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Tag: mann ki baat

PM Modi leaves for Paris to attend global climate change meet

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday left for Paris to attend the world conference on climate change amid his emphasis that it is the responsibility of all to work against global warming.

“Leaving for Paris, where I will join @COP21. In the Summit, we will deliberate on crucial issues relating to environment & climate change,” he tweeted just before his departure.

PM Narendra Modi. ReutersPM Narendra Modi. Reuters

PM Narendra Modi. Reuters

“At the @COP21 will inaugurate India Pavilion, showcasing India’s harmony with nature, environment & commitment to mitigate climate change,” Modi said in another tweet.

The Prime Minister said he and French President Francois Hollande will jointly host a meeting of International Solar Alliance.

Modi will also attend ‘Mission Innovation’ being hosted by US President Barack Obama.

Prior to his departure, the Prime Minister said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’: “The whole world is worried about climate change. There are discussions everywhere over it and concerns are being expressed…. The temperature of the Earth should not increase now. It is the responsibility and concern of all.”

His emphasis on the responsibility of all assumes significance as the developed world is trying to place greater onus on developing nations like India in the fight against climate change.

India has been maintaining that the developed countries have been the major polluters over centuries and should assume greater role in fighting global warming by funding and transferring low-cost technology to developing nations.

Joining a select group of countries, India said it will provide USD 2.5 million for the vulnerable nations in the Commonwealth to help them introduce clean energy and reduce green-house gas emissions.

PTI

PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat: Unity will take country forward, diversity is India’s beauty

New Delhi: Against the backdrop of incidents of violence with communal and casteist overtones, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said diversity of religions and castes is the beauty of India and that the ‘mantra’ of unity should be carried forward through thinking and expressions.

PM Narendra Modi. Reuters

PM Narendra Modi. Reuters

Invoking Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel ahead of his birth anniversary, he strongly batted for ‘unity in diversity’ while asserting that peace, harmony and unity are the key to progress.

“The mantra of unity should always be the medium of our thinking, our behaviour and expression,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

“India is full of diversity. It has different sects, different religions, different languages and different castes. There are so many diversities in our India and this diversity is our beauty,” the Prime Minister said in his 35-minute programme.

He said if this diversity was not there, “we would not have been able to feel proud. Therefore, diversity is the mantra of unity.”

Mentioning the upcoming birth anniversary of Patel on 31 October, Modi said, “Let us pay tribute to Sardar (Patel) Sahab. Take the unity mantra forward.”

His comments assume significance as recently there have been incidents of violence lynching of a man over beef-eating rumours in Uttar Pradesh and burning of a Dalit’s house in Haryana, which had communal and casteist overtones.

Referring to the ‘Run for Unity’ organised every year on Patel’s birth anniversary, Modi said these are actually the ‘run for progress’.

“In other words, the run for unity is the guarantee for run for progress,” he said, while noting that earlier he used to get a chance to participate in this event.

In an effort to reach out to Dalits, the Prime Minister invoked BR Ambedkar, saying he was feeling excited about his upcoming visit to the UK where he will visit the ‘Ambedkar House’, where the architect of the Constitution lived. The property was recently acquired by India from the British government.

“A day after Diwali, I am going to Britain. This time, I am excited about my visit to Britain and the reason for it is special. A few weeks back, I had gone to Mumbai to lay foundation stone for a big memorial for Ambedkar…

“Now, in London, I will formally inaugurate the house where Dr Baba Sahab Ambedkar lived, which recently became Indian government’s property and a place of inspiration for 125 crore Indians,” he said.

He noted that the issue related to acquisition of this complex had been entangled for several years and now it is the property of 125 crore Indians.

“When Ambedkar’s name is associated, you can imagine how much happiness people like me have,” Modi said.

He said Ambedkar was an inspiration for the dalits, the oppressed, the deprived, the backwards and all other Indians who live a difficult life that if there is will power, one can make progress in life and get educated. “This is the place (in London) where Ambedkar did his devotion.”

The Prime Minister said the central government also encourages capable Dalit youth.

During the programme, he also announced abolition of the practice of interview for Group D,C and B posts in government jobs from 1 January, next year. He also said several important schemes will be launched ahead of Diwali.

He also talked about how the ‘Swacch Bharat’ Abhiyan is being carried forward by media and common people, the importance of organ donation, progress of the ‘MP Adarsh Gram Yojana’ as also the festivals of Navratra, Eid and Diwali.

PTI

Won’t renew ordinance on land acquisition, says PM Modi in his Mann Ki Baat

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said his government will not renew the land acquisition ordinance that lapses on Monday.

“We had issued an ordinance which lapses tomorrow (August 31). I have decided, let it lapse. We will not renew it,” Modi said during his radio address ‘Mann Ki Baat’ on Sunday.

PM Narendra Modi. PTIPM Narendra Modi. PTI

PM Narendra Modi. PTI

“It will mean the situation will be once again as it was before my government came,” he said.

The prime minister said there were 13 points, referring to already existing Acts for acquiring land.

He said the rules would be changed to give farmers higher benefit under these laws.

Modi said a statutory order was being brought to include 13 central Acts to extend benefits to those farmers whose land is acquired. “The government’s heart is clear on the land Act. We are ready to accept any recommendation that favours the farmers.”

“The ordinance will lapse, but those 13 points (Acts) will be brought under the rules so that the farmers do not suffer economic loss,” he said.

According to official sources, a statutory order issued by the government will ensure that farmers whose land are acquired under the 13 acts like the Land Acquisition (Mines) Act, 1885, the Metro Railways (Construction of Works) Act, 1978, and the National Highways Act, 1956, get higher compensation.

The executive order issued under section 113 of the land acquisition law, enacted by the erstwhile Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, extends compensation and resettlement benefits under the law to the land acquired under 13 central Acts so far not covered.

This would mean the land acquired for any purpose would now be eligible for the high compensation and resettlement under the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 — the UPA version of the Act.

The ordinance was brought after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government failed to get its amended land acquisition bill passed in parliament. The ordinance has so far been re-promulgated thrice.

Modi said rumours were being spread over the Act.

“The proposal for amendment in the Land Acquisition Act came from the states. Every one felt if the farmer has to be benefited, if we have to make canals to take water to farms, erect poles to take electricity to villages, make roads, or houses for rural poor, we will have to get the law out of the bureaucratic tangles and so the proposal of changing the law came,” Modi said.

“But so many rumours have been spread. Farmers have been scared. My farmer brothers and sisters, don’t be scared. For me, every voice in the nation is important and the voice of farmers has a special place,” he said.

“There is no reason for doubt, do not be scared,” Modi added.

The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s land bill is presently with a joint committee of parliament.

IANS

Govt won’t renew ordinance on land acquisition: PM Modi on ‘Mann ki Baat’

New Delhi: The government has decided to allow the land acquisition ordinance to lapse tomorrow and include 13 points in the rules to provide direct financial benefit to the farmers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Sunday.

“We had brought in an ordinance (on land acquisition) which is lapsing on 31 August, and I have decided to let it lapse,” the Prime Minister said in his radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’.

File photo. PTI

File photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

Observing that a lot of misinformation has been spread on the ordinance which has created a sense of fear and confusion in the minds of the farmers, he said the lapse of the ordinance would mean that the situation prevailing before his government came to power, would now prevail.

“However, there are some issues which have remained incomplete. This was that there were 13 points which needed to be completed in one year and were thus brought in the ordinance but got stuck in the controversy.

“Even though the ordinance is lapsing, these 13 points, which were meant to provide direct financial benefit to the farmers, are being brought under the rules effective from today so that the farmers do not face financial losses,” Modi said.

He said the suggestions to reform the land acquisition law had come from several quarters including the state governments.

Referring to various social security schemes, the Prime Minister said over 17.74 lakh new bank accounts have been opened under the Jan Dhan scheme, making it a big success. Under the scheme, the poor can open such a bank account with zero balance, but it is of significance that over Rs 22,000 crore have been deposited by the poor people through their hard-earned savings, he said.

“Apprehensions were being expressed whether what could not be done in the last 60 years, could be done within one year. This has been made possible by the hard work of several departments, ministries and banks, he said.

During his 25 minute radio address, the Prime Minister also touched upon several issues, including the importance of Sufism which, he said, could truly reflect the great teachings of Islam as its message was of love, liberalism and peace.

Here are some of the highlights from the 11th ‘Mann ki Baat’ radio address:

PTI

Hardselling ‘mann ki baat’, Yoga Day: RTI queries reveal Modi govt spent Rs 24 cr on ads

In a counter to the BJP’s barbs over the Delhi government’s spending on posters, a RTT filed by an Aam Aadmi Party activist has revealed that Rs 8.5 crore was spent just to advertise the Prime Minister’s ‘mann ki baat‘ radio address.

A RTI filed by AAP activist Mulk Raj Anand has revealed that the government has spent over Rs 8.5 crore from January to 29 July on newspaper advertisements to promote the Prime Minister’s radio address, reports the Indian Express.

Narendra Modi during a mann ki baat address. PIB imageNarendra Modi during a mann ki baat address. PIB image

Narendra Modi during a mann ki baat address. PIB image

Anand questioned how this amount had been spent on newspaper ads to promote the Prime Minister’s radio address, which he claimed was “for the publicity of the Prime Minister”. He argued that the central government’s expenditure on advertisements would be “much, much higher” than the Delhi government’s Rs 500 crore expenditure on advertisements.

Another RTI query has revealed that the government spent Rs 15.87 crore on SMS messages to promote Yoga Day ahead of 21 June. Ahmedabad resident, Parag Patel, had filed an RTI application seeking information on the amount spent on sending out the messages that touted the benefits of yoga and telling people to take it up, reports DNA.

However, the government didn’t reply on how many such messages had been sent out and which organisation had been recruited to send them out.

Patel sad he had become curious about the spending on the messages after receiving one himself. The Ahmedabad resident wasn’t however very happy about the government spending money on the SMS messages after spending on other mediums of advertisement as well.

The two incidents again raise questions on just how much the government should spend on advertisements.

While the Supreme Court has restricted the kind of advertisements that can be issued, various state governments ranging from the one headed by Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu to the Aam Aadmi Party’s slogan-based ad campaign in Delhi have exploited loopholes in the order.

The central government has also faced accusations of splurging more than needed on advertisements, sometimes for schemes and initiatives that do little beyond furthering personalities.

After PM Modi’s Mann Ki Baat radio show #SelfieWithDaughter trends on Twitter

PM Modi on his weekly Mann Ki Baat radio show encouraged fathers to share picture of their daughters to encourage his  encourage ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative.

Narendra Modi. AFP.Narendra Modi. AFP.

Narendra Modi. AFP.

Earlier, in a unique initiative to save girl child in Haryana, where the sex ratio has been dismally low, a village panchayat in Jind had started a contest for clicking “selfie with daughter” on 9 June. Bibipur village panchayat had launched the contest in which parents from across the state have to take selfies with their daughters and send it to village Sarpanch Sunil Jaglan through the social messaging app, Whatsapp. The best three selfies were awarded with trophies, certificates and cash prize.

And this is where Modi got the idea for it. The appeal also shows that PM Modi is keeping an eye on various trends in India — which perhaps comes from his focus on social media — and that is always a good thing.

“Clicking selfies is the latest craze, so we decided to hold this contest to encourage parents to take pictures with their daughters,” Haryana Panchayat member Jaglan said, adding that the panchayat is contributing in the “Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao” campaign through it.
Haryana is among the bottom five states in terms of sex ratio. In 2014, the sex ratio at birth was 871, a marginal increase from 868 in 2013.

Soon after PM Modi’s radio address, selfies hashtagged #SelfieWithDaughter took Twitter by storm.

#SelfieWithDaughter: Haryana village contest inspires PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat

PM Modi on his weekly Mann Ki Baat radio show encouraged fathers to share picture of their daughters to encourage his  encourage ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ initiative.

Narendra Modi. AFP.Narendra Modi. AFP.

Narendra Modi. AFP.

Earlier, in a unique initiative to save girl child in Haryana, where the sex ratio has been dismally low, a village panchayat in Jind had started a contest for clicking “selfie with daughter” on 9 June. Bibipur village panchayat had launched the contest in which parents from across the state have to take selfies with their daughters and send it to village Sarpanch Sunil Jaglan through the social messaging app, Whatsapp. The best three selfies were awarded with trophies, certificates and cash prize.

And this is where Modi got the idea for it. The appeal also shows that PM Modi is keeping an eye on various trends in India — which perhaps comes from his focus on social media — and that is always a good thing.

“Clicking selfies is the latest craze, so we decided to hold this contest to encourage parents to take pictures with their daughters,” Haryana Panchayat member Jaglan said, adding that the panchayat is contributing in the “Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao” campaign through it.
Haryana is among the bottom five states in terms of sex ratio. In 2014, the sex ratio at birth was 871, a marginal increase from 868 in 2013.

Soon after PM Modi’s radio address, selfies hashtagged #SelfieWithDaughter took Twitter by storm.

This govt will find a solution to one-rank-one pension issue, promises Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday again assured the country’s former servicemen on the one rank-one pension (OROP) issue, asserting that his government would find a solution to it.

PTIPTI

PTI

“This government, and I repeat, this government will give a solution to OROP (issue),” Modi said in his monthly radio address, ‘Mann Ki Baat’.

“I am not talking as a prime minister. For 40 years, this (OROP) question has been persisting. Nothing has happened so far,” he added.

On Saturday also, Modi said that his government was “committed” to the long-awaited OROP for ex-servicemen.

OROP relates to payment of uniform pension to defence forces personnel retiring in the same rank with the same length of service, irrespective of their date of retirement.

IANS

India will wipe the tears of Nepal, help it tide over crisis: PM Modi in ‘Mann Ki Baat’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India would try its best to “wipe the tears” of the people of Nepal and do all it can to help them tide over the crisis following the devastating earthquake.

“My dear brothers and sisters of Nepal, India is with you in this hour of grief. …. For 125 crore Indians, Nepal is their own. India will do its best to wipe the tears of every Nepali, hold their hands and stand with them,” PM Modi said in his radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Sunday.

Sharing his pain over a series of natural calamities hitting the region in the recent past including yesterday’s quake in Nepal, Modi said he was anguished and did not feel like going ahead with his radio address today.

“When I spoke to you last month, hailstorms and unseasonal rains had occurred, devastating the farmers. A few days ago, a storm hit Bihar killing many people and causing a lot of damage. And now on Saturday, this devastating earthquake has shaken the whole world.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

“It seems a series of natural disasters has begun. The quake has also killed many people in different states of India. Property has also been damaged. But the destruction and damage in Nepal is massive,” he said, adding he could feel the pain of the people of Nepal as he had himself seen the January 2001 earthquake devastation in the Kutchh region of Gujarat from close quarters.

Noting that the immediate priority was to rescue as many people as possible who are trapped under debris, Modi said the relief and rehabilitation work after the rescue operations will go on for a long time.

“There could still be people alive under the debris and they have to be rescued. We have sent teams of experts. Along with them, we have also sent sniffer dogs specially trained to sniff out those alive from under the rubble. Our focus will be to rescue as many people alive as possible,” the Prime Minister said.

The government today announced a compensation of Rs two lakh to the families of those who lost their lives in the powerful quake that struck various parts of India leaving 53 dead.

Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, bordering Nepal, were the worst-hit parts of India in yesterday’s quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale.

“GoI has announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh to families of those who lost their lives in the Earthquake across parts of India,” PMO said in a tweet.

According to the Home Ministry, the toll in the quake in India has climbed to 53 while 240 were injured.

In Uttar Pradesh, 11 deaths took place and 69 people were injured while in West Bengal 2 persons perished and 35 were injured in the quake. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself monitoring the situation and has issued directives to ensure timely relief for those affected.

He has directed immediate dispatch of rescue and relief teams, including medical staff, to the affected areas.

PTI

India will wipe the tears of Nepal, help it tide over crisis: Modi in ‘Mann Ki Baat’

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India would try its best to “wipe the tears” of the people of Nepal and do all it can to help them tide over the crisis following the devastating earthquake.

“My dear brothers and sisters of Nepal, India is with you in this hour of grief. …. For 125 crore Indians, Nepal is their own. India will do its best to wipe the tears of every Nepali, hold their hands and stand with them,” PM Modi said in his radio programme ‘Mann ki Baat’ on Sunday.

Sharing his pain over a series of natural calamities hitting the region in the recent past including yesterday’s quake in Nepal, Modi said he was anguished and did not feel like going ahead with his radio address today.

“When I spoke to you last month, hailstorms and unseasonal rains had occurred, devastating the farmers. A few days ago, a storm hit Bihar killing many people and causing a lot of damage. And now on Saturday, this devastating earthquake has shaken the whole world.

Narendra Modi. PTINarendra Modi. PTI

Narendra Modi. PTI

“It seems a series of natural disasters has begun. The quake has also killed many people in different states of India. Property has also been damaged. But the destruction and damage in Nepal is massive,” he said, adding he could feel the pain of the people of Nepal as he had himself seen the January 2001 earthquake devastation in the Kutchh region of Gujarat from close quarters.

Noting that the immediate priority was to rescue as many people as possible who are trapped under debris, Modi said the relief and rehabilitation work after the rescue operations will go on for a long time.

“There could still be people alive under the debris and they have to be rescued. We have sent teams of experts. Along with them, we have also sent sniffer dogs specially trained to sniff out those alive from under the rubble. Our focus will be to rescue as many people alive as possible,” the Prime Minister said.

The government today announced a compensation of Rs two lakh to the families of those who lost their lives in the powerful quake that struck various parts of India leaving 53 dead.

Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, bordering Nepal, were the worst-hit parts of India in yesterday’s quake measuring 7.9 on the Richter Scale.

“GoI has announced a compensation of Rs. 2 lakh to families of those who lost their lives in the Earthquake across parts of India,” PMO said in a tweet.

According to the Home Ministry, the toll in the quake in India has climbed to 53 while 240 were injured.

In Uttar Pradesh, 11 deaths took place and 69 people were injured while in West Bengal 2 persons perished and 35 were injured in the quake. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is himself monitoring the situation and has issued directives to ensure timely relief for those affected.

He has directed immediate dispatch of rescue and relief teams, including medical staff, to the affected areas.

PTI

Modi’s mann ki baat on land acquisition is the first attempt to explain reform in 25 years

In a column I wrote on February 27, 2015, I had said that prime minister Narendra Modi should talk to the people of this country directly through his mann ki baat programme on All India Radio. Modi spoke to the people of India directly yesterday on mann ki baat and addressed the contentious issue of land acquisition.

Among other things, he criticized the Congress party which has been protesting against The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Ordinance, 2014.

Modi said that “those projecting themselves as sympathisers of farmers and undertaking protests,” had been using the Land Acquisition Act 1894, a 120 year-old law for 60-65 years after independence. In the process he exposed the hypocrisy of the Congress party, which has been in power in every decade after independence, and had the opportunity to set things right on the land acquisition front. But it never went around to doing this.

The Land Acquisition Act 1894, had been the law of the land until 2013. This Act gave unparalleled powers to the government to acquire land. A 1985 version of this Act stated: “Whenever it appears to the [appropriate Government] the land in any locality [is needed or] is likely to be needed for any public purpose [or for a company], a notification to that effect shall be published in the Official Gazette [and in two daily newspapers circulating in that locality of which at least one shall be in the regional language], and the Collector shall cause public notice of the substance of such notification to be given at convenient places in the said locality.”
This was not surprising given that the law came into being when the British ruled India. This allowed governments all over India to acquire land from the public. Many governments passed on this land to corporates, and in the process both the government and the corporates made money. The only one who did not make money was the individual whose land was being acquired. Of course, this did not go unnoticed. People saw politicians and corporates making a killing in the process. And the trust that is required for any system to work completely broke down. In 2013, the Congress led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) brought in The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act 2013.

Representational image. ReutersRepresentational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

One of the major provisions of the Act was that private companies acquiring land would require the prior consent of at least eighty percent of the affected families. In case of public-private partnerships(PPP) the prior consent was required from at least seventy percent of the affected families.

The ordinance brought in the Modi government is essentially the same as the 2013 Act, except for a few changes. The ordinance does away with the requirement of prior consent for land being acquired for affordable housing, defence, defence production, rural infrastructure including electrification, industrial corridors etc. There is nothing wrong with this change.

Also, the 2013 Act stipulated that the land acquisition carried out under 13 Acts of Parliament which dealt with land acquired for the purpose of atomic energy, highways, national highways, mining, railways, metro etc., were exempted from the Act. The 2014 ordinance did away with this distinction, which meant that land being acquired under these Acts will also be compensated at the same rate as promised in the 2013 Act. Doing away with this distinction is a step in the right direction.

Prime minister Modi in his address pointed out that maximum land is acquired under these 13 acts. “If we hadn’t approved this amendment, then the farmer would have continued losing land to projects with low compensation,” he said. He also put a rhetorical question to the people of this country: “Tell me if what we did was wrong?…Can someone tell me if this improvement goes against farmers?”

As per the 2013 Act, for rural areas the minimum compensation promised is anywhere between two to four times the market value of land along with the value of the assets on that land. For urban areas the minimum compensation promised is two times the market value of land along with the value of the assets on that land. So, land acquired under the 13 Acts of Parliament will also be compensated at the same rate as the land acquired for other projects.

Modi in his address clarified that the “ordinance does not change the compensation legislated in the 2013 Act one bit.” He also addressed the genuine concern of people that more than the land that is required for a project is typically taken on. He assured them that in the days to come there would be a proper assessment of how much land will be required for a project and this will ensure that excess land is not acquired.

Indian corporates over the years have acquired land through the government and become lazy in the process. Also, many of them started to see themselves as landlords and wanted land just for the heck of it. This can be said from the inefficient use of industrial land in India. If Modi follows what he has said that will be another step in the right direction. It will also do a lot to rebuild the trust required for the process of land acquisition to work efficiently.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing form around 18% of the total economic output of the country. Data from the India Brand Equity Foundation, a trust established by the ministry of commerce and industry, points out that agriculture “employs just a little less than 50 per cent of the country’s workforce”.

If nearly 50% of country’s workforce is engaged in an activity which produces only 18% of its economic output, there is something that is not quite right about the entire scenario. What this clearly tells us is that too many Indians are dependent on agriculture and this number needs to come down. The situation gets even worse once you take into account the fact that most people who work on farms don’t totally depend on income from the farm. Only 17 percent of them survive entirely on money from their farm.

Modi addressed this issue as well by saying: “In every household, the farmer wants only one son to stay in farming. But he wants other children to get out there and work because he knows that in order to run a household in this day and age different endeavours need to be made.” He then went to say that given this scenario what is wrong with the government acquiring land for building an industrial corridor and ensuring that jobs are created in the vicinity of where farmers live.

To conclude, economic reforms in this country have also been carried out through stealth. No government in this country has ever made an effort to explain economic reform to people. This was the first time since the process of economic reform started in 1991, when someone has made an effort to explain it in simple layman terms to the people of this country. In fact, what Modi has started needs to continue. Other leaders of the Bhartiya Janata Party now need to take this forward by talking to the people of this country directly.

(Vivek Kaul is the author of the Easy Money trilogy. He tweets @kaul_vivek)

Land Bill: Don’t be misled by lies, PM Modi tells farmers on Mann Ki Baat

New Delhi: With opposition mounting campaign against the Land Bill, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today reached out to farmers, telling them that “lies” are being spread over the measure for “political reasons” to create confusion among the farming community.

Speaking on the issue over radio in his monthly ‘Mann ki Baat’ programme, he insisted there were some “lacunae” in the Land Bill of 2013 “as it was enacted in a hurry” and these are being addressed while protecting the interests of farmers and villages.

Referring to his statement in Parliament, Modi maintained that the government is willing to consider any changes in the Land bill that would be beneficial for the farmers.

He made a veiled attack on Congress, saying “those projecting themselves as sympathisers of farmers and undertaking protests” had been using a 120-year-old law to acquire farm land for over 60-65 years after Independence and were now targeting his government which is “trying to improve upon the Act of 2013”.

During the 30-minute programme, he underlined that the new Land bill being brought by his government has the same compensation provisions as in the 2013 Act and emphatically rejected that the new measure was aimed at benefiting the corporates.

He also said that ‘no consent’ provision in the proposed new law applies to acquisitions by government for government or PPP projects and insisted that the same clause exists in the previous Act.

“I am surprised that all kinds of misinformation is spreading,” he said, focusing on the issue over which his government has come under severe attack and united the opposition parties.

“In the Land Act of 2013 there were certain lacunae… Our attempt is to address these lacunae to ensure that the law is beneficial for villagers, farmers, their future generations and to ensure they get electricity and water,” he said.

“I said in Parliament also that even now if somebody feels that something is still lacking, we are ready to make improvements.

“Our commitment is to ensure benefits for farmers through the Land Acquisition Act..So many lies are being spread..It is my fervent appeal to farmers not to make decisions on the basis of these lies. Don’t be misled,” he said, adding, “You trust me, I will not betray your trust.”

Specifically referring to the consent clause issue, he said misinformation is being spread for “political reasons”.

The new Land bill was passed by Lok Sabha during the just-concluded first half of the Budget session but got stuck in Rajya Sabha.

Modi said the enactment of Land Acquisition law in 2013 during UPA tenure was done in a “hurried” manner and BJP, which was in opposition at that time, had supported it for the sake of farmers.

“If anything is done in a hurry, some lacunae remain. May be the intent was not wrong but lacunae are there which need to be corrected. I am not levelling any allegations against the previous government as to what it wanted or not wanted.

“Our intention is only to see that farmers benefit, their children benefit, villages benefit. So if there are any lacunae in the law, these must be addressed. This is our priority,” the Prime Minister said.

To buttress his point about lacunae in the Act of 2013, he said when the law was implemented, it was realised that “perhaps farmers have been cheated. We have no right to cheat the farmers.”

He said when his government came, there were “voices” which said the law needs to be changed and improved upon. “These voices came from states” he said.

It was also noticed that for a year after being enacted, the law was not implemented, Modi said.

“States like Maharashtra and Haryana, where Congress was in power and who claim to be the sympathisers of farmers, implemented it but gave half the compensation than prescribed in the law,” he said.

PTI

PM Modi’s next ‘Mann ki Baat’ to deal with motivating students for exams

After his last ‘Mann ki Baat’ with US President Barack Obama, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that his monthly radio address to the nation will deal with exams and various competitive examinations that are being held across the nation.

Representational image. PTI image

The Prime Minister tweeted urging parents and teachers for suggestions that would inspire and motivate them in their examination preparations:

The Prime Minister’s radio address has dwelt with various issues in the past affecting the youth like narcotics.

Listen: Full episode of ‘Mann Ki Baat’ with PM Modi and Obama

“The world will be more secure if United States and India share values,” US President Barack Obama said during his address on All India Radio’s Mann Ki Baat show, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the nation every month.

Sharing their personal experiences, both Obama and Modi spoke of how if one is determined enough, they can achieve their goals irrespective of their family backgrounds.

President Barack Obama and PM Narendra Modi recording ‘Mann Ki Baat’ show in New Delhi. PTI

Mann ki Baat: Modi, Obama talk of their humble roots, inspirations

New Delhi: A special radio programme featuring US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was aired on Tuesday, devoid of any hard issues like politics and foreign affairs but focussed on social issue and personal matters related to the two leaders.

The 35-minute special broadcast of ‘Mann Ki Baat’, which marked the bonhomine between Modi and Obama, touched on issues like girl child, public health and personal experiences of the two leaders, both of whom have risen from humble backgrounds to assume to top positions of the respective countries.

The programme, recorded on Monday, was virtually conducted by Modi, who read out the questions received from various parts of the country and both the leaders answered them.

At the outset, Modi said most of the questions posed by people were “connected to politics, foreign policy, economic policy. However, some questions touch the heart. And I believe if we touch those questions today, we shall be able to reach out to the common man in different parts of the country.”

Obama, before answering the questions, said ‘namaste’ to the listeners and talked about his discussions with Modi and how his country wants to be a partner in India’s endeavour to lift its millions (rpt) millions of people from poverty. He expressed keenness to partner India in development of infrastructure and in provision of facilities like clean energy and electricity.

People listening to ‘mann ki baat’ of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama in Lucknow on Tuesday. PTI

Obama was asked whether he, after the end of his Presidency, will work in the field of health care, particularly addressing the problems of diabetes and obesity, like Bill Gates and his wife Melinda.

To this, the US President said he was looking forward to partnering with organizations, and the government and non-governmental organizations here in India, around broader public health issues including the issue of obesity.

He said his wife Michelle has already done a lot on this issue.

Talking about obesity, he said, “This is an issue that we would like to work on internationally, including here in India. And it is a part of a broader set of issues around global health that we need to address.”

He said he had discussed with Modi how a better job can be done in dealing with issues like pandemic and making sure that there are good alert systems so that if a disease like Ebola, or a deadly flu virus, or Polio appears, it is detected quickly and then treated quickly without spreading.

also see

Full text of Mann ki Baat: Modi and Obama discuss social issues

Modi-Obama Mann Ki Baat address to be aired at 8 pm on Tuesday

Obama’s ‘mann ki baat’: What PM Modi wants to hear from the US President

“The public health infrastructure around the world needs to be improved,” the US President said and patted the back of Modi for “doing a great job in focusing on these issues here in India”.

He said India has a lot to teach many other countries who may not be advancing as rapidly in improving this public health sector. “…we think that there is a lot of progress to be made here and I am very excited about the possibilities of considering this work even after I leave office.”

To a question on girl child, Modi said there is a lot of worry because of the sex ratio in India as for every 1000 boys, the number of girls is less.

“The main reason for this is that, there is a defect in our attitudes towards boys and girls,” he said.

In this respect, the Prime Minister said, the life of the US President is an inspiration, considering the “way he has brought up his two daughters, the way he is proud of his two daughters.”

He underlined that “to save the girl child and to educate the girl child is our social duty, cultural duty, and humanitarian responsibility. We should honour it.”

Noting that they come from very humble backgrounds, both Obama and Modi said they had never imagined that they would occupy the top positions in their respective countries.

They said this in response to a question to Modi in which the questioner said that there was an old photograph of his clicked outside the White House and whether he had ever thought that one day he would go inside to meet the President.

“At that time, I had never thought that sometime in my life, I would get a chance to visit the White House,” said Modi who met Obama there in Washington last September.

Obama added: “The same is true for me. When I first went to the White House, I stood outside that same fence, and looked in, and I certainly did not imagine that I would ever be visiting there, much less living there.”

In this context, he said, “I think both of us have been blessed with an extraordinary opportunity, coming from relatively humble beginnings.

“And when I think about what’s best in America and what’s best in India, the notion that a tea seller or somebody who’s born to a single mother like me, could end up leading our countries, is an extraordinary example of the opportunities that exist within our countries.”

He said there are millions of children out there who have the same potential but may not have the same education, may not be getting exposed to opportunities in the same way.

“So a part of our job, a part of government’s job is that young people who have talent, and who have drive and are willing to work for, are able to succeed.

“And that’s why we are emphasizing school, higher education. Making sure that children are healthy and making sure those opportunities are available to children of all backgrounds, girls and boys, people of all religious faiths and of all races in the United States is so important. Because you never know who might be the next Prime Minister of India, or who might be the next President of United States. They might not always look the part right off the bat. And they might just surprise you if you give them the chance.”

Talking about the technology, Obama said the governments should reach out to people in an inclusive way, and an open way, and a transparent way and engage in a dialogue with citizens about the direction of their country.

“And one of the great things about India and the United States is that we are both open societies. And we have confidence and faith that when citizens have information, and there is a vigorous debate, that over time even though sometimes democracy is frustrating, the best decisions and the most stable societies emerge and the most prosperous societies emerge,” he said.

Describing technology as a facilitator, he said “I have much greater faith in India and the United States, countries that are open information societies, in being able to succeed and thrive in this New Information Age; than closed societies that try to control the information that citizens receive.

“Because ultimately that’s no longer possible. Information will flow inevitably, one way or the other, and we want to make sure we are fostering a healthy debate and a good conversation between all peoples.”

Modi talked about youth power and said, “I believe, looking at the strength and reach of today’s youth, I would say, Youth, Unite the world. I believe they have the strength and they can do it.”

One questioner asked: “As leaders of two major economies, what inspires you and makes you smile at the end of a bad day at work?”

To this, Obama said, “…the only problems that come to my desk are the ones that nobody else solves…. So there are days when it’s tough and frustrating. And that’s true in Foreign Affairs. That is true in Domestic Affairs. But I tell you what inspires me … almost every day I meet somebody who tells me, ‘You made a difference in my life’.

“…But it is a reminder of what you said earlier, which is, if you focus on getting things done as opposed to just occupying an office or maintaining power, then the satisfaction that you get is unmatched. And the good thing about service is that anybody can do it.”

“…I think everybody knows what it is like to have a bad day at work. You just have to keep on working through it. Eventually you make a difference.”

PTI

Full text of Mann ki Baat: Modi and Obama discuss social issues

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday addressed the nation with US President Barack Obama via his monthly radio address titled ‘Mann ki Baat’. This was Modi’s fourth radio address to the nation. However, this month’s episode was special as it had Obama sharing his thoughts on a host of issues.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Today, Shri Barack Obama, President of the United States, joins us in a special programme of Mann Ki Baat. For the last few months, I have been sharing my “Mann Ki Baat” with you. But today, people from various parts of the country have asked questions.

But most of the questions are connected to politics, foreign policy, economic policy. However, some questions touch the heart. And I believe if we touch those questions today, we shall be able to reach out to the common man in different parts of the country. And therefore, the questions asked in press conferences, or discussed in meetings – instead of those – if we discuss what comes from the heart, and repeat it, hum it, we get a new energy. And therefore, in my opinion, those questions are more important. Some people wonder, what does “Barack” mean? I was searching for the meaning of Barack. In Swahili language, which is spoken in parts of Africa, Barack means, one who is blessed. I believe, along with a name, his family gave him a big gift.

Good friends. PTI

African countries have lived by the ancient idea of ‘Ubuntu’, which alludes to the ‘oneness in humanity’. They say – “I am, because we are”. Despite the gap in centuries and borders, there is the same spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which speak of in India. This is the great shared heritage of humanity. This unites us. When we discuss Mahatma Gandhi, we remember Henry Thoreau, from whom Mahatma Gandhi learnt disobedience. When we talk about Martin Luther King or Obama, we hear from their lips, respect for Mahatma Gandhi. These are the things that unite the world.

Today, Barack Obama is with us. I will first request him to share his thoughts. Then, I and Barack will both answer the questions that have been addressed to us.

I request President Barack Obama to say a few words.

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Namaste! Thank you Prime Minister Modi for your kind words and for the incredible hospitality you have shown me and my wife Michelle on this visit and let me say to the people of India how honoured I am to be the first American President to join you for Republic Day; and I’m told that this is also the first ever Radio address by an Indian Prime Minister and an American President together, so we’re making a lot of history in a short time. Now to the people of India listening all across this great nation. It’s wonderful to be able to speak you directly. We just come from discussions in which we affirmed that India and the United States are natural partners, because we have so much in common. We are two great democracies, two innovative economies, two diverse societies dedicated to empowering individuals. We are linked together by millions of proud Indian Americans who still have family and carry on traditions from India. And I want to say to the Prime Minister how much I appreciate your strong personal commitment to strengthening the relationship between these two countries.

People are very excited in the United States about the energy that Prime Minister Modi is bringing to efforts in this country to reduce extreme poverty and lift people up, to empower women, to provide access to electricity, and clean energy and invest in infrastructure, and the education system. And on all these issues, we want to be partners. Because many of the efforts that I am promoting inside the United States to make sure that the young people get the best education possible, to make sure that the ordinary people are properly compensated for their labour, and paid fair wages, and have job security and health care. These are the same kinds of issues that Prime Minister Modi, I know cares so deeply about here. And I think there’s a common theme in these issues. It gives us a chance to reaffirm what Gandhi ji reminded us, should be a central aim of our lives. And that is, we should endeavour to seek God through service of humanity because God is in everyone. So these shared values, these convictions, are a large part of why I am so committed to this relationship. I believe that if the United States and India join together on the world stage around these values, then not only will our peoples be better off, but I think the world will be more prosperous and more peaceful and more secure for the future. So thank you so much Mr. Prime Minister, for giving me this opportunity to be with you here today.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Barack the first question comes from Raj from Mumbai

His question is, the whole world knows about your love for your daughters. How will you tell your daughters about youre experience of India? Do you plan to do some shopping for them?

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well first of all they very much wanted to come. They are fascinated by India, Unfortunately each time that I have taken a trip here, they had school and they couldn’t leave school. And in fact, Malia, my older daughter, had exams just recently. They are fascinated by the culture, and the history of India, in part because of my influence I think, they are deeply moved by India’s movement to Independence, and the role that Gandhi played, in not only the non-violent strategies here in India, but how those ended up influencing the non-violent Civil Rights Movement in the United States. So when I go back I am going to tell them that India is as magnificent as they imagined. And I am quite sure that they are going to insist that I bring them back the next time I visit. It may not be during my Presidency, but afterwards they will definitely want to come and visit.

also see

Modi-Obama Mann Ki Baat address to be aired at 8 pm on Tuesday

Obama’s ‘mann ki baat’: What PM Modi wants to hear from the US President

Mann Ki Baat: It was PM Modi’s idea to invite Obama for joint radio address

And I will definitely do some shopping for them. Although I can’t go to the stores myself, so I have to have my team do the shopping for me. And I’ll get some advice from Michelle, because she probably has a better sense of what they would like.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Barack said he will come with his daughters. I extend an invitation to you. Whether you come as President, or thereafter, India looks forward to welcoming you and your daughters.

Sanika Diwan from Pune, Maharashtra has asked me a question. She asks me, whether I have sought assistance from President Obama for the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Mission

Sanika you have asked a good question. There is a lot of worry because of the sex ratio in India. For every 1000 boys, the number of girls is less. And the main reason for this is that, there is a defect in our attitudes towards boys and girls.

Whether or not I seek help from President Obama, his life is in itself an inspiration. The way he has brought up his two daughters, the way he is proud of his two daughters.

In our country too, I meet many families who have only daughters. And they bring up their daughters with such pride, give them such respect, that is the biggest inspiration. I believe that inspiration is our strength. And in response to your question, I would like to say, to save the girl child, to educate the girl child, this is our social duty, cultural duty, and humanitarian responsibility. We should honour it.

Barack, there is a question for you. The second question for President Obama comes through e-mail: Dr. Kamlesh Upadhyay, a Doctor based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – Your wife is doing extensive work on tackling modern health challenges like obesity and diabetes. These are increasingly being faced in India as well. Would you and the First Lady like to return to India to work on these issues after your Presidency, just like Bill and Melinda Gates?

(Hon’ble Barack Obama):

Well, we very much look forward to partnering with organizations, and the government and non-governmental organizations here in India, around broader Public Health issues including the issue of obesity. I am very proud of the work that Michelle has done on this issue. We’re seeing a world-wide epidemic of obesity, in many cases starting at a very young age. And a part of it has to do with increase in processed foods, not naturally prepared. Part of it is a lack of activity for too many children. And once they are on this path, it can lead to a life time of health challenges. This is an issue that we would like to work on internationally, including here in India. And it is a part of a broader set of issues around global health that we need to address. The Prime Minister and I have discussed, for example, how we can do a better job in dealing with issues like pandemic. And making sure that we have good alert systems so that if a disease like Ebola, or a deadly flu virus, or Polio appears, it is detected quickly and then treated quickly so that it doesn’t spread. The public health infrastructure around the world needs to be improved. I think the Prime Minister is doing a great job in focusing on these issues here in India. And India has a lot to teach many other countries who may not be advancing as rapidly in improving this public health sector. But it has an impact on everything, because if children are sick they can’t concentrate in school and they fall behind. It has a huge economic impact on the countries involved and so we think that there is a lot of progress to be made here and I am very excited about the possibilities of considering this work even after I leave office.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Mr. Arjun asks me a question. An interesting question. He says he has seen an old photo of me as a tourist outside the White House. He asks me what touched me when I went there last September.

It is true that when I first went to America, I was not lucky enough to visit the White House. There is an iron fence far from the White House. We stood outside the fence and took a photograph. White House is visible in the background. Now that I have become Prime Minister, that photo too has become popular. But at that time, I had never thought that sometime in my life, I would get a chance to visit the White House. But when I visited the White House, one thing touched my heart. I can never forget that. Barack gave me a book, a book that he had located after considerable effort. That book had become famous in 1894. Swami Vivekananda, the inspiration of my life, had gone to Chicago to participate in the World Religions Conference. And this book was a compilation of the speeches delivered at the World Religions Conference. That touched my heart. And not just this. He turned the pages of the book, and showed me what was written there. He had gone through the entire book! And he told me with pride, I come from the Chicago where Swami Vivekananda had come. These words touched my heart a lot. And I will treasure this throughout my life. So once, standing far from the White House and taking a photo, and then, to visit the White House, and to receive a book on someone whom I respect. You can imagine, how it would have touched my heart.

Barack there is a question for you. Himani from Ludhiana, Punjab. Question is for you ……:

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well the question is “Did you both imagine you would reach the positions that you’ve reached today?”

And it is interesting, Mr. Prime Minister, your talking about the first time you visited White House and being outside that iron fence. The same is true for me. When I first went to the White House, I stood outside that same fence, and looked in, and I certainly did not imagine that I would ever be visiting there, much less living there. You know, I think both of us have been blessed with an extraordinary opportunity, coming from relatively humble beginnings. And when I think about what’s best in America and what’s best in India, the notion that a tea seller or somebody who’s born to a single mother like me, could end up leading our countries, is an extraordinary example of the opportunities that exist within our countries. Now I think, a part of what motivates both you and I, is the belief that there are millions of children out there who have the same potential but may not have the same education, may not be getting exposed to opportunities in the same way, and so a part of our job, a part of government’s job is that young people who have talent, and who have drive and are willing to work for, are able to succeed. And that’s why we are emphasizing school, higher education. Making sure that children are healthy and making sure those opportunities are available to children of all backgrounds, girls and boys, people of all religious faiths and of all races in the United States is so important. Because you never know who might be the next Prime Minister of India, or who might be the next President of United States. They might not always look the part right off the bat. And they might just surprise you if you give them the chance.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Thank you Barack.

Himani from Ludhiana has also asked me this question – did I ever imagine I would reach this high office?

No. I never imagined it. Because, as Barack said, I come from a very ordinary family. But for a long time, I have been telling everyone, never dream of becoming something. If you wish to dream, dream of doing something. When we do something, we get satisfaction, and also get inspiration to do something new. If we only dream of becoming something, and cannot fulfil the dream, then we only get disappointed. And therefore, I never dreamt of becoming something. Even today, I have no dream of becoming something. But I do dream of doing something. Serving Mother India, serving 125 crore Indians, there can be no greater dream than this. That is what I have to do. I am thankful to Himani.

There is a question for Barack from Omprakash. Omprakash is studying Sanskrit at JNU. He belongs to Jhunjunu, Rajasthan. Om Prakash is convener of special centre for Sanskrit Studies in JNU.

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well this is a very interesting question. His question is, the youth of the new generation is a global citizen. He is not limited by time or boundaries. In such a situation what should be the approach by our leadership, governments as well as societies at large.

I think this is a very important question. When I look at this generation that is coming up, they are exposed to the world in ways that you and I could hardly imagine. They have the world at their fingertips, literally. They can, using their mobile phone, get information and images from all around the world and that’s extraordinarily powerful. And what that means, I think is that, governments and leaders cannot simply try to govern, or rule, by a top-down strategy. But rather have to reach out to people in an inclusive way, and an open way, and a transparent way. And engage in a dialogue with citizens, about the direction of their country. And one of the great things about India and the United States is that we are both open societies. And we have confidence and faith that when citizens have information, and there is a vigorous debate, that over time even though sometimes democracy is frustrating, the best decisions and the most stable societies emerge and the most prosperous societies emerge. And new ideas are constantly being exchanged. And technology today I think facilitates that, not just within countries, but across countries. And so, I have much greater faith in India and the United States, countries that are open information societies, in being able to succeed and thrive in this New Information Age; than closed societies that try to control the information that citizens receive. Because ultimately that’s no longer possible. Information will flow inevitably, one way or the other, and we want to make sure we are fostering a healthy debate and a good conversation between all peoples.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Omprakash wants me too, to answer the question that has been asked to Barack.

Barack has given a very good answer. It is inspiring. I will only say, that once upon a time, there were people inspired primarily by the Communist ideology. They gave a call: Workers of the world, Unite. This slogan lasted for several decades. I believe, looking at the strength and reach of today’s youth, I would say, Youth, Unite the world. I believe they have the strength and they can do it.

The next question is from CA Pikashoo Mutha from Mumbai, and he asks me, which American leader has inspired you

When I was young, I used to see Kennedy’s pictures in Indian newspapers. His personality was very impressive. But your question is, who has inspired me. I liked reading as a child. And I got an opportunity to read the biography of Benjamin Franklin. He lived in the eighteenth century. And he was not an American President. But his biography is so inspiring – how a person can intelligently try to change his life.

If we feel excessively sleepy, how can we reduce that?

If we feel like eating too much, how can we work towards eating less?

If people get upset with you that cannot meet them, because of the pressure of work, then how to solve this problem?

He has addressed such issues in his biography. And I tell everyone, we should read Benjamin Franklin’s biography. Even today, it inspires me. And Benjamin Franklin had a multi-dimensional personality. He was a politician, he was a political scientist, he was a social worker, he was a diplomat. And he came from an ordinary family. He could not even complete his education. But till today, his thoughts have an impact on American life. I find his life truly inspiring. And I tell you too, if you read his biography, you will find ways to transform your life too. And he has talked about simple things. So I feel you will be inspired as much as I have been.

There is a question for Barack, from Monika Bhatia.

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well the question is “As leaders of two major economies, what inspires you and makes you smile at the end of a bad day at work?”

And that is a very good question. I say sometimes, that the only problems that come to my desk are the ones that nobody else solves. If they were easy questions, then somebody else would have solved them before they reached me. So there are days when it’s tough and frustrating. And that’s true in Foreign Affairs. That is true in Domestic Affairs. But I tell you what inspires me, and I don’t know Mr. Prime Minister if you share this view – almost every day I meet somebody who tells me, “You made a difference in my life.”

So they’ll say, “The Health-Care law that you passed, saved my child who didn’t have health insurance.” And they were able to get an examination from a Physician, and they caught an early tumour, and now he is doing fine.

Or they will say “You helped me save my home during the economic crisis.”

Or they’ll say, “I couldn’t afford college, and the program you set up has allowed me to go to the university.”

And sometimes they are thanking you for things that you did four or five years ago. Sometimes they are thanking you for things you don’t even remember, or you’re not thinking about that day. But it is a reminder of what you said earlier, which is, if you focus on getting things done as opposed to just occupying an office or maintaining power, then the satisfaction that you get is unmatched. And the good thing about service is that anybody can do it. If you are helping somebody else, the satisfaction that you can get from that, I think, exceeds anything else that you can do. And that’s usually what makes me inspired to do more, and helps get through the challenges and difficulties that we all have. Because obviously we are not the only people with bad days at work. I think everybody knows what it is like to have a bad day at work. You just have to keep on working through it. Eventually you make a difference.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Indeed Barack has spoken words from the heart (Mann Ki Baat). Whatever position we may hold, we are human too. Simple things can inspire us. I also wish to narrate an experience. For many years, I was like an ascetic. I got food at other people’s homes. Whoever invited me, used to feed me as well. Once a family invited me over for a meal, repeatedly. I would not go, because I felt they are too poor, and if I go to eat at their place, I will become a burden on them. But eventually, I had to bow to their request and love. And I went to eat a meal at their home. It was a small hut, where we sat down to eat. They offered me roti made of bajra (millet), and mik. Their young child was looking at the milk. I felt, the child has never even seen milk. So I gave that small bowl of milk to the child. And he drank it within seconds. His family members were angry with him. And I felt that perhaps that child has never had any milk, apart from his mother’s milk. And maybe, they had bought milk so that I could have a good meal. This incident inspired me a lot. A poor person living in a hut could think so much about my well-being. So I should devote my life to their service. So these are the things that serve as inspiration. And Barack has also spoken about what can touch the heart.

I am thankful to Barack, he has given so much time. And I am thankful to my countrymen for listening to Mann Ki Baat. I know radio reaches every home and every lane of India. And this Mann Ki Baat, this special Mann Ki Baat will echo forever.

I have an idea. I share it with you. There should be an e-book made of the talk between Barack and me today. I hope the organizers of Mann Ki Baat will release this e-book. And to you all, who have listened to Mann Ki Baat, I also say, do participate in this. And the best hundred thoughts that emerge out of this, will also be added to this e-book. And I want you to write to us on Twitter, on Facebook, or online, using the hashtag #YesWeCan.

• Eliminate Poverty – #YesWeCan
• Quality Healthcare to All – #YesWeCan
• Youth empowered with Education – #YesWeCan
• Jobs for All – #YesWeCan
• End to Terrorism – #YesWeCan
• Global Peace and Progress – #YesWeCan

I want you to send your thoughts, experiences and feelings after listening to Mann Ki Baat. From them, we will select the best hundred, and we will add them to the book containing the talk that Barack and I have had. And I believe, this will truly become, the Mann Ki Baat of us all.

Once again, a big thank you to Barack. And to all of you. Barack’s visit to India on this pious occasion of 26th January, is a matter of pride for me and for the country.

Thank you very much.

Full text: Special episode of Mann ki Baat participated by PM Modi, President Obama

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Today, Shri Barack Obama, President of the United States, joins us in a special programme of Mann Ki Baat. For the last few months, I have been sharing my “Mann Ki Baat” with you. But today, people from various parts of the country have asked questions.

But most of the questions are connected to politics, foreign policy, economic policy. However, some questions touch the heart. And I believe if we touch those questions today, we shall be able to reach out to the common man in different parts of the country. And therefore, the questions asked in press conferences, or discussed in meetings – instead of those – if we discuss what comes from the heart, and repeat it, hum it, we get a new energy. And therefore, in my opinion, those questions are more important. Some people wonder, what does “Barack” mean? I was searching for the meaning of Barack. In Swahili language, which is spoken in parts of Africa, Barack means, one who is blessed. I believe, along with a name, his family gave him a big gift.

Good friends. PTI

African countries have lived by the ancient idea of ‘Ubuntu’, which alludes to the ‘oneness in humanity’. They say – “I am, because we are”. Despite the gap in centuries and borders, there is the same spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which speak of in India. This is the great shared heritage of humanity. This unites us. When we discuss Mahatma Gandhi, we remember Henry Thoreau, from whom Mahatma Gandhi learnt disobedience. When we talk about Martin Luther King or Obama, we hear from their lips, respect for Mahatma Gandhi. These are the things that unite the world.

Today, Barack Obama is with us. I will first request him to share his thoughts. Then, I and Barack will both answer the questions that have been addressed to us.

I request President Barack Obama to say a few words.

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Namaste! Thank you Prime Minister Modi for your kind words and for the incredible hospitality you have shown me and my wife Michelle on this visit and let me say to the people of India how honoured I am to be the first American President to join you for Republic Day; and I’m told that this is also the first ever Radio address by an Indian Prime Minister and an American President together, so we’re making a lot of history in a short time. Now to the people of India listening all across this great nation. It’s wonderful to be able to speak you directly. We just come from discussions in which we affirmed that India and the United States are natural partners, because we have so much in common. We are two great democracies, two innovative economies, two diverse societies dedicated to empowering individuals. We are linked together by millions of proud Indian Americans who still have family and carry on traditions from India. And I want to say to the Prime Minister how much I appreciate your strong personal commitment to strengthening the relationship between these two countries.

People are very excited in the United States about the energy that Prime Minister Modi is bringing to efforts in this country to reduce extreme poverty and lift people up, to empower women, to provide access to electricity, and clean energy and invest in infrastructure, and the education system. And on all these issues, we want to be partners. Because many of the efforts that I am promoting inside the United States to make sure that the young people get the best education possible, to make sure that the ordinary people are properly compensated for their labour, and paid fair wages, and have job security and health care. These are the same kinds of issues that Prime Minister Modi, I know cares so deeply about here. And I think there’s a common theme in these issues. It gives us a chance to reaffirm what Gandhi ji reminded us, should be a central aim of our lives. And that is, we should endeavour to seek God through service of humanity because God is in everyone. So these shared values, these convictions, are a large part of why I am so committed to this relationship. I believe that if the United States and India join together on the world stage around these values, then not only will our peoples be better off, but I think the world will be more prosperous and more peaceful and more secure for the future. So thank you so much Mr. Prime Minister, for giving me this opportunity to be with you here today.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Barack the first question comes from Raj from Mumbai

His question is, the whole world knows about your love for your daughters. How will you tell your daughters about youre experience of India? Do you plan to do some shopping for them?

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well first of all they very much wanted to come. They are fascinated by India, Unfortunately each time that I have taken a trip here, they had school and they couldn’t leave school. And in fact, Malia, my older daughter, had exams just recently. They are fascinated by the culture, and the history of India, in part because of my influence I think, they are deeply moved by India’s movement to Independence, and the role that Gandhi played, in not only the non-violent strategies here in India, but how those ended up influencing the non-violent Civil Rights Movement in the United States. So when I go back I am going to tell them that India is as magnificent as they imagined. And I am quite sure that they are going to insist that I bring them back the next time I visit. It may not be during my Presidency, but afterwards they will definitely want to come and visit.

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Modi-Obama Mann Ki Baat address to be aired at 8 pm on Tuesday

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And I will definitely do some shopping for them. Although I can’t go to the stores myself, so I have to have my team do the shopping for me. And I’ll get some advice from Michelle, because she probably has a better sense of what they would like.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Barack said he will come with his daughters. I extend an invitation to you. Whether you come as President, or thereafter, India looks forward to welcoming you and your daughters.

Sanika Diwan from Pune, Maharashtra has asked me a question. She asks me, whether I have sought assistance from President Obama for the Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao Mission

Sanika you have asked a good question. There is a lot of worry because of the sex ratio in India. For every 1000 boys, the number of girls is less. And the main reason for this is that, there is a defect in our attitudes towards boys and girls.

Whether or not I seek help from President Obama, his life is in itself an inspiration. The way he has brought up his two daughters, the way he is proud of his two daughters.

In our country too, I meet many families who have only daughters. And they bring up their daughters with such pride, give them such respect, that is the biggest inspiration. I believe that inspiration is our strength. And in response to your question, I would like to say, to save the girl child, to educate the girl child, this is our social duty, cultural duty, and humanitarian responsibility. We should honour it.

Barack, there is a question for you. The second question for President Obama comes through e-mail: Dr. Kamlesh Upadhyay, a Doctor based in Ahmedabad, Gujarat – Your wife is doing extensive work on tackling modern health challenges like obesity and diabetes. These are increasingly being faced in India as well. Would you and the First Lady like to return to India to work on these issues after your Presidency, just like Bill and Melinda Gates?

(Hon’ble Barack Obama):

Well, we very much look forward to partnering with organizations, and the government and non-governmental organizations here in India, around broader Public Health issues including the issue of obesity. I am very proud of the work that Michelle has done on this issue. We’re seeing a world-wide epidemic of obesity, in many cases starting at a very young age. And a part of it has to do with increase in processed foods, not naturally prepared. Part of it is a lack of activity for too many children. And once they are on this path, it can lead to a life time of health challenges. This is an issue that we would like to work on internationally, including here in India. And it is a part of a broader set of issues around global health that we need to address. The Prime Minister and I have discussed, for example, how we can do a better job in dealing with issues like pandemic. And making sure that we have good alert systems so that if a disease like Ebola, or a deadly flu virus, or Polio appears, it is detected quickly and then treated quickly so that it doesn’t spread. The public health infrastructure around the world needs to be improved. I think the Prime Minister is doing a great job in focusing on these issues here in India. And India has a lot to teach many other countries who may not be advancing as rapidly in improving this public health sector. But it has an impact on everything, because if children are sick they can’t concentrate in school and they fall behind. It has a huge economic impact on the countries involved and so we think that there is a lot of progress to be made here and I am very excited about the possibilities of considering this work even after I leave office.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Mr. Arjun asks me a question. An interesting question. He says he has seen an old photo of me as a tourist outside the White House. He asks me what touched me when I went there last September.

It is true that when I first went to America, I was not lucky enough to visit the White House. There is an iron fence far from the White House. We stood outside the fence and took a photograph. White House is visible in the background. Now that I have become Prime Minister, that photo too has become popular. But at that time, I had never thought that sometime in my life, I would get a chance to visit the White House. But when I visited the White House, one thing touched my heart. I can never forget that. Barack gave me a book, a book that he had located after considerable effort. That book had become famous in 1894. Swami Vivekananda, the inspiration of my life, had gone to Chicago to participate in the World Religions Conference. And this book was a compilation of the speeches delivered at the World Religions Conference. That touched my heart. And not just this. He turned the pages of the book, and showed me what was written there. He had gone through the entire book! And he told me with pride, I come from the Chicago where Swami Vivekananda had come. These words touched my heart a lot. And I will treasure this throughout my life. So once, standing far from the White House and taking a photo, and then, to visit the White House, and to receive a book on someone whom I respect. You can imagine, how it would have touched my heart.

Barack there is a question for you. Himani from Ludhiana, Punjab. Question is for you ……:

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well the question is “Did you both imagine you would reach the positions that you’ve reached today?”

And it is interesting, Mr. Prime Minister, your talking about the first time you visited White House and being outside that iron fence. The same is true for me. When I first went to the White House, I stood outside that same fence, and looked in, and I certainly did not imagine that I would ever be visiting there, much less living there. You know, I think both of us have been blessed with an extraordinary opportunity, coming from relatively humble beginnings. And when I think about what’s best in America and what’s best in India, the notion that a tea seller or somebody who’s born to a single mother like me, could end up leading our countries, is an extraordinary example of the opportunities that exist within our countries. Now I think, a part of what motivates both you and I, is the belief that there are millions of children out there who have the same potential but may not have the same education, may not be getting exposed to opportunities in the same way, and so a part of our job, a part of government’s job is that young people who have talent, and who have drive and are willing to work for, are able to succeed. And that’s why we are emphasizing school, higher education. Making sure that children are healthy and making sure those opportunities are available to children of all backgrounds, girls and boys, people of all religious faiths and of all races in the United States is so important. Because you never know who might be the next Prime Minister of India, or who might be the next President of United States. They might not always look the part right off the bat. And they might just surprise you if you give them the chance.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Thank you Barack.

Himani from Ludhiana has also asked me this question – did I ever imagine I would reach this high office?

No. I never imagined it. Because, as Barack said, I come from a very ordinary family. But for a long time, I have been telling everyone, never dream of becoming something. If you wish to dream, dream of doing something. When we do something, we get satisfaction, and also get inspiration to do something new. If we only dream of becoming something, and cannot fulfil the dream, then we only get disappointed. And therefore, I never dreamt of becoming something. Even today, I have no dream of becoming something. But I do dream of doing something. Serving Mother India, serving 125 crore Indians, there can be no greater dream than this. That is what I have to do. I am thankful to Himani.

There is a question for Barack from Omprakash. Omprakash is studying Sanskrit at JNU. He belongs to Jhunjunu, Rajasthan. Om Prakash is convener of special centre for Sanskrit Studies in JNU.

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well this is a very interesting question. His question is, the youth of the new generation is a global citizen. He is not limited by time or boundaries. In such a situation what should be the approach by our leadership, governments as well as societies at large.

I think this is a very important question. When I look at this generation that is coming up, they are exposed to the world in ways that you and I could hardly imagine. They have the world at their fingertips, literally. They can, using their mobile phone, get information and images from all around the world and that’s extraordinarily powerful. And what that means, I think is that, governments and leaders cannot simply try to govern, or rule, by a top-down strategy. But rather have to reach out to people in an inclusive way, and an open way, and a transparent way. And engage in a dialogue with citizens, about the direction of their country. And one of the great things about India and the United States is that we are both open societies. And we have confidence and faith that when citizens have information, and there is a vigorous debate, that over time even though sometimes democracy is frustrating, the best decisions and the most stable societies emerge and the most prosperous societies emerge. And new ideas are constantly being exchanged. And technology today I think facilitates that, not just within countries, but across countries. And so, I have much greater faith in India and the United States, countries that are open information societies, in being able to succeed and thrive in this New Information Age; than closed societies that try to control the information that citizens receive. Because ultimately that’s no longer possible. Information will flow inevitably, one way or the other, and we want to make sure we are fostering a healthy debate and a good conversation between all peoples.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Omprakash wants me too, to answer the question that has been asked to Barack.

Barack has given a very good answer. It is inspiring. I will only say, that once upon a time, there were people inspired primarily by the Communist ideology. They gave a call: Workers of the world, Unite. This slogan lasted for several decades. I believe, looking at the strength and reach of today’s youth, I would say, Youth, Unite the world. I believe they have the strength and they can do it.

The next question is from CA Pikashoo Mutha from Mumbai, and he asks me, which American leader has inspired you

When I was young, I used to see Kennedy’s pictures in Indian newspapers. His personality was very impressive. But your question is, who has inspired me. I liked reading as a child. And I got an opportunity to read the biography of Benjamin Franklin. He lived in the eighteenth century. And he was not an American President. But his biography is so inspiring – how a person can intelligently try to change his life.

If we feel excessively sleepy, how can we reduce that?

If we feel like eating too much, how can we work towards eating less?

If people get upset with you that cannot meet them, because of the pressure of work, then how to solve this problem?

He has addressed such issues in his biography. And I tell everyone, we should read Benjamin Franklin’s biography. Even today, it inspires me. And Benjamin Franklin had a multi-dimensional personality. He was a politician, he was a political scientist, he was a social worker, he was a diplomat. And he came from an ordinary family. He could not even complete his education. But till today, his thoughts have an impact on American life. I find his life truly inspiring. And I tell you too, if you read his biography, you will find ways to transform your life too. And he has talked about simple things. So I feel you will be inspired as much as I have been.

There is a question for Barack, from Monika Bhatia.

(Hon’ble Shri Barack Obama):

Well the question is “As leaders of two major economies, what inspires you and makes you smile at the end of a bad day at work?”

And that is a very good question. I say sometimes, that the only problems that come to my desk are the ones that nobody else solves. If they were easy questions, then somebody else would have solved them before they reached me. So there are days when it’s tough and frustrating. And that’s true in Foreign Affairs. That is true in Domestic Affairs. But I tell you what inspires me, and I don’t know Mr. Prime Minister if you share this view – almost every day I meet somebody who tells me, “You made a difference in my life.”

So they’ll say, “The Health-Care law that you passed, saved my child who didn’t have health insurance.” And they were able to get an examination from a Physician, and they caught an early tumour, and now he is doing fine.

Or they will say “You helped me save my home during the economic crisis.”

Or they’ll say, “I couldn’t afford college, and the program you set up has allowed me to go to the university.”

And sometimes they are thanking you for things that you did four or five years ago. Sometimes they are thanking you for things you don’t even remember, or you’re not thinking about that day. But it is a reminder of what you said earlier, which is, if you focus on getting things done as opposed to just occupying an office or maintaining power, then the satisfaction that you get is unmatched. And the good thing about service is that anybody can do it. If you are helping somebody else, the satisfaction that you can get from that, I think, exceeds anything else that you can do. And that’s usually what makes me inspired to do more, and helps get through the challenges and difficulties that we all have. Because obviously we are not the only people with bad days at work. I think everybody knows what it is like to have a bad day at work. You just have to keep on working through it. Eventually you make a difference.

(Hon’ble Shri Narendra Modi):

Indeed Barack has spoken words from the heart (Mann Ki Baat). Whatever position we may hold, we are human too. Simple things can inspire us. I also wish to narrate an experience. For many years, I was like an ascetic. I got food at other people’s homes. Whoever invited me, used to feed me as well. Once a family invited me over for a meal, repeatedly. I would not go, because I felt they are too poor, and if I go to eat at their place, I will become a burden on them. But eventually, I had to bow to their request and love. And I went to eat a meal at their home. It was a small hut, where we sat down to eat. They offered me roti made of bajra (millet), and mik. Their young child was looking at the milk. I felt, the child has never even seen milk. So I gave that small bowl of milk to the child. And he drank it within seconds. His family members were angry with him. And I felt that perhaps that child has never had any milk, apart from his mother’s milk. And maybe, they had bought milk so that I could have a good meal. This incident inspired me a lot. A poor person living in a hut could think so much about my well-being. So I should devote my life to their service. So these are the things that serve as inspiration. And Barack has also spoken about what can touch the heart.

I am thankful to Barack, he has given so much time. And I am thankful to my countrymen for listening to Mann Ki Baat. I know radio reaches every home and every lane of India. And this Mann Ki Baat, this special Mann Ki Baat will echo forever.

I have an idea. I share it with you. There should be an e-book made of the talk between Barack and me today. I hope the organizers of Mann Ki Baat will release this e-book. And to you all, who have listened to Mann Ki Baat, I also say, do participate in this. And the best hundred thoughts that emerge out of this, will also be added to this e-book. And I want you to write to us on Twitter, on Facebook, or online, using the hashtag #YesWeCan.

• Eliminate Poverty – #YesWeCan
• Quality Healthcare to All – #YesWeCan
• Youth empowered with Education – #YesWeCan
• Jobs for All – #YesWeCan
• End to Terrorism – #YesWeCan
• Global Peace and Progress – #YesWeCan

I want you to send your thoughts, experiences and feelings after listening to Mann Ki Baat. From them, we will select the best hundred, and we will add them to the book containing the talk that Barack and I have had. And I believe, this will truly become, the Mann Ki Baat of us all.

Once again, a big thank you to Barack. And to all of you. Barack’s visit to India on this pious occasion of 26th January, is a matter of pride for me and for the country.

Thank you very much.