In his last Mann Ki Baat address of 2020 on Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for a quality boost in Indian manufacturing and a boycott of foreign goods “shackling” the country, even as he brought up sacrifices made by Sikh gurus in the backdrop of the farm law protests.
Prime Minister Modi urged the people to make a list of foreign products that could be substituted with Indian ones and drive out the former from their life. Continuing his Atmanirbhar Bharat pitch, he said it was time Indian companies began making world-class products.
“I have said this earlier too… I once again urge countrymen… do prepare a list. Whatever items we use throughout the day… analyse them… think of things manufactured abroad that have permeated into our lives unknowingly, in a way, shackling us down. Let us find out their substitutes made in India and decide that henceforth we shall use products made with the hard work and sweat of the people of India,” he said.
And amid the stalemate between farmers from Punjab and Haryana and the Centre over the farm laws, Modi mentioned the supreme sacrifices made by Guru Gobind Singh and Guru Tegh Bahadur to protect India’s “millennia old culture, civilisation and tradition” from “the cruel misdemeanors of tyrants and tormentors”.
“On this day the sons of Guru Gobind Singh, sahibzade Zorawar Singh and Fateh Singh were immured alive. The tyrants wanted the sahibzade to renounce their faith; abandon the teachings of the great Guru tradition. But they showed amazing courage and determination even at that tender age… It was on this day itself that Guru Gobind Singh ji’s mother, Mata Gujari, attained martyrdom. About a week ago, it was the martyrdom day of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji too… Once again I bow to the martyrdom of Shri Guru Tegh Bahadur ji, Mata Gujari, Guru Gobind Singh ji and the four sahibzade. Several such sacrifices have preserved the present fabric of India, keeping it intact,” Modi said.
The PM had last week visited Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib to pay homage to Guru Tegh Bahadur.
Referring to a letter written by one Venkat Murli Prasad from Vishakhapatnam which stressed on improving quality of Indian products, Modi said: “This is the opportune moment to work with the ethos of ‘zero effect, zero defect’. I urge manufacturers and industry leaders of the country… people of the country have taken a firm step… moving a bold step forward… vocal for local is reverberating in each and every household… in such a scenario, it is time to ensure that our products meet global standards. Whatever is global best; we should make it in India and prove it. For that, our entrepreneur friends have to come forward. Startups too have to come forth.”
The PM also spoke about saffron farmers of the Valley and said that the export of high quality Kashmiri saffron will further strengthen the idea of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
“Saffron has been associated with Kashmir for centuries. Kashmiri saffron is mainly grown in places like Pulwama, Budgam and Kishtwar. In May this year, the Kashmiri Saffron was given the Geographical Indication Tag or GI tag. Through this, we want to make Kashmiri Saffron a globally popular brand. Now its exports will get a boost. This will further strengthen our efforts to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat. Farmers growing saffron will be especially benefited by this,” Modi said.
Invoking the Bhagvad Geeta, the PM asked countrymen to always remain curious and constantly learn. He said the Geeta itself started with a question. He gave the example of a 92-year-old man from Tamil Nadu who had learnt computers in old age and was now writing a book.
He also commended a youth group from Karnataka for renovating a dilapidated temple and a teacher of Tamil—which the PM called “the oldest language of the world”—using innovative ways to teach children during the pandemic.
Modi listed the increasing numbers of leopards, lions and tigers as an achievement of the government and the civil society and commended people who take care of animals.
He reiterated the goals of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and asked people to make reduction of single-use plastic one of their resolutions for 2021.