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Prime Minister Narendra Modi has always innovated and gave new dimension to his governance style and communication strategy to connect with the masses. Today, he is one of most popular leaders of the world because of his ability to connect and communicate with the people.
What makes him the king of hearts of the people is the way he connects socially, emotionally and culturally. This is his natural ability to connect, correlate and communicate with the various sections of society across all age groups.
In Year 2014, after taking over as the Prime Minister, he adopted all formats of communication in modern era, but the one which surprised the world at large was his initiative to hold a monthly radio talk titled- ‘Man Ki Baat’ on all India Radio.
All apprehensions, reservations and inhibitions have now been proven wrong. Now the millions of listeners are looking forward to the 100th episode of the monthly radio talk scheduled on 30th April. The popularity and outreach of this innovative communication exercise has surpassed all expectations during last few years.
I vividly recall the early 1980s days when people used to get together and wait for serials like ‘Ramayana’ and ‘Mahabharat’ on Sunday morning on Doordarshan. Today, one can see the similar fascination for Mann Ki Baat. Every Sunday morning, it has become a ritual for millions of people to assemble to listen to the inspiring and interesting talk of their beloved leader.
This is a great case study that needs to be examined and lessons need to be learned by all. The most important feature of this initiative is that it is not a monologue. This is a communication exercise, wherein unsung, unheard and unseen heroes of the society and their contribution at the grassroots level get recognized and space in their own language.
It makes the communication organic and productive thereby making the message clear and impactful. There is always adequate space for all sections of society, age, group, language and culture for inclusion in these talks.
Another interesting aspect that makes ‘Mann Ki Baat’ spectacular is that it is a direct Dil-Se talk —straight from the heart.
There is no script that honourable Prime Minister has to follow except the voice of the people and voice of his soul. This is Mann Ki Baat in true sense. If I add one more word to make it simpler and comprehensive, this is actually ‘Desh Ke Man Ki Baat’.
The Prime Minister and common man can relate with each other with equal intensity and understanding. This extraordinary skill of reading the aspirations of the people of the country makes him a great communicator, strategist, beloved and mass leader.
Over a period of time, there has been a mass movement, social movement around this initiative. Honourable Prime Minister has used this free-of-cost media to outreach the masses and take up social, cultural and developmental issues to sensitize and inspire people for Jan Bhagidaari (public participation). He has touched wide ranging issues like Swatch Bharat, dowry, drug addiction, women empowerment, social works, music, art, culture, craft, entrepreneurship, water conservation and argon donation etc.
He has tried to correlate every possible dimension to educate, empower and enhance the citizens’ participation. He has also made the public aware about their rights. There is always a class and mass in all his words of outreach.
Another significant aspect of this program is the non-political nature of his communication strategy. PM Modi has always kept politics aside and kept people at the center of all attention. He has always ensured a fine balance of inspiration, aspiration and perspiration in all his stories. In all endorsed stories during the show, real hero is not a celebrity but the common man from the unseen and unknown territories of country and global diaspora.
One can draw huge motivation and positive lessons from the straight talks. His explicit understanding that nation building is a collective exercise and responsibility that all citizens must learn and undertake is the key takeaway. He never fails to recognize the ordinary citizens of the country with extraordinary contribution in all walks of life.
Today on the eve of the 100th episode, we must learn two things from the success of his communication outreach through man ki baat. Firstly, one must know the pulse of the nation if one wants to rule over the heart of the people.
Secondly, the medium of communication is not so important. Content is the key. PM Modi has become Desh Ki Dhadkan through the age-old medium of radio which was in oblivion and has a huge challenge of existence in an era of social media, internet and AI outreach. People from all age group of five year to century old have unparalleled excitement and curiosity to get glued to the radio set, expecting that honourable Prime Minister will touch their mind, body and soul on the designated weekend.