In the backdrop of a raging debate over the rise in acts of intolerance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said he wants to give the “Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat” motto the contours of a scheme and hopes that the scheme is able to connect and unite each and every Indian.
“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty,” the Prime Minister said Sunday in his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat on All India Radio. “The unity of the country… these values and culture should continue. I want to give “Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat the shape of a scheme.”
Modi said his government had sought suggestions on the My Gov platform regarding what should be the structure of this programme, the logo and how to increase public participation regarding this. “I have been told that a lot of suggestions are coming. But I expect many more suggestions to come. I expect a very specific scheme,” he said.
The PM urged the public to use their “creative mind” to come up with suggestions for the proposed scheme. “How can we make the mantra of unity and integrity and that of ‘Ek Bharat-Shreshtha Bharat’ a means to connect each and every Indian. What should be the scheme, what should the programme be? Jaandaar bhi ho, shaandaar bhi ho, praanvaan bhi ho aur har kisi ko jodne ke liye sahaj saral ho.”
He said citizens should also suggest what the government, society and civil society should do as part of that scheme. “Many things can come up. I am confident, your suggestions will be useful,” the PM told the nation.
Citing the example of one Javed Ahmad from Kashmir who was shot by terrorists in 1996 and suffered serious injuries causing him disability, Modi asked people to come forward and donate organs in greater numbers.
“He lost the capacity to stand on his feet again… The biggest thing was that an innocent had to suffer in such a manner, his youth was endangered but there was no anger or outrage,” the PM said narrating Ahmad’s life story. “He did not accept defeat… He converted this crisis into an opportunity to serve the masses and devoted his life to social service. For the last 20 years, he has been teaching children. He is also working to see how infrastructure for the disabled can be improved, including in public places and government building.”
He said Ahmad had “become a messiah for disabled people” and that his devotion is being specially remembered on the occasion of Disability Day on December 3.
Before leaving for Paris where he will attend a global summit on climate change, the PM said it is the responsibility of all to ensure that the earth’s temperature does not rise as global warming is already creating disasters like the recent heavy rain in Chennai. He asked people to adopt energy conservation and energy efficient measures like the maximum use of solar-powered items.
Modi recalled his proposal for setting up a SAARC disaster response mechanism and said the recently-held ‘table talk exercise and best practices seminar’ in Delhi was a good beginning in this regard. “We keep receiving news about the natural disasters from every corner of the world. Such are the tragedies which have never been heard earlier or imagined. We are now experiencing the impact of fast-changing climate. In our own country, massive rains recently hit Tamil Nadu and caused losses to it as well as other states. Several people lost their lives. I offer my condolences to them,” he said.