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HOPE REFLECTS IN FEELINGS OF THE PEOPLE

'Mann Ki Baat’ is a kind of anthem of experiences related to life. I am saying this because I have heard it continuously since it first aired and have felt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, in a way, nurtured eternal values in it. Sanatan means ‘Eternally New’. There is no place for inertia in this.

‘Mann Ki Baat’ informs about the progress happening in the country, makes public the lives of those people who have done something unique and along with it, is a radio program producing a direction of the future by including all the changes that are coming in life.

I also believe that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is the statement of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in the light of questions related to our human heritage, philosophy of life and calamities scattered here and there across the country, which create ideals related to life. The positivity can be heard and multiplied. People from all over the country are represented in it, the opinion of people from every corner, their words, their experiences and hopes are mixed in it.

It seems like yesterday when this program was started by radio. It was on 3 October 2014, when the program ‘Mann Ki Baat’ was first telecast. Later in 2015, the day also came when US President Barack Obama also participated in it. In no time, the time has come for its hundredth episode to be broadcast.

The biggest thing about this program is that there is a direct dialogue between the Prime Minister and the citizens. Various important issues are discussed and the direction of the program is determined by including the opinion of the general public. It is not preachy but it is such a dialogue done in the light of public sentiment, which has innovation. People across the country also have a direct connection with it in the form that the Indian public broadcaster, Prasar Bharati, translates and broadcasts ‘Mann Ki Baat’ in 52 languages and dialects. Eleven foreign languages are also included in this.

The Prime Minister of India, the country’s largest democratic nation, not only conveys his message to the people through this programme, but in a way calls for the active participation of the citizens in the nation building process. How many people listen to this can be gauged from the fact that letters are received from lakhs of people from all over the country regarding this programme, and the Prime Minister himself mentions them in the dialogue. Many times it also happens that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi himself also calls directly and talks to the people in the programme.

I think ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is a dialogue conducted by a visionary and far-sighted Prime Minister considering his accountability towards the citizens, in which, understanding the remote reach of audio media, the intention of creating and settling in the public mind lies through it. Some say that the days of radio are over, for them ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is the answer which proved it. It is said that if the subjects are related to the public, if there is an initiative of dialogue by involving themselves in it with an inclusive thinking, then people take interest in it. People especially listen to it when it airs on Sundays. This is a unique example of its popularity, that at the time of broadcast, people in typical villages, towns and cities tune into the radio and listen to it. I had this experience during the Ramayana serial telecast by Doordarshan that the roads used to become deserted, the market used to stop and people used to go and sit near the TV at the fixed time. The same happens when ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is telecast. This is its success.

Radio is audio media. Its main purpose is to inform, educate and entertain. But if all these three have been included in a single programme, then that too has happened in ‘Mann Ki Baat’. I am saying this because there is no blank information in the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme, education is the path of light in life and a healthy color for the mind. The way Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi presents it in a light-hearted manner, many topics like environment, Covid, climate change, Har Ghar Tiranga, Swachh Bharat, Beti Bachao Beti Padhao etc. are easily communicated. I remember, in one episode of this programme, Prime Minister Shri Modi had given the word ‘Divyang’ to the country instead of handicapped. The one who is physically disabled in some way, God has given him something special different from the common people. That’s why such people are not handicapped but differently abled. Similarly, this program has continuously shared words and feelings related to the world with us. That’s why this country has become one of the most popular radio programs not only in the world.

Many times while listening to ‘Mann Ki Baat’, I have also felt that it is a contemporary narrative related to the Indian tradition of knowledge. Knowledge has been given the highest place in our Vedas, Puranas and Upanishads. It is considered to be the most sacred. Knowledge does not mean just external knowledge of something. Direct experience by going into the depth of the element through continuous contemplation, descending into it is called knowledge. This is achieved through interest in public issues. Despite his busy schedule, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has adopted this program for continuous public dialogue due to his interest in public issues. This is a unique initiative to collect information about the people doing unique work at some place and public thinking on it. I listen and count it many times as a ‘radio diary’ of the Prime Minister. There can be so many dimensions of a person’s thoughts and public concerns, ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is an example of that.

The depth of any subject, context, episode, element related to nature and life can be reached only when the curiosity to know something new remains in the mind. I understand, ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is the inspiration of Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji’s curiosity, probing the mind connected with the people and constantly learning something new. This is a unique initiative of dialogue on the country, its people, their thoughts, geography, culture, science and religion etc. in their contemporary contexts. In our place, the Brahma Sutras begin with ‘Athato Brahma Jigyasa’. The first formula of Purva Mimamsa is ‘Athato Dharma Jigyasa’. Religion is that which is to be followed. The one in which we move forward on the path of the future by mixing the thoughts and vision that we inherited, with new values and thoughts and experiences related to life. That’s why I give the noun of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ as ‘Yoga: Karmasu Kaushalam’. It means that skill in actions is yoga. This is the sum of the work-skills of the Prime Minister of a country, knowing and understanding the country and accordingly the policies of the nation, taking it forward and upliftment of the people. It is not just the program but the light of audio media which can be experienced in Sanatan Samskaras.

Etreya Brahman’s well-versed mantra is — Charaiveti, Charaiveti. The civilizations that continued to move forward. Those who stopped, their development also stopped. If water remains at one place, it starts rotting. Its significance lies in the flow of water. That’s why Buddha also said ‘charath bhikkhave charath’ means monks, keep moving. The one who walks gets the elixir of life. Dr Mangaldev Shastri has called ‘Charaiveti’ Shramgan. I agree that ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is also the anthem of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. I have heard all the programs of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, will not discuss them. But I must say this much that this is the foundation of the vision of a strong India. Highlighting the national and global successes of the country, creating a sense of pride in the citizens, it is a dialogue-song to orient them towards cultural nationalism. This is not just a radio programme, it is the light reflected in the sentiments of the people and their words.

THE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

KALRAJ MISHRA The writer is Governor of Rajasthan

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