Here's the full text of Narendra Modi's address in Sunday's episode of Mann ki Baat:
My dear countrymen, Namaskar. This is the last edition of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ this year and it’s a coincidence that this day happens to be the last day of the year of 2017. You and I shared many thoughts and ideas the entire year. Your steady stream of letters to ‘Mann Ki Baat’, your comments, this exchange between minds always infuses new energy in me. A few hours later, the year will change, but this sequence of our conversation will go on, just the way it is. We will renew this exchange of thoughts on newer topics in the year to come, we’ll share new experiences. Heartiest New Year greetings to all of you. Over the last few days, the festival of Christmas was celebrated across the world with gaiety and fervor. People in India too celebrated Christmas with warmth and cheer. The pious occasion of Christmas reminds us of the great teachings of Jesus Christ who laid much emphasis on the spirit of service, ‘Sewa bhaav’. The essence of the spirit of service can be felt in the Bible too.
The Son of Man has come, not to be served
But to serve’
And to give his life, as blessing
To all humankind.
This conveys the immense significance attached to the sanctity of service. Be it any religion, caste or creed, tradition or colour in this world; the spirit of service is an invaluable hallmark of the highest human values. In our country we refer to ‘NishKaam Karma’, selfless deeds, meaning a service done without any expectations. It is mentioned in our land ‘Sewa Parmo Dharmah’… service is the noblest way of life, ‘Jeev Seva hi Shiv Seva’… Service to living beings is service to god. Gurudev Ramkrishna Paramhans used to cite, ‘serve living beings as if worshipping the almighty. The inference is that the world over, these are shared, common human values. Come, let us remember great men & their ideals; let us be reminded of the essence of holy occasions; let us infuse a new awakening, a new drive into our great value system. Let us try & live, abiding by them.
My dear countrymen, this year was also the 350th ‘Prakash Parv’ of Guru Gobind Singh ji. The illustrious life of Guru Gobind Singh ji, full of instances of courage & sacrifice is a source of inspiration to all of us. Guru Gobind Singh ji preached the virtues of sublime human values and at the same time, practiced them in his own life in letter & spirit. A guru, a poet, a philosopher, a great warrior, Guru Gobind Singh ji, in all these roles, performed the great task of inspiring people. He 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. In every moment of his life, the message of love, sacrifice & peace was palpable. His personality was filled to the brim with the greatest of virtues. I’m fortunate that at the beginning of this year, I got an opportunity to participate in the 350th birth anniversary celebration organized at Patna Sahib. Come, let us all resolve to imbibe & abide by lessons from his great teachings & exemplary life and mould our own life in accordance with them.
The 1st of January, 2018, i.e. tomorrow, in my view, is a special day. You’ll be surprised, since the New Year comes every year, the 1st of January arrives every year! But, when I refer to it as special, I really mean it as special. People born in the year 2000 or later; those born in the 21st century will gradually begin to become eligible voters from the 1st of January, 2018. The Indian Democracy welcomes the voters of the 21st century, the ‘New India Voters’. I congratulate our youth & urge them to register themselves as voters. The entire nation is eager to welcome you as voters of the 21st century. As voters of this century, you too must be feeling proud. Your vote will prove to be the bedrock of New India. The power of the vote is the greatest strength of a democracy. The vote is the most effective tool in bringing about a positive change in the lives of millions of people. And it’s not just about you acquiring the right to Vote. It’s about you determining & deciding the course of the nation in the 21st century, your dreams in the India of the 21st century. You too can be the makers of 21st century India and this opportunity comes into being, very specially, on the 1st of January. And today, in this edition of Mann Ki Baat, I wish to speak to our successful young men & women between 18 & 25, all infused with energy and resolve.
I consider them ‘New India Youth’, ‘New India Youth’ stands for aspirations, enthusiasm & energy. I firmly believe that the dream of our ‘New India’ will be realized through the skill & fortitude of these energetic youth.
When we talk of new India then that new India will be free from the poison of casteism, communalism, terrorism and corruption; free from filth and poverty. In the New India everyone will have equal opportunity and aspirations and wishes of everyone will be fulfilled. New India will be a place where peace, unity and amity will be our guiding force. My New India Youth should come forward and deliberate on how this New India would be formed. One should decide one’s own path and also decide a way for connecting along those attached to one and the Caravan should get going. You should move forward and thus should the country move ahead. Right now, while taking to you I got an idea whether we could organize a mock parliament in every district of India? Where the youth between 18 and 25 could sit together and brain storm about new India, find ways and chalk our plans. How could we realize our resolves before 2022? How could we build an India of the dreams of our freedom fighters? Mahatma Gandhi had transformed the freedom movement into a mass movement. My young friends, the need of the hour is that we build up a mass movement for making a magnificent- glorious 21st century India; a mass movement of development, a mass movement to build a capable and strong India.
I propose that a mock Parliament be organized around 15th August in Delhi comprising one young person selected from each district who would participate and deliberate on how a new India could be formed in the next five years. How can resolve be transformed into reality? Today, a lot of new opportunities have been created for the youth. Our youth are coming forward in areas like skill development, innovation and entrepreneurship and are achieving success. I wish that the New India Youth get information and details of all these new opportunities and plans at one place and a system be created so that every young person on turning 18 should automatically get to know all this and benefit from it.
My dear countrymen, I had talked about positivity during the previous episode of Mann Ki Baat. I am being reminded of one Sanskrit Shloka-
Utsaaho balwaanarya, Naastyutsaahaatparam balam |
Sotsaahasya cha lokeshu na kinchidapi durlabham ||
This means that a man full of enthusiasm is very strong since there is nothing more powerful than zest. Nothing is impossible for a man having positivity and zeal. In English too, it is said, ‘Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power’. During the previous episode of Mann Ki Baat, I had appealed to the countrymen to share their positive moments of 2017 and to welcome 2018 in a positive atmosphere.
I am very glad that a large number of people gave positive responses on social media platform, MyGov and the Narendra Modi App and shared their experiences. Lakhs of tweets were posted on Positive India hashtag (#), which reached out to more than nearly 150 crore people. In a way, a wave of positivity which emanated from India spread all over the world. All tweets and responses received were really inspiring. It was indeed a delightful experience. Some countrymen shared those incidents of this year which left a special impact on their minds, a very positive one at that. Some people even shared their personal achievements.