In the last Mann ki Baat episode for 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflected on the country’s achievements over the year and asked people to be positive. He also spoke on the celebrations of Guru Gobind Singh’s birth anniversary, the Kumbh Mela, and the Sardar Patel Award for National Integration, announced by him recently.
The PM said negativity is spread easily, but there is a lot of good work being done in the country and asked people to “make positivity viral”.
“Spreading negativity is fairly easy,” the Prime Minister said, adding, “Some really good work is being done around us, in our society”.
On the new year, Modi said, “Whether it is the life of a person, life of a nation, or the lifespan of a society, inspiration is the basis of progress”.
He asked people of the country to approach 2019 “imbued with renewed inspiration, renewed zeal, renewed resolution, new accomplishments, loftier goals”.
In the 51st edition of his radio broadcast, Modi spoke about the importance of eating right, and with the upcoming Kumbh Mela in mind, stressed on the need for sanitation.
Modi said that during his recent visit to Prayagraj, he noticed “that the preparations… were progressing on a war footing”.
“This time, a lot of emphasis is being laid on cleanliness during Kumbh and if during the event, sanitation prevails along with reverence, then it will lead to a positive message reaching far and wide,” he said.
He said that the ‘Akshayvat’, a tree in in the Allahabad fort, will be open for darshan this time, which was “locked up in the fort for hundreds of years”.
The Kumbh Mela, he said was marked by the UNESCO as an “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity”.
As people from over 150 countries are expected to visit the event, he said, ambassadors of several nations had witnessed the preparations and national flags of many countries were hoisted at the venue.
Modi said that at the conference of the Directors General of Police recently in Kevdia, he discussed with the top policemen about “what kind of steps should be taken to strengthen the security of the country”. He mentioned the Sardar Patel Award for National Integration, and said that it will be given to those who have contributed to national unity in any way.
Counting the successes of 2018, Modi spoke about Ayushman Bharat, and said that the “world’s biggest health insurance scheme was launched.”
He said that electricity reached each and every village of the country, global institutions accepted that India took strides in the area of poverty alleviation at a record pace, the country’s first inland waterway was launched in Varanasi, the longest rail-road bridge — Bogibeel Bridge — was opened, and India’s hundredth airport at Pakyong commenced operations.
Talking about the Statue of Unity, built in honour of Sardar Patel, he mentioned that it is the tallest statue in the world.
He said that the United Nations Environment Award ‘Champions of the Earth’ was conferred upon India, and mentioned the first General Assembly of the International Solar Alliance held in the country. Modi further noted that India saw “unprecedented improvement in the Ease of doing business rankings”.
In 2018, he said, India “successfully accomplished the Nuclear Triad, which means we are now armed with nuclear capabilities-in water, on land and in the sky as well”. India’s nuclear submarine INS Arihant carried out its first combat patrol recently.
A special mention was made of the “daughters of the country” who circumnavigated the globe through the Navika Sagar Parikrama. Modi also referred to achievements of Indian sportspersons at international events.
In 2019 India is celebrating Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, the Prime Minister said. At the Republic Day celebrations on January 26, the chief guest will be Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, “where Mohan transformed into the ‘Mahatma'” and where he had started his “first Satyagraha and stood rock steady against the apartheid”.