaan-II after suffering a "setback" and said that the two greatest lessons from the mission are "fearlessness and faith".
In the broadcast aired on Sunday, he said the people of Jammu and Kashmir — including those from very sensitive and remote villages — had participated enthusiastically in the 'Back to village' programme held in June, as government officials visited the state to discuss development schemes with locals. He added that "for the first time", senior officials reached the "doorsteps of locals" across 4,500 panchayats.
The officials also visited villages that are affected by cross-border firing along the border, which included areas in districts like Shopian, Pulwama, Kulgam and Anantnag, that have seen heightened militant activity off late. The officials did so "without any fear", Modi said.
Modi said that the participation of the locals "shows how keen the people of Kashmir are to join mainstream development and that they want good governance". He added, "This also proves that the power of development is stronger than the might of bullets and bombs. It is clear that those who wish to spread hatred, pose hurdles on the path of development will never succeed in their sinister plans."
Speaking about the Chandrayaan-II mission, the prime minister said that the way scientists rectified technical issues and launched Chandrayaan after a delay of a few days, is "exemplary and unparalleled".
"If you ask me what the two greatest lessons I have received from Chandrayaan II, I shall say they are faith and fearlessness. We should trust our talents and capacities; we should have faith in them," he said.
"We should feel proud of the fact that despite hindrances, there is no change in the arrival time," he added.
Modi also hailed the project as "thoroughly Indian in heart and spirit, swadeshi mission" and said that he hoped that Chandrayaan-II mission will inspire youth towards science and innovation, which is the path of progress.
"This mission has proved beyond doubt, once again, that when it comes to attempting an endeavour in new age, cutting edge areas, with innovative zeal, our scientists are second to none. They are the best, they are world class," the prime minister said.
"We are now expectantly waiting for the month of September when lander Vikram and rover Pragyan will land on lunar surface," he said.
He also announced a quiz competition whose winners will visit Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh to witness the moment the spacecraft will land on the Moon in September.
"And the most thrilling part is that students scoring the highest in their respective states will be invited to visit Sriharikota, with expenses borne by the government. There in September they will get an opportunity to witness the moment when Chandrayaan would be landing on the surface of the Moon. For these winners, it will be a historic event of their lives," he said.
Modi noted that 2019 has been a "very fruitful year" for India in the realm of space, as the A-SAT launch had been successfully completed in March. In the hectic engagements during the Lok Sabha election, the A-SAT launch could not be a prominent part of the discourse even though India has become the fourth country in the world to have capability of destroying a satellite three hundred kilometres away in mere three minutes, he added.
He also said that over 3 lakh pilgrims had completed the Amarnath Yatra since 1 July, already outnumbering the number of devotees who completed the pilgrimage in 2015.
He hailed the hospitality of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and said that tourism in the state will definitely be boosted. In the Chardham yatra in Uttarakhand too, large numbers of tourists have visited holy sites, he said, adding that over eight lakh devotees had visited Kedarnath shrine, a record number post the massive 2013 floods that had devastated the region.
In his 25-minute address, Modi asked people to celebrate 15 August with special preparations and find out new ways to observe Independence Day with greater participation of masses. "You must ponder over the fact how 15 August could be celebrated as a folk-festival and also as a people's festival," he said.
Speaking about the floods in different parts of the country, he said the Centre was working in tandem with state governments at a "lightning pace" to provide people relief and succour. He appreciated the Meghalaya government for framimg a water policy and the Haryana government for encouraging farmers to shift to cultivating crops that need less water and said that the issue of water conservation has stirred the nation.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jul 28, 2019 14:39:32 IST