Mann Ki Baat: PM announces ‘Meri Mati Mera Desh’ campaign, silent on Manipur

  • ‘The anger, anxiety, anguish, pain and sorrow of the people of Manipur seem to make absolutely no difference to the Prime Minister,’ Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote on Twitter

Staff Writer
First Published30 Jul 2023
Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday spoke about the imminent the launch of a campaign to honour India’s martyred men and women. Addressing the nation on ‘Mann Ki Baat’, the prime minister said as part of the campaign, several programmes will be organised across the country in memory of martyrs.

“In the memory of these luminaries, special inscriptions will also be installed in lakhs of village panchayats. Under this campaign, an ‘Amrit Kalash Yatra’ will also be organised across the country. This yatra, carrying soil in 7500 urns from every corner of the country, will reach Delhi. It will also carry with it saplings from different parts of the country. An ‘Amrit Vatika’ will be built near the National War Memorial by fusing the soil and saplings. This ‘Amrit Vatika’ will also become a grand symbol of ‘Ek Bharat Shresth Bharat’,” he said. Ahead of India’s 77th Independence Day on 15 August, Modi said the country should remember those who lay down their lives for its freedom.

Modi added, “I have also received a large number of such letters this time that give a lot of satisfaction to the mind. These letters have been written by those Muslim women who have recently come from Haj pilgrimage. This journey of theirs is very special in many ways. These are women who have performed Hajj without any male companion or mehram, and the number is not fifty or hundred, but more than four thousand. This is a huge transformation,” he said. He noted that the changes that have been made to the Hajj policy in the past few years have been ‘highly appreciated’.

In his monthly address to the nation, the prime minister also talked about the recent heavy rains and floods in parts of the country and acknowledged the role of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRC) and local administrations in combating the calamities.

“The month of July means the month of monsoon, the month of rain. The past few days have been full of anxiety and hardships on account of natural calamities. Owing to flooding in many rivers including the Yamuna, people in many areas have had to suffer. Landslides have also occurred in hilly areas. Meanwhile, in the western part of the country, Cyclone Biparjoy also hit the areas of Gujarat some time ago. But friends, in the midst of these calamities, all of us countrymen have once again brought to the fore the power of collective effort. The local people, our NDRF jawans, those from the local administration have worked day and night to combat such calamities.”

He also said that the US has returned more than 100 rare and ancient artifacts to India. “A nearly thousand-year-old bronze statue of Lord Ganesha has also been returned to India. An idol of Uma-Maheshwara in Lalitasan is said to be of the 11th century. Two stone idols of Jain Tirthankaras have also come back to India. Two idols of Bhagwan Surya Dev will also enthrall you. One of these is made of sandstone. Among the items returned is a panel made of wood, which brings to the fore the story of the churning of the ocean. This panel is from the 16th-17th century and is associated with south India.”

Modi, however, did not mention the crisis situation in Manipur in his address. His silence on the issue over the past couple of months has drawn criticism from the opposition. On Friday, Congress leader Jairam Ramesh wrote on Twitter: “The anger, anxiety, anguish, pain and sorrow of the people of Manipur seem to make absolutely no difference to the Prime Minister. While he is busy listening to his own voice and forcing down his ‘Mann ki Baat’ on crores of Indians, the 21 MP delegation of ‘Team INDIA’ is talking about Manipur ki Baat with the Governor of Manipur.”

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