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Mann ki Baat programme: PM Modi describes India as mother of democracy


Prime Minister Narendra Modi today called India the Mother of Democracy saying that democracy is in the veins and culture of the Indian people. Addressing the nation in the 97th episode of his Mann Ki Baat programme on All India Radio, Mr Modi highlighted that India is the largest democracy in the world and has a democratic society by nature.

The Prime Minister said that Dr. BR Ambedkar had compared the Buddhist monks' union to the Indian Parliament. He described it as an institution where there were many rules for Motions, Resolutions, Quorum, Voting, and counting of votes. Mr. Modi stated that Babasaheb believed that Lord Buddha must have taken inspiration from the political systems of that time.

Mr. Modi mentioned a book, India - The Mother of Democracy, which contains many excellent essays on India's culture of democracy. He spoke about a small but famous village in Tamil Nadu - Utirmerur. The village has an inscription belonging to 1100 to 1200 years ago. This rock edict is like a mini-constitution. The inscription has a detailed explanation of how the Gram Sabha should be conducted and the procedure for the selection of its members.

The Prime Minister said Anubhav Mandapam of Lord Basaveshwara of the 12th century is another example of democratic values in the history of India. Free debate and discussion were encouraged in Anubhav Mandapam. He noted with surprise that Anubhav Mandapam was even before the Magna Carta. Mr. Modi said the republican traditions of the Kakatiya dynasty kings of Warangal were also very famous.

He added that the Bhakti movement furthered the culture of democracy in western India. He also spoke about the democratic spirit of the Sikh Panth which throws light on the decisions taken by the consensus of Guru Nanak Dev. The Prime Minister also mentioned community-driven and consensus-driven decision-making in the Oraon and Munda tribes of Central India. He highlighted that the spirit of democracy has been flowing in every part of the country for centuries. He stressed that the people of India should think deeply about this topic, discuss it and inform the world about this aspect. He said, this will further strengthen the spirit of democracy in the country.

The Prime Minister exuded pride that the United Nations took the decision of observing both International Yoga Day and International Year of Millets after India's proposal. He pointed out another commonality between the two by saying that both yoga and millet are related to health. He said that public participation in both campaigns is another commonality. He was happy to note that people are adopting millets on a large scale and making millets a part of their diet. He said, this has a huge and visible impact on small farmers who traditionally produced millet. He also hailed the fact that Farmer Producer Organisations and entrepreneurs have started efforts to market millets and make them available to people.

Mr Modi spoke about KB Rama Subba Reddy who is a resident of the Nandyal district of Andhra Pradesh. Mr Reddy left a well-paying job and started a millet processing unit in his village. The Prime Minister also mentioned Sharmila Oswal, a resident of Kenad village near Alibaug in Maharashtra who has been contributing to millet production in a unique way for the last 20 years. She is imparting training in smart agriculture to farmers and her efforts have not only increased the yield of millets but also increased the income of the farmers, he added.

The Prime Minister urged listeners to visit Millets Cafe when they visit Raigarh in Chhattisgarh. Items like Chilla, Dosa, Momos, Pizza and Manchurian are becoming very popular in this Millets Cafe, he mentioned.
Mr. Modi also praised the Milletpreneurs of Odisha who are in the limelight these days. He noted that a Self Help Group of about 1500 women in the tribal district Sundergarh is associated with the Odisha Millets Mission. He also mentioned the Aland Bhootai Millets Farmers Producer Company which began work last year under the supervision of the Indian Institute of Millets Research in Kalaburgi of Karnataka.

The Prime Minister also hailed women in Karnataka's Bidar district, who are associated with the Hulsoor Millet Producer Company. They are cultivating millet as well as prepare their flour. The Prime Minister also took note of the good work of farmers from 12 States who joined the FPO of Chhattisgarh's Sandeep Sharma. This FPO of Bilaspur makes eight types of millet flour and their dishes, said Mr Modi.

The Prime Minister expressed happiness that nutritious and tasty dishes made from millet are being served wherever G-20 summit events are being held in the country. Dishes like Bajra-khichdi, poha, kheer and roti, as well as Ragi-based payasam, puri and dosa are being served there.

Mr Modi said, health drinks, cereals and noodles made from millet were showcased in the Millets Exhibitions at all G-20 venues. He said, Indian Missions around the world are also making a lot of efforts to increase their popularity. Mr Modi stated that this increasing demand for millet in the world is going to give strength to small farmers. He congratulated the listeners of 'Mann Ki Baat' for such a wonderful start to the International Year of Millets and for relentlessly taking it forward.

Speaking about the Padma Awards announced recently, Mr Modi noted that there has been a good representation of the tribal community and people associated with tribal life this time. He said that many great personalities who have worked on tribal languages like Toto, Ho, Kui, Kuvi and Manda have received Padma Awards. He expressed delight that the entire nation has become familiar with Dhani Ram Toto, Janum Singh Soy and B. Ramakrishna Reddy. He added that people working with tribals like Siddhi, Jarawa and Onge have also been honoured this time. They include Hirabai Lobi, Ratan Chandra Kar and Ishwar Chandra Vermai. Prime Minister said, tribal communities have been an integral part of India's land and heritage.

Mr Modi said, this year, the echoes of the Padma Awards are being heard even in those areas which used to be Naxal affected. He informed that people who show the right path to misguided youth in Naxalite-affected areas have been honoured with Padma awards. Ajay Kumar Mandavi, who does wood carving in Kanker, and Parshuram Komaji Khune, associated with the famous Jharipatti Rangbhoomi of Gadchiroli, have also received this honour. Ramkuiwangbe Niume, Bikram Bahadur Jamatia and Karma Wangchu, who are involved in the preservation of their culture in the Northeast, have also been honoured this year.

Mr Modi informed listeners that people who spread the melody of traditional musical instruments like Santoor, Bamhum, and Dwitara have also been honoured this time. Ghulam Mohammad Zaz, Moa Su-Pong, Ri-Singhbor Kurka-Long, Muni-Venkatappa and Mangal Kanti Rai are among the artistes. Mr. Modi urged everyone to learn about the inspirational life of these Padma awardees.

Mr Modi shared about Purple Fest which was held in Goa from the 6th to the 8th of January. This was a unique effort in for the welfare of Divyangs. More than 50 thousand people participated in it. The Prime Minister highlighted that Miramar Beach has become one of the accessible beaches of Goa. Cricket Tournament, Table Tennis Tournament, Marathon Competition, and a Deaf-Blind Convention were also organised during the Fest. Mr. Modi said, the participation of the private sector in the Purple Fest was indeed special. He expressed faith that such campaigns will prove to be very effective in realising the vision of Accessible India.

The Prime Minister also mentioned the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore in his address. It is one of the oldest Science Institutions in the country. Jamsetji Tata and Swami Vivekananda, have been the inspiration behind the establishment of this institution. Mr. Modi said, it is a matter of joy that there were a total of 145 patents in the name of this institute last year. The Prime Minister termed the record as amazing and congratulated the team of IISc for this success. He said, India's ranking is 7th in Patent Filing and 5th in Trademarks. There has been an increase of about 50 per cent in the last five years.

In the Global Innovation Index, India's ranking has reached the 40th position. In 2015, India was below the 80th position in the Global Innovation Index. Mr. Modi noted with satisfaction that in the last 11 years in India, the number of Domestic Patent Filings was higher than Foreign Filings. He stated that this shows the growing scientific prowess of India. He went on to state that knowledge is paramount in the global economy of the 21st century. He expressed the belief that the dream of India's Techade will definitely be fulfilled on the strength of the country's Innovators and their Patents.

Mr Modi also touched upon the topic of E-Waste. He observed that today's latest devices are the future's E-Waste. He stressed that if E-Waste is not disposed off properly, it can harm the environment. He pointed out that E-Waste can become a great force in the Circular Economy of recycling and reusing. A United Nations report mentioned that 50 million tonnes of E-Waste are thrown every year. Mr Modi told listeners that about 17 types of Precious Metals can be extracted from this E-Waste through different processes. This includes Gold, Silver, Copper and Nickel.

The Prime Minister said that utilising E-Waste is no less than making 'Kachre Ko Kanchan'. He said, there is no dearth of start-ups that are doing innovative work in this direction. At present, around 500 E-Waste Recyclers are associated with this sector and many new entrepreneurs are also being associated with it. This sector has also given direct employment to thousands of people. Mr Modi gave the example of E-Parisaraa of Bengaluru which is engaged in one such effort. It has developed indigenous technology for extracting precious metals from Printed Circuit Boards.

The Prime Minister also made note of Ecoreco in Mumbai which has developed a system to collect E-Waste through a Mobile App. Attero Recycling of Roorkee, Uttarakhand has obtained many patents in this field worldwide.

It has also earned a lot of awards by preparing its own E-Waste Recycling Technology. Tonnes of E-Waste is being collected in Bhopal through a Mobile App and the Website 'Kabadiwala'. Prime Minister lauded these initiatives saying all these are helping to make India a Global Recycling Hub. He also stressed the need for awareness among people about safe, useful methods of disposal of E-Waste. At present, only 15 to 17 per cent of E-Waste is recycled every year.

Mr Modi spoke about the work that India has done for its wetlands. ‘Wetland sites’ are those places where water remains accumulated throughout the year on marshy soil-like land. World Wetlands Day will be celebrated on the 2nd of February. The Prime Minister said, wetlands are very important for the existence of the earth, as many birds and animals depend on them. Along with enriching Biodiversity, they also ensure Flood control and Ground Water Recharge.

Ramsar Sites are wetlands which are of International importance. Wetlands are declared Ramsar Sites if they fulfill certain criteria. Ramsar Sites should have 20 thousand or more water birds. It is important to have a large number of local fish species. The Prime Minister was pleased to inform that the total number of Ramsar Sites in India has increased to 75. He said that before 2014, there were only 26 Ramsar Sites in the country.

Mr Modi said, Chilika Lake of Odisha is known to shelter more than 40 waterbird species. Kaibul-Lamjaa, Loktak is considered to be the only natural habitat of the Swamp Deer. Vedanthangal of Tamil Nadu was declared a Ramsar Site in 2022.

The Prime Minister gave the entire credit for preserving the bird population in Vedanthangal to the farmers in the neighbourhood. He said, the Panjath Nag community in Kashmir spends a day, especially cleaning the village spring during the Annual Fruit Blossom festival. He said, most of the Ramsar Sites also have a unique cultural heritage. Mr. Modi mentioned that Manipur's cultures have a deep connection with Loktak and the sacred lake Renuka. Similarly, Sambhar is also related to Shakambhari Devi, an incarnation of Goddess Durga, he added.

Mr Modi spoke about the severe winter this time in the country, especially in North India. He said, pictures from Jammu and Kashmir of the winter season captivated hearts in the entire country. He mentioned that the people also liked the video of the train going from Banihal to Budgam. He urged listeners to visit Kashmir and see the snow-capped mountains. He added that Winter Games were organised in Syedabad, Kashmir. The theme of these Games was - Snow Cricket! The Prime Minister signed off by asking people to strengthen the Indian Republic through public participation. (AIR NEWS)

52 Days ago