Diversity strengthens us, keeps us united: PM Modi
New Delhi: Noting that India is a rich treasure house of languages, scripts and dialects, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the country’s diversity “strengthens us and keeps us united”.
In his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio broadcast, he stressed on the diversity of languages and cited the example of Kalpana, a native of Uttarakhand, who scored 92 marks in Kannada in the class 10th examination in Karnataka.
“Our country is a rich treasure house of many languages, scripts and dialects. Varied attire, cuisine and culture in different regions is our hallmark. As a nation this diversity strengthens us and keeps us united,” he said.
Highlighting examples of diversity, Modi narrated the journey of Kalpana, who recently passed her class 10th examination in Karnataka.
The very special thing about Kalpana’s success is that she did not know Kannada language till some time ago but she not only learned it in three months, but also proved it by scoring 92 marks.
“There are many other things about her that will amaze you and will also inspire you. Kalpana is originally from Joshimath in Uttarakhand. She had been suffering from TB earlier and when she was in the class three she lost her eyesight, too, but, as they say, ‘where there is a will, there is a way’,” Modi said.
He said Kalpana later came in contact with Professor Taramurthy, a resident of Mysuru, who not only encouraged her but also helped her in every way.
“Today, through her hard work, she has set an example for all of us. I congratulate Kalpana for her fortitude,” the prime minister said.
He also cited the example of Shripati Tudu, who hails from Purulia in West Bengal and is a professor of Santhali language at the Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University, Purulia.
Tudu has prepared a version of the country’s Constitution in his native ‘Ol Chiki’ script for the Santhali community, the prime minister said.
“Shripati Tudu ji asserts that our Constitution makes every citizen of our country aware of one’s rights and duties. Therefore, it is important for every citizen to be familiar with it. Therefore, he prepared a copy of the Constitution in his own script for the Santhali community and offered it as a gift,” Modi said.
“This is a living example of the spirit of ‘Ek Bharat-Shrestha Bharat’,” he added.
Modi also noted that the holy pilgrimage of ‘Char-Dham’ in Uttarakhand is currently underway and thousands of devotees are reaching ‘Char-Dham’ every day, especially Kedarnath.
“People are sharing happy experiences of their ‘Char-Dham Yatra’. But, I have also seen that some devotees are also very sad because of the filth being spread by some pilgrims in Kedarnath. Many people have expressed their views on social media as well,” he said.
“Going on a holy pilgrimage and coming across a heap of filth there is not right. But friends, in the midst of these complaints, one is getting to see many good pictures, too. Where there is faith, there is also creation and positivity. There are many devotees who are worshipping in the Dham of Baba Kedar, as well as performing the ‘sadhna’ of cleanliness,” he noted.
Some are cleaning near their place of stay, while others are removing garbage along the travel route, he said.
Many organisations, including voluntary organisations, are also working there along with the Swachh Bharat campaign team, he added.
“Just as a pilgrimage is important here, equally important is ‘teertha sewa’ as has been mentioned and I would also say that without ‘teertha sewa’, a pilgrimage is incomplete. There are many people in Devbhoomi Uttarakhand who are engaged in the ‘sadhana’ of cleanliness and service,” Modi said.
The prime minister called upon the people to maintain the dignity of these pilgrimage sites.
“Purity, cleanliness and a pious environment…we should never forget these, and for that, it is imperative that we abide by the resolution of cleanliness. A few days later, the world will celebrate the 5th of June as ‘Environment Day’. We should run positive environment campaigns around us and this is a never ending task,” he said.
“This time, you should join everyone together – you should certainly make some effort for cleanliness and tree plantation. Plant a tree yourself and inspire others, too,” Modi told the listeners.
Highlighting the creativity and artistic talent of the people of the country, Modi talked about a gift sent to him by a self-help group from Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu.
“This gift bears the fragrance of Indianness and the blessings of Matri-Shakti – a glimpse of her affection for me. This is a special Thanjavur doll, which also has a GI tag. I offer special thanks to the Thanjavur self-help group for sending me this gift imbued in the local culture,” Modi said.
“I also urge the listeners of ‘Mann Ki Baat’…find out which women self-help groups are working in your area. You should also collect information about their products and use these products as much as possible,” he said.
Modi also highlighted that countless people in the country are making serving the society the goal of their lives by rising above self.
The prime minister went on to narrate the story of Ram Bhupal Reddy from Markapuram, Andhra Pradesh, who he said has donated all his earnings after retirement for the education of girls.
“He got accounts opened for about 100 daughters under ‘Sukanya Samridhi Yojana’, and deposited more than Rs 25 lakh in them,” Modi said.