Release of "नए भारत की ओर" by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad (Union Minister of Law & Justice and Electronics and Information Technology, Govt. of India) on Monday, 25th March 2019, 6.00 PM, Speaker Hall, Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg, New Delhi.

Salient Points of PM Narendra Modi ‘Mann Ki Baat’ Programme on All India Radio on 30 October 2016

  • In India almost on all 365 days of the year, one festival or the other is celebrated in some part of the country. Somebody watching from a distance would genuinely feel that festivity is a synonym for the Indian way of life, and this is natural too. Right from the vedic period to the present day, there has been a tradition of festivities in India which, of course, has matched the occasions at different periods of time. We have also witnessed the courage to do away with outdated traditions. And, the transformations in the manner of celebrating these festivals according to changing times and changing social mores have been accepted and adopted very naturally.
  • We can very well discern one characteristic that this entire journey of Indian festivals, its widespread effect, its depth, its reach to each individual are all interlinked with one spirit which exhorts evolution from the ‘self’ to the ‘whole’, the ‘collective existence’. The idea is that there should be a development of individuals and their personalities, the limited scope of thinking must expand and cover not only the whole society but, in fact, the whole universe. And this is achieved through these festivals.
  • The festival of lights Deepawali conveys the message of ‘TAMSO MA JYOTIRGAMAYA’, to move from darkness to light. And, this darkness here does not merely signify the absence of light; it is also the darkness of superstition and blind-faith, darkness of ignorance, darkness of poverty and also darkness of social evils. By lighting lamps on Diwali, we try to overcome the darkness of these social shortcomings and individual blemishes – attaining freedom from this darkness is the real essence of the festival of lights Deepawali, which we celebrate by lighting an earthen lamp, a ‘diya’.
  • Now, the festival of Deepawali is not confined to the borders of India. In almost all countries of the world, Deepawali is celebrated in one way or the other. Many Governments in the world, their Parliaments and also their ruling classes are joining Deepawali festivities. From countries of the East to those of the West, from developed nations to developing nations and from countries of Africa to Ireland – everywhere we can see the glow and revelry of Deepawali.
  • I have to specially thank my countrymen and express my gratitude to them. In the backdrop of the disturbing incidents taking place during the past few months, the soldiers of our defence forces have been sacrificing their all for our peace and happiness. The sacrifice, devotion and zeal of the Jawans of our security forces occupies my mind and heart, my emotional universe all the time. And from that emanated my feeling and resolve that this Diwali must be dedicated to our security forces. I invited my countrymen to join the ‘Sandesh to Soldiers’ campaign. And today, in all humility, I wish to proclaim that there would not be a single soul in India who would not have unbounded love for our Jawans, a sense of deep pride in the members of our security forces.
  • The way these sentiments have been expressed is surely giving strength to each of our countrymen. Your messages to the Jawans of our security forces have proved to be a great morale booster which cannot be easily imagined. Schools, colleges, students, villages, the underprivileged, traders, shopkeepers, political leaders, sportspersons, people from the cine world have all lit a lamp for the country’s Jawans, have joined in this campaign of sending a message of greetings and salutation to our Jawans. The media also made this festival of lights into an opportunity and an occasion to express gratitude towards our armed forces. And why should it not be so? Our Jawans from BSF, CRPF, Indo Tibetan Border Police, Assam Rifles, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard and many more as I am not able to include all by names are valiantly facing great hardships in the line of duty.
  • While we are celebrating Diwali in the comforts of our homes, some of these Jawans are deployed in the desert areas, others are guarding the towering Himalayan peaks, some are guarding our industrial establishments and some are maintaining security vigil at the airports. What great responsibilities they have on their shoulders!
  • My fellow citizens, it is true that military personnel guard not only our borders, but they stand as sentinels and fighters on every front of life. Be it a calamitous natural disaster or a law and order crisis or having to deal with enemies or to display courage in motivating misguided youth to return to the mainstream of life, Our Jawans are motivated by a sense of patriotism while rendering service to the nation.
  • My dear countrymen, Mahatma Gandhi is our guide forever. Even today, his words guide us in setting up the standards and determining the direction that our nation must follow. Gandhiji used to say that when you chalk out a plan, you must first recall the face of the poor and weak and then decide whether the scheme you are going to be implementing will be of any benefit to the poor or not, it should not bring any loss to him! Your decisions should be based on such a benchmark. It is the need of the times that we’ve to address the aspirations that have been arisen in the poor of our nation. We have to help them in getting freed from their troubles in a stepwise manner. Whatever the old dogmatic thinking might have been, but the society now must be freed from discrimination between our sons and daughters. Now our schools are having toilets for girls as well as for boys. For our daughters this is the opportunity to experience an India free from discrimination.
  • My dear countrymen, this is not the pain of an individual person. One Sardar, as history goes, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was the second great man after Chanakya who carried on the stupendous job of uniting our country. Bringing independent India under one banner and accomplishing such a herculean task – what a great man he was! We bow a hundred times to that great soul. But the pain remains that Sardar Patel, who lived for India’s unity, strove tirelessly for it, had to even endure some unpleasantness on account of it, but never ever abandoned the path of unity; but on the birth anniversary of this great SARDAR, thousands of Sardars, the family members of thousands of Sardars were killed in the aftermath of the assassination of Smt. Gandhi. These atrocities against Sardars on the birth anniversary of that great personality who lived for unity, that SARDAR, is a page of history, which causes pain to all of us.
  • In our march to achieve ‘Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas’, Co-operation from ALL, Development of ALL, we cannot have a better guiding force than Guru Nanak Dev. I pay my deeply felt respectful homage to Guru Nanak Dev on the occasion of the forthcoming Prakashotsav.

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