“Some people use such wrong words that they do not behove any decent society. People write anything about women. We should not encourage it.”
This was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message to some of his voters from the Varanasi Lok Sabha seat he represents during a video interaction.
Urging people to use social media to create a positive atmosphere, the Prime Minister advised people to “ignore those who spread negativity”. “Some people use the social media to spread dirt. I have been telling my party men to make small videos that show changes and progress happening around you, so that a positive atmosphere can be created,” he said.
Invoking former President A P J Abdul Kalam, Modi said, “His soul would be happy to see that a positive atmosphere is created in the country.”
“We are flooded with negative news. People get disappointed at them. Then they prefer to sit at home idly. But if you talk about light, there will not be any space for darkness,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s message comes at a time when those aligned with right-wing ideology have been accused of using abusive language against those who oppose their views. The BJP and the RSS have on several occasions dissociated themselves from such elements, but there has been criticism that absence of a strong message from the top leadership encourages such elements.
Addressing party MPs and MLAs via video chat through the NaMo App in April, Modi had exhorted them to desist from speaking out of turn to the media on every issue and commenting on “every socio-political or cultural matter”.
On Wednesday, in response to one Anand Srivastava, who told the Prime Minister that he uses videos and messages to showcase changes in terms of development of the area, Modi said, “People at times overstep the bounds of decorum. They hear or see something false and forward it. They don’t notice that how much damage they are doing to society.”
However, he clarified that this trend cannot be linked to any particular party or ideology. It is about 125 crore Indians and everybody should train themselves for never spreading dirt through the social media, but share good things around them, the Prime Minister said.
Urging people to promote the “Swachhata Hi Seva” campaign from September 15-October 2, he said the cleanliness project is also about mental cleanliness.
“Earlier, a minor fight between two families would be confined to them… Now the situation has changed. Even a fight in a mohalla gets 24-hour coverage,” he said.
The Prime Minister stressed on the need to share information that strengthens society.
“It is not for any party or politics. It’s for our society… It’s nothing to do with the government. But it will strengthen society. One needs to ignore those who spread negativity,” he urged.
Calling for sharing videos highlighting the “changing face of India”, the Prime Minister asked the voters to spread “then and now” videos to “show the changes happened in the country in four years”.
He said every village has got power and toilets and the country has become the largest manufacturer of mobiles, adding that it is the fastest growing economy and is eradicating poverty fast. “Which Indian wouldn’t feel proud about it?”
Speaking about the development work carried out by his government in Varanasi, Modi said change is visible from roads to the railway station to the airport.
He also wanted the people in Varanasi to extend a warm hospitality to people of Indian origins visiting during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from January 21-23 and ensure that they witness the best of Indian culture. “Start preparing from now,” he said.