In his first monthly radio address Mann Ki Baat after being re-elected, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said he had not returned to office, but “the people had brought him back”.
The Prime Minister’s Mann Ki Baat programme was suspended in February in the run-up to the Lok Sabha election, which concluded when results were declared on May 23.
‘You brought me back’
Speaking about his last address before the election, Mr. Modi said: “When it [the February 24 address] was about to end, I had stated that we would meet once again after three or four months, people assigned a political hue to it, saying ‘Hey, Modiji is so full of confidence, he is certain!’ The confidence was not Modi’s. This trust was the trust of your foundation… Actually speaking, I have not returned, you brought me back, you positioned me here and gave me the opportunity to speak once again.”
During the election, the Prime Minister had taken a trip to Kedarnath, where he had spent time in a cave. “Amidst hectic election engagements, many people asked me a flurry of questions on why I had gone up to Kedarnath… In a way, I undertook the journey to meet my inner self. I shall not reveal other things today, but I certainly want to tell you that perhaps in that solitary cave, I got an opportunity to fill up the vacuum caused due to the long pause that Mann Ki Baat had to go through. The rest is your inquisitiveness… I think, someday, I’ll talk about that, too,” he said.
Referring to the state of Emergency imposed by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi in 1975, Mr. Modi spoke about the importance of democracy, which he said was “embedded in our sanskaar (tradition)”.
“During Emergency, every citizen of the country had started getting the feeling that something that belonged to him had been snatched away… And it was not just on account of the fact that the Constitution of India has made certain provisions that enabled democracy to blossom… But, India can proudly proclaim that, for us, beyond laws and rules, democracy is embedded in our sanskaar; democracy is our culture. Democracy is our heritage,” he said, adding that people had voted to save democracy in the 1977 election.
Speaking about the 2019 Lok Sabha election, he said it was the “largest democratic election” in the world ever, with 61 crore voters participating.
On water scarcity
Switching to current topics, he spoke about water scarcity affecting parts of the country, saying that “only 8%” of rainwater was being harvested.
He requested people to make water conservation a mass movement “just like the cleanliness drive has been given the shape of a mass movement”.
He also asked people to share information about “traditional methods of water conservation” that have been used for centuries as well as information about people and NGOs working in the area using the hashtag #JanShakti4JalShakti on social media.
In his Mann Ki Baat 2, Modi urges people not to take democracy lightly – The Hindu